What We’ll Be Eating And Drinking In 2020
Rainbow carrots, goat’s cheese and walnut salad at The Little Chartroom, Edinburgh. Photograph courtesy of The Little Chartroom
It’s time to exhale a sigh of relief, because very soon we can hang up our Veganuary aprons, ditch our dry ambitions, and look to the rest of 2020 with full appetites. Of course, the concept of sustainable dining – food waste, meat-free, hyperlocal ingredients – is unstoppable. But whether it’s lapping up Filipino cuisine or flocking to Scotland for its explosion of culinary initiatives, there is joy to be had alongside the abstemiousness. So, pour yourself a glass of chemical-free Georgian vino and brace yourself for what to expect this year.
Grilled dried mackerel, preserved gooseberry and lovage at Lyle’s, London. Photograph by Mr Anton Rodriguez, courtesy of Lyle’s
From “seaganism” to “seacuterie,” fishy portmanteaus are everywhere. Waitrose has reported “seaganism” (veganism with a smattering of sustainable fish) as a focus for 2020 as we aim for healthier plant-based diets. Additionally, “seacuterie” – fermenting, smoking and ageing all parts of the fish so nothing is wasted – is abundant in fine dining establishments. In the kitchens of Lyle’s, you’ll find Michelin-star chef Mr James Lowe carefully ageing white fish. Over in London’s Chelsea, Mr Masaki Sugisaki at Dinings SW3 is using unlikely oceanic offal to create masterpieces.
It’s getting Scot in here
Left: Produce at Bowhouse Fife Market, Scotland. Right: Bowhouse Fife Market, Scotland. Photographs by Cause and Effect, courtesy of Bowhouse
The rest of Britain has been long been aware that Scotland’s larder is one of the best in the world, from whisky to Hebridean shellfish and Shetland lamb to Highland venison. But now the dining scene has caught up with a bang. Food aficionados will be flocking to Fife Bowhouse on the Balcaskie Estate, a groundbreaking space that includes a market and studios for local growers and producers. In the capital, Edinburgh’s The Little Chartroom and Mr Tom Kitchin’s latest venture Southside Scran, are two must-visits.
The chefs to know
Left: Ms Fezile Ozalgan. Photograph by Ms Patricia Niven, courtesy of Barboun. Right: Mr Santiago Lastra. Photograph by Mr Hayden Perrior, courtesy of KOL
South of the border, watch out for Ms Fezile Ozalgan, who is at the helm of Barboun, kick-starting this month. Located on London’s Great Eastern Street, Barboun takes on a Levantine spin (the name means red mullet in Turkish) with an emphasis on smoke and fire. Expect dangerously delicious mackerel with zhoug, beetroot fritters and whipped garlic feta. In Fitzrovia, Kol is the sizzling debut by former Noma Mexico chef Mr Santiago Lastra, who is incorporating hyperlocal ingredients with his modern Mexican menu.
Haute bar snacks
Left: Chicken oyster bocadillo at Sabor, London. Right: the entrance of Sabor, London. Photographs by Mr Chris Terry, courtesy of Sabor
Forget eating at a table, restaurants are now showcasing high-end bar snacks. While we used to assume superlative dishes would be found in the main restaurant, chefs are turning their toque to the bar nibble. Already causing a frisson are Sabor’s chicken oyster bocadillo and newly opened Peckham Cellars’ potato dauphines with Cornish gouda and the “dirty onion” tortilla. Another hotly anticipated snack is the mozzarella Milanese katsu sando at the about-to-launch Mozzasando in South Kensington, a collaboration by legendary restaurateur Mr Alan Yau and mozzarella specialists Obicà.
Veganism grows up
From left: dark, mylk and white chocolate by Dapaah Chocolates. Photographs courtesy of Dapaah Chocolates
From the debut of vegan-friendly chicken Kiev and ToFish & Chips at M&S, which launches thanks to innovative food director Ms April Preston, to direct-trade vegan chocolates by Messrs Kwaku and Raphael Dapaah, this is the year veganism gets serious. Taking on the giants of the chocolate industry, the latter pair’s vegan bars using Ghanaian coconut milk are ones to watch.
Franciacorta is the new Prosecco
From left: Barone Pizzini, Franciacorta. Photograph courtesy of Barone Pizzini. Casa Delle Colonne, Franciacorta. Photograph courtesy of Casa Delle Colonne. Monte Rossa, Franciacorta. Photograph courtesy of Monte Rossa
In London’s finer establishments, franciacorta has officially overtaken prosecco. Not only has it won numerous awards over prosecco – it racked up 26 gold medals at the latest Sparkling Wine World Championships – it’s the arriviste at the likes of Italian wine legend Mr Luca Dusi’s Passione Vino in Shoreditch and Ms Angela Hartnett’s Cafe Murano at Bermondsey while Mr Yotam Ottolenghi is sourcing bottles from Lebanon, Georgia and Corsica.
And if you’ve a serious gin habit, you might consider moving onto whisky or rum (as we reported recently). This year sees London’s inaugural whisky hotel, by Black Rock’s Messrs Tom Aske and Tristan Stephenson, where you can also hit the blending decks and rustle up your own dram. Also, Merser & Co has opened a four-storey rum blending house, the city’s first in 100 years, in Temple.
Filipino food is here
BBQ pork skewers at Sarap Brixton Village, London. Photograph by Lateef Photography, courtesy of Sarap
The global cuisine spotlight is firmly on Filipino cuisine thanks to its bright flavours. Street-food trader BBQ Dreamz appeared on BBC Two’s My Million Pound Menu and, upon winning, opened brick-and-mortar site Bong Bong’s Manila Kanteen on Hackney Road. Another example of the meteoric rise of Filipino food is chef Mr Ferdinand “Budgie” Montoya’s popular residency, Sarap; now comes his standalone restaurant of the same name opening in Brixton Village this month. Drawing on techniques of the Philippines’ 7,000-plus islands, his speciality will be lechon liempo, which is aromatic slow-roasted pork belly.