Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Food Stuff London

Insanely rih Sacher torte is London’s best (55 aldwych, Covent Garden; 44-20/7499-8558, mains from US$23)

THE HERON A karaoke room in the basement of an unremarkable 60s-era pub is the last place you’d expect to find Thai street cooking of this caliber, but the daily crowds of Thai’s, other Southeast Asians, and adventurous Brits singing along to kitsch Thai pop on the TV screens don’t lie. If you can’t read Thai, deciphering the hundred-odd dishes on the menu will be a challenge, so rely on the briskly efficient bilingual staff to steer you toward the crispy catfish mango salad, smoky sausages, and mouth-numbing sea bass steamed with chili and lime (1 Norlk Cres., Paddington; 44-20/7706-9567; dishes from US$9.50).

DOWNTOWN MAYFAIR With a flatteringly lighted interior by Florentine architect Michele Bonan and swaths of walnut, antique bronze, and leather, there’s nothing remotely “downtown” about the lates offering from Giuseppe Cipriani, grandson of the man who founded Harrry’s Bar in London. A wanky clientele of obscenely rich oligarchs, bejeweled socialites, and hedge-fund honchos fills the warm space with an excited hum as everyone sips the fabled Cipriani Bellini and picks delicately at plates of beef carpaccio, artichoke salad, and minced-veal- cannelloni. The food is good, but the real appeal here is less about what you eat than whom you see (15 New Burlington Pl., Mayfair; 44-20/3056-1001; mains from US$32).

YOUNG TURKS, In a city that prices itself on reinvention, it’s fitting that one the hottest tables in London has no fixed address. Founded in 2010 as a collective of twenty something chefs, the Young Turks prefer to showcase their talents in pop-up locations. They’ll be completing a wildly successfully five-month stint at the Ten Bells pub in Spitalfields on April 28, having fed a feverishly adoring crowd on cod’s chitterlings, sautéed squid dressed simply with watercress and radish, Stinking Bishop cheese melted on potato and pickled shallots, game sausages, and rare heritage vegetables sourced from Surrey. Where they will be come the Olympics has yet to be announced, so keep an eye on their website (

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