Friday, May 17, 2013

Food stuff London

Executive summary by darmansjah

 Burrata with coriander seeds, basil, and blood orange at Nopi.

POLLEN STREET SOCIAL Jason Atherton’s new Mayfair outpost is not for the hard of hearing. When it’s full (which is always), the acoustics send every conversation in the handsomely austere dining room bouncing off the uncarpeted timber floor. But this is a trifling quibble as you tuck in to the robustly masculine spread of deer tartare, braised West Country ox cheek, and roasted cod served with a fragrant Catalan paella. Despite the menu’s machismo, the plating is exquisite and the service, even with the strain of a full house, remains poised and unfailingly polished (8-10 Pollen St., Oxford Circus; 44-20/7290-7600; mains from US$27).

STORY DELL Just around the corner from the perpetually packed Pizza East, Story Deli is quietly making its case for rolling the best pizza in London. In a small all-white space fitted out with shabby-chic tables, mismatched chairs, and craft art, chef Lee Hollingworth creates superb Italian pies with crusts so thin that they crackle. Using purely organic ingredients and unpasteurized Parmesan, the toppings are tastily imaginative: thin spicy sausages with Taleggio and roasted red peppers, or thyme-roasted mushrooms, buffalo mozzarella, mascarpone, and sweet red onions (3 Redchurch St., Shoreditch; 44-791/819-7352; pizzas from US$23).

UNION JACKS With very little fanfare, this spot is hitting all the right notes. Set in the courtyard of a block of new apartments in the midst of chaotic Tottenham Court Road, the open-plan restaurant dishes out updated English classics with brio. Masterminding the menu is the perennially youthful celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, which explains the gutsy tapas-style plates of Cornish crab salad, Norfolk black chicken livers, and pizzas topped with everything from roasted pig shoulders to oxtail and brisket. Desserts are sensational, not least the Eton Mess ice cream and sticky treacle tart (4 Central St. Giles Piazza, West End; 44-20/3597-7888; small plates from US$7).

THE DELAUNAY With its low ceilings and low-key gentleman’s club vibe, The Delaunay feels at first a little like the underperforming sibling to its grander, older sister restaurant The Wolseley. But once you slip into a leather banquette and discreetly eyeball the media mavens and glamour pusses at adjoining tables (ah, there’s Victoria Beckham by the window gossiping with arch-designer David Collins!), you realize why it’s almost impossible to snag a table here without booking. The full English breakfast service and afternoon tea of scones and cakes are de rigueur, while the insanely rich Sacher torte is London’s best (55 Aldwych, Covent Garden; 44-20/7499-8558, mains from US$23).

Old-world Apeal the rooms at The Delaunay, a new brasserie in Convent Garden, bring to mind an Edwardian Club.

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