Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
At festivals the music often takes centre stage, but nowadays, the lineup of food is almost as vast. When dancing, camping and getting by on very little sleep, we all reach that pivotal point of ravenous hunger, and once it hits there’s just no shaking it. Packed full of guides and interviews with music talent and food truck vendors, our new franchise, The Hunger Stage, celebrates the sheer joy of food at festivals in all its messy, greasy glory.
Last week, Taste Of London took over Regents Park, bringing the very best restaurants and food brands from the city together in one place.
And if you weren’t there, why not? With over 100 dishes from some of the biggest names in the game, from Geoff Leong’s Dumplings Legend to Misha Zelman’s Burger & Lobster, the festival offered people a chance to try ‘special’ restaurants they may not usually go to at an accessible price.
Chefs put out some of their most popular menu items as well as exclusive dishes created especially for lucky festival goers – and obviously we had to pop down and give as many of the dishes as possible a try.
To crown a ‘best dish’ at Taste Of London would be impossible (we wouldn’t have been able to check out them all if we had been there for the full five days), but we do wanna shout about a few standouts that caught our eye.
Innovative, bite-sized and most importantly, so damn delicious – here are some of Taste Of London 2022’s standout dishes.
Hache – Truffle Croissant Burger
Yup, you read that correctly. Truffle. Croissant. Burger.
This creation, from London burger joint, Hache, was awarded the festival’s most Instagrammable dish – and it’s not hard to see why.
A croissant stuffed with truffle mayo, gruyère, comté, steak and dijon mustard, with a cornichon for garnish, this just about defines luxury in every way you could imagine.
Mild, piney cheese with a buttery croissant is heaven in our books as it is, but turn that into a burger and you’ve got a real winner.
Bravo, Hache. Bravo.
Cin Cin – Sicilian Cazzilli Croquettes
With a spot in Hove and another in Fitzrovia, Cin Cin is one of the UK’s Italian crown jewels, so their Taste offering was never going to disappoint.
From chef Jamie Halsall, their MO is modern Italian fare with the freshest ingredients. Home-made pasta, antipasti, and simply cooked meat and fish.
And having originated from a food truck, it’s no wonder they brought their A-game to Regents Park.
Their crowing dish was the potato and parsley croquettes – an idea that sounds so basic and yet absolutely burst with flavour in a way on the best Italian food does.
They little balls were bright green on the inside, served with a zingy lemon dressing. Aesthetically pleasing and delicious? It’s a yes from us.
Santo Remedio – Baja Style Fish Tacos
If there’s one festival food you can always rely on its the humble taco, and Santo Remedio do them rather well.
The modern Mexican restaurant has quite a reputation in London, and for good reason. Santo Remedio means Holy Remedy, and that’s how we’d describe their Baja style fish tacos.
They serve a battered piece of fish with mojita mayo and slaw, laid onto a fresh corn tortilla.
Tuck into one of these when you have a sore head and you’ll instantly have a spring in your step.
Brindisa Kitchens – Christorra Pincho
Spanish tapas also makes great festival food: it’s compact, it’s bite-sized and easy to eat on the go.
Oh, and Brindisa is also here to show us that it’s rather delicious, too.
The restaurant has outposts all over London, but it brought three of its star dishes to Taste, and we had to snap a shot of the Christorra Pincho.
We mean, what a thing of beauty?
This is one for the meatheads. It’s basically deep-fried Chorizo drizzled in orange blossom honey, and it’s a regional speciality from north-east Spain.
Brindisa’s flavours never disappoint, but also imagine triumphantly walking back to your mates with one of these in your hand?
Take that, battered sausage.
Manthan – Pyaz Kachori
This was awarded the ‘Best In Taste’ award, and you only had to behold the queues outside Mayfair staple, Manthan’s stall to believe it’s worth the hype.
The smell of the Pyaz Kachori hit you as soon as you entered the tent, and then the bright colours lured you in.
The dish is essentially crispy puff pasty and stuffed onion topped with mixed sprouts, with a healthy dollop of pomegranate seeds to garnish.
This is the sort of festival food you want when you’re done with beige carbs and you need nutrients, like, yesterday.
Plus, Manthan is usually pretty premium, so trying one of their creations for just over a fiver is a pretty special opportunity.
Heritage – Brioche Banger Bun
Hertiage is all about celebrating the traditions of the Alpine region, but they’ve dialled everything up about ten notches.
We mean, look at this Brioche Banger Bun!
Made up of a hot dog, caramelised onions and pickles topped with a healthy dollop of Raclette cheese on top, this satisfies pretty much every craving you could have in one bite.
Pillowy bread? Check. Meat? Check? Lashings of cheese? Check.
We couldn’t be more obsessed.
Hoppers – Pulled Jackfruit Roti
Sri Lankan chain, Hoppers, was also at Taste of London and bringing what they do best. Roti.
The restaurant is known for its Dosas, Kothu, Rice & Roasts, but when it comes to festival food, the roti is where it’s at.
Hoppers call their jackfruit roti a “Sri Lankan inspired taco of sorts”, but in truth it deserves its own moment to shine.
Flaky and melt-in-the-mouth, you’ll want to eat about 10 of these – and the curried jackfruit on top is meaty enough to convert any carnivore.