Paleo-based menus, an anju bar and a fictitious east London ghetto: it’s London’s December foodie openings
[Photo © Kris Piotrowski]
Among the many novelty openings in December – cereal cafés, pop-ups from Lidl, that sort of thing – Pure Taste stands out for claiming to serve dishes based on a ‘paleo diet’, though the online menu makes no mention of mammoth rib-eye. But did cavemen really eat garlic-stuffed olives, chickpea masala and sticky toffee pudding – all on the menu at Pure Taste? If so, life as hunter-gatherers couldn’t have been so bad.
For something right up to the current millennium, Korean food is a fast-moving trend; from a bit of kimchi with your burger through Korean fried chicken to greater diversification. Soon we’ll have Soho’s first self-proclaimed ‘anju bar’ – serving Korean-style bar food – at Bó Drake.
If your star is pointing east, there’s even a hip restaurant in Whitechapel inspired by the cooking of the Jewish diaspora. Brick Lane and its surrounds was the first home in London for tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, though they’re now long-dispersed, and the last of the area’s many kosher luncheon clubs closed more than a decade ago. At Jago – named after the fictitious east London ghetto of the Victorian novel ‘A Child of the Jago’ – the claim is a menu with ‘Ashkenazi influences’, though it looks distinctly Mediterranean and not East European to us, with dishes such as fresh figs with goat’s curd, honey and thyme – and should be all the better for it.
By Guy Dimond