Some people collect stamps, others collect vinyl, and then there are those people you definitely want to be friends with who collect vintage convertibles. But we collect food memories. That’s right, we spend our days hunting down delicious things in the hopes that they’re good enough to join our mental arsenal of Seriously Tasty Things.
And these dishes have all achieved Seriously Tasty status. From a DM to order collaboration involving a genuinely spectacular börek, to a sweet Japanese sando that will up your picnic game, these are our ultimate food highlights from the last month.
Spasia Dinkovski set up Mystic Börek a few months into lockdown and after months of seeing friends excitedly tuck into her majestic Macedonian pies, we managed to secure one (you really need to set alarms with this DM to order stuff) as part of a collaboration menu with Four Legs. The börek was beautiful. Genuinely. Perfectly round and crisp and ginormous, you’ll never be so happy to open a pizza box and not find a pizza inside. The filling - lamb sausage with parmesan potatoes and a dusting of parmesan and chilli flakes on top plus pickled peppers - was delicious. Even better after a double reheating two days later. As for the rest? Well, if Four Legs have tres leche on their menu any time soon, we’ll fight you for it.
Fried Shrimp ‘Po Boy’
When it comes to sandwiches there are some very specific buzzwords that put the old salivary glands on high alert. Buzz words like huge, buttermilk, brioche, mustard, and fried. All of the above apply to the fried shrimp ‘Po Boy’ from Poor Boys, a New Orleans-inspired street food spot in Kingston. This beast of a sandwich comes packed full of tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, honey mustard sauce, and importantly, buttermilk fried shrimp. Once we figured out the logistics of how to get the whole thing in our mouths, we discovered that the crispiness of the fried shrimp was off the charts. Combined with the softness of the brioche bun it was a real texture party.
Kova Patisserie South Kensington
Kova is one of those pretty little patisserie spots that serves food so aesthetically pleasing that you won’t even feel embarrassed about saying ‘so aesthetically pleasing’ whilst standing in front of the mille crepes. A big portion of the menu here is dedicated to matcha, baked treats, and bubble teas, but we opted for the strawberry sando for a reunion picnic in the park. This was arguably the best decision we’ve made since deciding to spend our savings on a Dyson rather than limited edition Pokemon cards. The hokkaido bread is unbelievably fluffy and milky, but those XXL strawberries with cream erased every sad memory of mediocre afternoon tea from our brains. An experience we’re coining ‘eternal sunshine of the spotless sando’. The best part is this creamy creation is available for same-day delivery across most of London.
Hideaway is the equally bougie little sister of Hide, a glorious Mayfair restaurant that runs like clockwork. It’s also one of the best fine dining experiences we’ve ever had, so to say we were a bit excited to try this lobster roll would be like saying a dog is a bit excited when you shout WALK-IES! We were hyped, very hyped, and it did not disappoint. The roll is perfect - soft but with a good tear, and it’s just a hint sweet to really let the sweetness of the lobster take center stage. And that lobster is top-tier. It’s £18 but you get a hefty portion and for the experience of sitting in Green Park on a sunny day eating this lobster roll after months of metaphorical and literal darkness, we’d pay double that.
It’s great when people get it. What ‘it’ is always tends to be pretty nebulous, but hugely important. And in the case of Pockets - a little falafel stall in London Fields - they get it. They get that a pitta needs to be layered. A crisp still-hot falafel, cabbage salad, hummus, zhoug, a drizzle of amba, tahini. Repeat. No one thing is hidden, no one perfect bite combining the falafel, the sauces, the tart crunch of cabbage and the hit of (essential) pickled chilli is rationed. It’s the full shebang 100% of the time. But even before they started layering everything into their soft, pillow-y pockets, we asked “what’s that?” nodding towards a crispy wedge waiting to be slipped on top at the end. “It’s a deep-fried potato”. They get it.
Lobster and Crayfish Roll
Look, we love ketchup, but mayonnaise has our hearts. That’s why our tasty senses were tingling when we saw that this lobster and crayfish roll comes with a generous dollop of rapeseed mayo. We’re happy to report that the mayo was slightly tangy and made us question our entire relationship with Hellmann’s. But it was the brioche roll that really stood out. It was buttery, like, the kind of buttery where you wonder if it’s secretly been bewitched by some kind of butter god that has access to some superior creamy level of existence. The lobster was soft, salty, and balanced with a great squeeze of lemon. All together, a masterpiece.
Porchetta Focaccia Sandwich
Another day, another sandwich. Given that restaurants are still closed to indoor and outdoor dining, we now spend a lot of our time enjoying the quintessential park bench meal, the sandwich. That being said, few sandwiches are as good as the one we stumbled upon from Pophams Hackney. The pork filling is part meat, part melt-in-your-mouth fat, and - ding ding ding - part crackling, all covered in wild garlic mayo, apple ketchup, and a handful of fennel seeds. Truly a meal between bread, the focaccia is also fantastic with a perfectly brown crust and just the right amount of bite. A lunch for the ages.