The Best Dishes We Tried In August

Our favourite meals from the month of August.

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. From a 10/10 Sunday roast in an Archway pub to a fried turnip cake in Chinatown, these are the dishes that attained Seriously Tasty status in August.

The Dishes

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Cornish crab and potted shrimp crumpet

“As I’m sure every day of your life you wake up and are once again haunted by the question, ‘What does that wonderful Heidi of Infatuation fame deign to eat when she’s not at restaurants?’. Fine, I’ll tell you. I eat crumpets. So many crumpets. Crumpets smothered in marmite and cheese. Crumpets with ham and eggs (please do try The Lazy Man’s Eggs Benedict). And yet, my rosta of crumpets has never come close to this crab and shrimp number from new-ish Chelsea spot, Stanley’s. An extra doughy crumpet loaded with rich crab and little hints of shrimpies, I urge you to make your way to their charming courtyard and try it immediately.” - HLB

Fried turnip cake with XO sauce

“Growing up on Shooting Stars, the deranged late-90s Vic & Bob game show, means that it is physically impossible for me to read, think, or taste umami without saying it, uvavu-style. It’s a dreadful affliction for anyone who has the bad luck to be eating a meal with me. Fortunately I was alone when Orient’s steaming hot plate of fried turnip cake in XO sauce arrived at my table - so I kept my guttural stage whisper of ‘OO-MA-MEE’ to myself. In fact, I didn’t even say it out loud, because as soon as the turnip cake hit the table, it was in my mouth, singing the roof, and didn’t leave until the plate was empty. It’s got everything, really. Crispness and carb-like softness from the turnip cake. The crunch of beansprouts and carrots and spring onion mixed with gloops of egg. And everything coated in the seafood-laden, sausage-flecked, savoury-slickness of XO sauce. Moreish, yes. But, moreover, maybe the perfect plate of food.” - JM

Fried original chicken

“There are few things in life that can fix every situation. Money, an apology written on the notes app, and fried chicken that is actually crunchy. And of those three, the chicken with the high crunch level is probably the hardest one to find. Which is why this Korean fried chicken spot in New Malden is such a winner. They’ve got a bunch of different flavours like honey butter, and garlic soya, but the fried original is where the extreme crunch is at. Salty, slightly spicy, and unbelievably crispy, this may be my new favourite fried chicken spot in London.” - RS

Bigoli Venetian duck ragu

“They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Arguably, this picture is worth about 15. Those words are ‘this pasta smelt so good that I just took a shaky picture and started eating’. I regret nothing, because eating a rich, near-sweet Venetian duck ragu should always come before ensuring you have perfect pasta content. A simple yet deeply satisfying dish from this equally simple yet satisfying newcomer Italian restaurant, it reminded me that sometimes there is nothing better than an al dente, capital-T Thick bigoli in a classic sauce.” - HLB

Grilled potato bread, green garlic butter

“A combination of two of the best foods there are - potato and bread - this delicious roll is, as Lizzie Mcguire once sang, what dreams are made of. Glistening with butter, fluffy, and warm from the grill, this isn’t just the best bread I’ve had this month, it’s some of the best bread I’ve had in London. Delicious on its own, and even better paired with the green garlic butter, you’ll be tempted to order two more as soon as you’re done with the first.” - RS

Roast rump of beef with roast potatoes, yorkshire pudding, and gravy

“Oysters, pickled cockles, and potted shrimp were all on the menu in the spacious and woody dining room at the back of the St John’s Tavern in Archway, but it was impossible to ignore the Sunday roast at the top of the blackboard. It didn’t disappoint. The beef was perfectly, melt-in-your mouth pink, just to my liking, the potatoes massive, crusty, and fluffy inside, and the yorkshire - seen here obscuring both potatoes - more than capable of holding the two (yes, two!) boats of gravy I emptied in it. The whole thing was as close to the platonic ideal of a roast I think I’ve ever managed to find in this part of town. Just as good were the croquetas to start, the excellent 2018 UBE Miraflores me and my pals were lucky to get the last bottle of, and the massive banoffee pie which I will definitely be going back for another go at.” - OJF

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