Every week in London sees the opening of exciting new restaurants cafes and gastro pubs. The food scene is forever evolving and there are many factors that can influence the balance of the situation. The economy can clearly make a big impact as the more affluent the population the more eateries can survive. Migration policies can also have a huge effect on the ethnic make-up of the eateries. During the early 2000’s the largest migration of people coming into the capital was arriving from France. This resulted in many restaurants and French style cafes opening as result of a new market being created and also many French entrepreneurs and catering workers arriving and opening new business.
London’s relationship with Europe since entry into the community in the early 1970s has seen the capital change from being a British city into being a European city. Nowhere is this reflected more than in its cafes, delis, gastro pubs and restaurants.
The 2016 decision of the British public to take the UK out of the European Community could have interesting consequences on what is eaten in the capital. The amount of food that is consumed every day shows that as well as being a European city, London is a world city and this is reflected by its multi-national cuisine. The decision for Brexit was generally driven by those over 50 years of age in the population. The young people of the country value Britain’s role in Europe, and have grown up in London with European style eateries as being part of everyday life, and this will not change in future years.
This has certainly been the case with the opening of the new Italian restaurant “Arthur Hooper’s” close to Borough Market. It is located on the site of the old greengrocers by the same name and it is quite apt that half of the dishes on the menu are vegetable based with a vegan theme.
The other half of the menu has an Italian twist with pasta playing an important role in many of the dishes. There is a Mediterranean feel to the restaurant with seafood and meats combining well on the menu being brought together by the presence of vintage olive oil. “Aside” is a Scandinavian style restaurant that has just opened in Peckham near the old library. It has a well lit room with an open kitchen. It specializes in preparing small plates of delicious food that were European in their contents. The menu includes pumpkin cooked to perfection so that it is almost caramelized.
The modern feel of the venue is reflected with the tables containing underneath shelves that hold the cutlery and napkins. The main courses see a combination of meat and fish dishes that have been prepared in a manner that would be tasted in other European countries.
Westerns Laundry is a new restaurant that has opened in Highbury, on the premises that used to be used for washing the sheets for Pentonville prison. It is a small eatery with the menu chalked up on a white board that changes from day to day. The food is a combination of meat and fish dishes cooked in a modern European style. Vegetables are well cooked and presented but the dish that stands out is the guinea fowl, cooked in a Spanish style accompanied by pancetta and parmesan.
The opening of Bombay Bustle in Mayfair reflects the recent trend of Indian restaurants evolving from being cheap eateries located on every high street, to top end restaurants serving the highest quality of cuisine. The food is superbly presented and cooked while the surroundings represents a colonial style of décor.
The food on offer includes goat and fish plus the other favorites that the diner would expect to find on an Indian menu. However, the food is cooked with such expertise that the quality of the menu is clear to see once the dishes have been tasted. The food isn’t cheap but diners can get better value by visiting at lunch time where “tiffin sets” can be purchased for under twenty UK pounds. London’s restaurants continue to evolve maintaining the capital’s position as being one of the best places in the world to eat.