Ah – end of the year! Time to reflect, yes?
I’m so very lucky to have had some amazing meals this year, both in London and abroad, and I think it’s about time they get the credit they deserve. So as I sit here cuddling with my cat, back home in Michigan, I’ve looked through all my restaurant review posts this year (somewhere in the region of 70, if you can believe it) and collected a Top 10 of the most memorable dining experiences of 2010. In order:
- Launceston Place, Gloucester Road – Flawless from beginning to end. I didn’t want it to be over. The beetroot risotto starter with marrow is something I still dream about today.
- Aamanns, Copenhagen – When you can’t get into Noma, try Aamanns. Service and food were wonderful, especially the clever little hallowed out fried potato skins that came with my braised pork. Also top points to the fantastic Pear dessert with salted caramel. Amazing!
- Viet Grill, Shoreditch – My favourite of the Vietnamese Restaurant Mile in Shoreditch. I still can’t figure out how they keep the spring rolls in the Bún Nem so crispy.
- Viajante, Bethnal Green – Nuno Mendes’ newest restaurant opened this year to critical acclaim, and I can see why. Their three-course £25 lunch tasting menu is an excellent deal, and the food is absolutely delicious.
- Tagine, Balham – The only restaurant I’ll travel to Zone 3 South of the River for.
- Bejoy Tandoori, Bounds Green – The gem of Norf London – an unassuming mostly take-away curry place that takes my breath away every time, if not just because you can eat like a king for a tenner.
- l’Anima, Shoreditch – Pork belly, pork belly pork belly. That is all.
- Mosob, Maida Vale – The most genial proprietor I’ve ever met, Ben runs ones of the most welcoming and wonderful places in London. The Eritrean (NOT Ethiopian) cuisine is excellent and you feel all happy and warm after leaving.
- India Roundup, Bangalore and Mumbai – More for the experience of proper street food, I loved my time in India. As crazy and loud and overwhelming as it was, it’s something I’ll never ever forget.
- Fino, Fitzrovia – Still the best tapas in London. Pork belly, squid and the fluffy cheesy croquetas will always be favourites.
2011 will be sure to impress as well. January brings at least one birthday meal for me (haven’t decided where I want to go yet) and in February, I’m looking forward to my reservation at Heston’s new restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental, Dinner. But to wrap up 2010 once and for all, I leave you with my favourite foodie picture I’ve taken this year: the pork belly at l’Anima: