As the festive season draws close, London is once again beginning its annual transformation into winter wonderland. This week marks the final few moments before we’re all swaddled up in a warm blanket of cinnamon and nutmeg, so we’ve chosen to focus on some of the places whose brilliance otherwise might be unrecognised among the dreams of tinsel and mistletoe.
The Craft Beer Social Club’s pop up pub is one such place. It’s been generating quite a bit of buzz since opening last week, and when we popped in for a quick one it became clear why. Located in Shoreditch and offering a wide variety of artisan beers, this is the perfect place to explore the kind of incredible flavors that can only be found in drinks lovingly crafted by dedicated enthusiasts. Those who prefer something a little stronger will be happy to learn that there is also a wide range of spirits available.
Those looking for something a little more energetic would do well to visit Oslo. As with many of our recommendations this month, it is located in the ever-popular East End, and like the others it tries to do things differently. During the day, the restaurant focuses on using fresh, local ingredients in an inventive way, which is always a winning combination. The little Nordic twists add something special to the food and are perfect for the wintry weather. When night sets in though, the whole place comes alive with music and dancing as it turns into a live venue. The drinks menu is large and creative, without being too pretentious, so whoever is behind the bar clearly knows their stuff.
If that’s still a little too mainstream for you, you can hang with the archdukes of the avant-garde at Night Tales. Set in the ultra trendy Dalston, Night Tales combines experimental food and bar culture together in the same space. The mashups it creates range from absurd to jaw dropping, and it’s well worth checking out if you’re looking to try something a little more adventurous. Things do tend to get pretty wild though, and many have found the dual delights of cocktails and smoky BBQ ribs, dripping with honey, to be rather conducive to an empty wallet.
If that sounds like something that might be rather tempting for you, then you’d be in heaven at the Hawker House Street Feast event. Held every Friday and Saturday night until Dec 14th, this incredible event showcases delicious culinary gems in bite size form. Strings of slow roasted pork, glazed and then pulled until meltingly soft, are encased in crunchy tacos and paired with spicy salsa and the cool touch of salad leaves. Freshly made pasta is filled to bursting with gooey cheese and aromatic herbs. Buns laden with tantalizing meats nestle on a bed of hand cut chips and spicy ketchup. It really is a food lover’s dream, and the second you step through the door you’re hit by a wave of tantalizing air that’s every bit as authentic as a real street market.
Our final offering is a quite different take on street food: rather than giving you a broad but fleeting glimpse of many cultures, it promises an in depth tasting adventure into the world of Indian spice. The Old Bombay Street Food Festival at Chor Bizarre is packed to the rafters with incredibly flavorsome dishes that are sure to delight. It is a set menu rather than an actual street fair, however the food has the same hearty, comforting feel that you would get from a street vendor. A particular highlight is the wonderful Vada Pav or ‘Indian burger’ as you made have heard it called. Instead of beef, which is of course sacred in India, the dish features a rich, robust potato and chickpea patty that’s every bit as satisfying as its meaty cousin.
What sort of exciting events did you experience this week? Feel free to share your top food tip below!