While ramen has remained high on the trend list over the last couple of years, its cousin laksa could be moving in to take its spot. Pop up The Laksa Kitchen in Kentish Town has been so popular that they’ve returned and are looking for a permanent site. Its mix of influences from China to Malaysia sees the comforting soup come in endless iterations, and it’s lighter and spicier than ramen.
We don’t just mean those that recycle. Or those that eat ‘nose to tail’. We’re talking chefs who drill down to every minute detail to ensure there’s zero waste, or very little waste, across the board. With food waste becoming such a hot topic this feels like an organic extension. See what Tom Hunt is doing in Hackney at Poco.
And all things Mexican. With a focus on spice, slatherings of toppings and the realisation that Mexican food doesn’t have to be bright orange and covered in cheese, there’ll be an explosion of all things south of the border. From interesting tacos to lesser known dishes, it could be the new Peruvian. Try it at Breddos Tacos in Clerkenwell.
To counteract all that goodness, sometimes you just need to be a bit bad. Ok, really bad. Freakshakes are Willy Wonka-style creations brought to life and they probably contain a year’s worth of sugar but hey, sometimes you need a hit. Maxwells in Covent Garden was one of the first to offer the sweet explosions, but Sensations on Holloway Road and Molly Bakes in Dalston are also at it.
Veggies (in general)
Last year saw vegetables finally been given the space and respect they deserved, whether it was being barbequed by Berber & Q or served up in style at Mildreds. As more of us become conscious about what we eat and veganism becomes more popular, expect more mainstream and fine dining restaurants to make more of heirloom and seasonal veg.
Instagram is going crazy for the highly concentrated version of Japanese green tea that comes with its own making and serving ritual. Expect more matcha to be found on menus throughout the year. Currently, you can get a matcha latte at Flat Planet, Notes and Look Mum No Hands amongst others. Matcha is thought to help burn fat, protect against cancer and boost your immune system.
French food is everything the last year has not been; full of carbs, cream, meat and a joy of pastry unrivalled by any other nation. It’s about right then that French cuisine is making a hearty (if not healthy) comeback. While last year’s Frenchie hit all the right spots, the French bistros are opening thick and fast this year. The Bon Vivant has just opened in Bloomsbury and so has La Bonne Bouffe in Dulwich; think onion soup, steak frites and tarte tatin. Delicious!