There has never been a more exciting time to be a person who eats things in London. Pop-up restaurants are blossoming across the city like mushrooms on a rotting log, offering delightful takes on classic dishes as well as new and exciting culinary experiences all of their own. From a re-purposed fire engine selling Mexican sweets to a bathtub full of stew in a park, there’s a quirky eatery – and a mile-long queue – to suit every taste. We asked hungry tweaters @FoodPit about the hotly-tipped Next Big Things in the London grubmunch scene.
Really dirty food
‘ ‘Dirty’ food has taken London by storm over the past few years. Ask any foodie, however, and they’ll tell you that burgers are passé. If you want real dirty food, you have to get truly grotty. Filthlobster in Clapham is a fine example. Opened as a ‘residency’ in an authentic squat by daring chef Greg Yelp, unidentifiable mucus runs from the walls as trained shellfish murderers brain crustaceans and toss them into a sooty fryer. Yelp’s signature batter, made from Cretan artisan flour and a gallon of flat Tizer, is a must-have, and goes perfectly with the house cocktail: 25 year old single malt blended with Nesquik and served in a broken guitar. If you like this, be sure to try Big Dog Hog Bog in Kew, a cellar drenched in a mire of gravy and promising colossal, bobbing sausages for diners brave enough to take the plunge.’
‘Of course, for another fumbling grope at the city’s pulse, look no further than the vibrant street food scene emerging across London town like the spectral image of a skull in a mirror. Try Roaring@Pigeons in Camden, where a wild-eyed man who doesn’t even know he’s running a food stall hurls chips and rants at birds, or South Bank’s KerbSnax, where you can pick up 2kg of smashed-up bus stop served in a traffic cone & garnished with fag butts for just £12. For real guerilla gourmets, we recommend JostleDog, a new hotdog pop-up that appears on a central line carriage from 8-9am weekdays, or Rise to the Challenge, where vol-au-vents are served during a genuine gang war in a council estate stairwell.
‘Bored with meat? You’re not alone. More and more chefs are thinking outside the box, ditching the old-fashioned connective tissue and aiming straight for where the flavour is: the skeletons of creatures. Whether it’s MarrowMount in Putney Heath and its open-air pile of quivering, roasted boneslop, or Fee-Fi in Shoreditch, where rustic loaves are baked from powdered goose spines, it’s never been a better time to crunch your way through an ossuary with a Campari in your hand and a bloodied smile on your face.’
‘Of course sometimes, it’s not unctuous excess Londoners want, but an exquisite focus on taste and texture that can only be obtained by the removal of other senses. What started with lightless fine dining at Dans Le Nuit in Clerkenwell has now spread like classy gangrene: try Racket in Camden, where deaf waiters gleefully smash cymbals together next to your head as you try to enjoy a sausage roll, or Blackout in Islington, which offers diners sightlessness by plying them with frisbees brimming with tequila before each course. So long as you have a bulging wallet and a powerful desire to spend an hour standing in a queue, London has a restaurant to cater to your every baffling whim.’