Food, music, alcohol and a warm evening in the park – doesn’t that sound like the perfect pass time?
Then the Taste of London Festival would have been absolute utopia for you!
As some of you already know, I was lucky enough to attend the festival a couple of weeks ago. I shared the evening with my other half, Jeff, at Regents Park and (of course) I took lots of photos to fill you all in!
If you don’t know what ToL is, it’s an annual food festival where most of the top restaurants in London get to showcase their food for a fraction of what you would pay at their restaurants; it’s a way of promoting their businesses and attracting new clientele.
Sake No Hanna
Our first foody stop was Sake No Hanna, a modern Japanese restaurant that’s based in Mayfair. We had the Corn-fed chicken Kuwayaki with 7 spice sauce, unfortunately it sounded far more spectacular than it was.
Although it tasted nice and the chicken was succulent, it was literally a bowl of diced chicken thighs. I understand that the stands are just giving tasters of their dishes but I wanted to get a feel for what a complete dish would be, like I did and like you will see, from the other stalls. Unfortunately we weren’t hugely impressed and won’t be paying them a visit at the restaurant.
Jeff Rating: 3/5
Next we visited Bleeding Heart, a collection of authentic French restaurants tucked away in Central London. I attended the event as a guest of the suppliers Urban Merchants who supply these brilliant bites of France in the centre of London.
Urban Merchants are a company that supply the finest ingredients such as Foie Gras, truffles and more not only to restaurants such as Bleeding Heart but also to your front door. They’re a great company that are making fine ingredients accessible – check them out for birthday or Christmas gifts for your foody friends! Attila from UM sent Jeff and myself to Julien, the restaurants head chef, who treated us to lobster risotto provençale served with parmesan tuile as well as braised beef cheeks bourguignon.
I have never tasted dishes as delicate and well balanced as these. It’s a well known fact that French cuisine is all about classic flavours and technique paired with quality ingredients and boy does Bleeding Heart live by that mantra. Eating the risotto was like eating silk, it was wonderfully creamy and the lobster was sweet and plump while the braised beef cheeks were melt in the mouth soft and packed a punch with it’s rich reduction and smooth mashed potato. This is the best French food I’ve ever eaten (and I’ve been to France!). Jeff and myself have already planned a visit to one of their restaurants near Farringdon.
Jeff Rating – Risotto: 4/5 (for someone who hates shellfish that’s mind blowing! I gave it a 5)
Jeff Rating – Beef: 5/5
After this we found ourselves at the Lindt tent where we met a chocolatier hand crafting almond and white chocolate truffles. You know we had some, you would too, and of course they were absolutely mind blowing – I mean it’s Lindt!
So we spent some money buying gifts for our friends and colleagues because everyone likes some Swiss chocolate once in a while!
We worked up a thirst with all this eating so we stopped at Mortimers Orchard cider bar for a drink.
I’m not big on cider but this cider was so sweet it almost tasted like apple juice, which can be quite dangerous so bare that in mind whilst drinking. We drank our refreshing pints while sitting in their ridiculously comfortable outdoor chairs, listening to all of the latest hits on their inappropriately loud sound system (we loved it.).
We finished our evening with 2 classic burgers from Meat Liquor, a burger bar with various London branches.
We’d heard great things about this place but were sadly disappointed. We weren’t sure if was simply the speed and quantity they were having to churn out on the day but our burgers were pretty average. Despite the ingredients being undeniably good quality,the taste was bland and not hugely appetising. We are tempted to give the actual restaurant a go seeming as SO many people have told us it’s amazing, so we might give it a second chance.
Jeff Rating: 2/5
Overall I had a spectacular evening, we spent 3 hours walking around eating both full dishes and free samples. I got talking to all sorts of cool people with interesting products and innovative ideas. I’d recommend the event to absolutely anyone, even if you’re not a foody like myself we all enjoy food and evenings in the park so give it a go! I promise you won’t regret it.
I’d like to give a huge thank you to Attila from Urban Merchants for having me and giving me the chance to have such a great experience there.