Taste of London, Regent’s Park

IMG_1459Yesterday the two of us headed out in the glorious sunshine to Regent’s Park for the Taste of London Food & Drink Festival 2014.

It was a spontaneous little adventure, but one that we were so pleased to have done! So much so that we’re planning on making it an annual occurrence from now on!

Since it’s beginnings 10 years ago, Taste has become a must visit occasion to foodies all over the world, with 21 festivals in cities all over the shop: UK, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. It’s a chance for visitors to try dishes from the city’s greatest restaurants, not to mention from world famous chefs! It’s also a lovely opportunity to have a drink and enjoy some live entertainment.

IMG_1456This summer, Taste of London has fallen upon Regent’s Park (from June 18th – 22nd), and showcases 40 of London’s hottest restaurants, live demos, interactive cooking classes, tasting sessions etc.

IMG_7133We were completely overwhelmed with how much there was to see and do, so we decided to start off by just walking around and taking it all in.

IMG_7136IMG_7137Casual Valentine Warner and Vivek Singh.

IMG_7138Gin & Tonic popcorn? Yes. A million times yes.

IMG_7142IMG_7144We obviously couldn’t say no to a paratha.

IMG_7156IMG_7160IMG_7162Dumplings from one of the ‘I Love Korean Food’ stalls.

IMG_7163A sweet cheese with pieces of jelly from the Foods of Eastern Europe stall.

IMG_7164IMG_7166Poppy seed cheesecake. On a stick. We were both so impressed with the flavour combo that it may feature in a recipe we make in future…

IMG_7183IMG_5498BBQ spiced pigs ears, fried chicken necks with lemon and garlic, and a pistachio macaroon with dark chocolate mousse from Duck & Waffle.

IMG_7193Discovered that ‘Gac Fruit’ exists at the Exotic Fruits of Thailand stand.

IMG_7192Food hangover? No problem, you can stop over at the Spa to get a head massage.

IMG_7194Thai Green Curry and Penang Curry.

IMG_7210IMG_7211IMG_7213IMG_7214IMG_7218Bacon, jalapeño cornbread at the Lurpak stand.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetIMG_7222Some seriously tasty homemade marshmallows. Cappuccino and Raspberry were our faves!

IMG_7231Yay Acorns.

IMG_7228Amongst all the looking around and tasting from the exhibitors stands, we also indulged in a few dishes from restaurant stands.

First up we headed over to Assado (located in Waterloo, Goan/Portuguese/Brazilian cuisine – see more here)… because well, we did. We tried the Braised Octopus with Chilli and Garlic. Slow cooked and marinated in chilli, garlic and smoked paprika and served with crisp toast. Issy particularly loved this, the octopus was tender and just on point.

IMG_7147IMG_7310Issy also got a photo with Cyrus Todiwala.

IMG_7150We then headed over to Gaucho (Argentinian cuisine) and tried the Sea Trout Ceviche, Pink Grapefruit, Fennel and Tigers Milk. It was the first time either of us had tried ceviche and we found it sooo light and refreshing on a warm day! Converts.

IMG_7169IMG_7177Thirsty, we both opted for cocktails. An Aperol Spritz and a Mango Bellini were our drinks of choice.

IMG_7200IMG_7206IMG_7207IMG_5789We then took our drinks to one of the spontaneous pink beanbags for a bit of a breather.

IMG_9235Then we ran into a very merry Raymond Blanc. We fangirled.

IMG_7233We then decided to try the Ibérico Pork Ribs with Quince Glaze and Caramelised Cauliflower Purée from Salt Yard (Goodge Street, Spanish/Italian cuisine). Oh my was this delicious! The meat was deliciously charred and sweet, and just falling off the bone… and the sweet cauliflower puree was just lush!

Issy: ‘Warning… you will not be able to eat this in a dignified way.’

Ang: ‘You will not care.’

IMG_1509IMG_7236IMG_7240IMG_7245Oh and then we found Michel Roux Jr. We fangirled.

IMG_7246We then decided on getting the Szechwan Salt and Pepper Squid from Maze (Mayfair, French/Asian cuisine – part of the Gordon Ramsay Group). It perfectly salt and peppered.

Ang ate it all. Every last bit.

IMG_7254The last savoury dish we had was British Wagyu Beef Dripping on Toast with Kentish Tomatoes from Plum + Spilt Milk (King’s Cross St Pancras, classic food courtesy of chef Mark Sargeant. It was made pretty with basil leaves and a borage flower. This was just fit. Fit on toast.

IMG_7260IMG_7268IMG_7272Then we bumped into Omar Allibhoy. We fangirled. A lot.

IMG_7274Then, in a hunt for something sweet we headed to Ametsa with Arzak Instruction (Belgravia, New Basque cuisine) for the Helado de Piña Asada con Leche Tostada (Roasted Pineapple Ice Cream with Toasted Milk).

OH. MY. FLIPPING. GOSH.

This was heaven in a bowl. Intensely flavoured pineapple ice cream, a nutty milk and some sort of crunchy biscuit. Chef Sergi warned us it was addictive and boy was he right. We fell in love.

IMG_7282They also took a photo of us in a frame. Yup.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetStill hungry for dessert, we headed over to Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa (Near St. Paul’s, fire-based cooking) to try the Amedei White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Wild Strawberries, Champagne & Basil. Tart strawberries, champagne foam, smooth creamy panna cotta. We definitely enjoyed it. Something that was apparently evident on our faces as we got given another one for free by one of the chef’s. Win.

IMG_7287IMG_7302IMG_7307Suitably fed, we made our way home.

Our favourite savoury dish (by far!): Salt Yard’s Ibérico Pork Ribs with Quince Glaze and Caramelised Cauliflower Purée. Not to be missed!

Our favourite dessert: Ametsa’s Roasted Pineapple Ice Cream with Toasted Milk. If it were a person, we would marry it. So would you. Trust us.

taste1

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