Taste of London

June seemed to be particularly exciting this year, with even more rooftop parties, outdoor pop-ups and food festivals bombarding my Instagram feed than ever before. And this year, there’s one particular food festival I was looking forward to: Taste of London.
Taste of London, one of the world’s best restaurant festivals, returned to the gorgeous Regents Park for a brief 5 days, just in time to catch the heatwave and jugs of Pimms. It’s a collection of the best restaurants in the capital, along with many exhibitors showcasing their proudest creations.
We visited during the lunch service (12:00 – 16:00) on a weekday, and were surprised by the mass numbers of people and stores around, all gathered on the lush green grass.
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After a quick study of the restaurant list, we secured our first target: Duck and Waffle Local. We went for The Duck Burger, one of their signatures at their new restaurant near Piccadilly Circus.
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The palm-sized burger packed more deliciousness than anywhere else: a juicy duck patty, Asian slaw, miso plus a odd but exciting crunch from the crushed instant ramen noodles.
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Our burger was still half-eaten when we spotted xiao long baos from Dumplings’ Legend next door – thanks to our love for dumplings. The skin was a bit too thick and doughy but still tasted lovely. Other dishes on offer were their slow cooked pork belly and Leong’s beer chicken.
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Our third stop was to Pirates Grog to taste their award-winning aged rum! (And thank you for inviting us!) I loved their espresso rumtini, which featured their new coffee rum liqueur (imagine Baileys without the cream and a thicker body); the raspberry daiquiri was a refreshing retreat.
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We were walking off the warmth in our throat from the rum when we spotted our favourite patisserie: Pierre Herme! They are the only restaurant to offer a complete dessert menu, and we just couldn’t miss anything they had on offer!
For macarons, we had both their classic assortment (rose & rose petals, salted butter caramel, pure origin Brazilian dark chocolate) and signature assortment (mint & garden peas, passion fruit, rhubarb & strawberry, meadowsweet & Corsican honey). Trying both their Ispahan sorbet and pistachio ice cream was not a question.
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6 macarons and 2 ice creams were a bit too much sugar for one go, so we balanced it out with a portion of Roka’s black Angus beef rib, perfectly smokey from the grill with a appetising spoon of braised onions and a sweet, sticky sauce.
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On top of #TasteofLondon , 20 restaurants also offered a #TasteTheWorld dish, with one of them being the duck foie gras mi-cuit with beetroot jelly from Les 110 de Taillevent, a brasserie-style restaurant serving modern French cuisine in Marylebone. The dish was beautifully plated, the foie gras so rich and indulgent, shouting for a glass of good wine.
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We hunted down our final two dishes, which happened to be neighbours. The first was the Karides, the icon dish from Yosma featuring a juicy, flavourful, barbecued king prawn with a crunchy spiced fennel salad.
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The second dish was perhaps my favourite dish out of all I’ve had so far: the squid ink croquettes from Little Jose with it’s crunchy, golden brown coating and the creamy filling inside.
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We spotted our second round of desserts on our way out: the new black coconut ice cream from Jude’s. Jude’s is known for their wonderful, creamy, British ice creams and this new flavour is out of this world! I don’t normally go for coconut-based food but this had gentle flavours of coconut which I loved.
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I so wished we can return the next day to discover all the rest of the delicious dishes – there were just so much on offer!
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