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Moveable Feasts: January’s Hottest Pop-Up Dinners

By / January 3, 2019
   Joe Okpako
   Joe Okpako

Henrietta Inman at Yardarm

Inman’s a formally-trained patissier who has done the rounds at various top kitchens on the continent. Now she’s cooking breakfast – barley porridges and spelt granolas, with toppings like homemade toasted almond butter – dinner, and almost everything in between, at this wine and beer bar. Salads, soups, quiches and pies and all manner of other things are served lunch ‘til late evening, while Inman also rustles up cakes, tarts, and pastries to have in or out.

Leyton | Wednesdays to Sundays, until October 2019

Kaki Lima at The Old Nun’s Head

A lot of hard work – and 28 ingredients – goes into Kaki Lima’s soto (Indonesian noodle soup, that is). Fortunately, it more than pays off – their chicken soto with rice noodles, beansprouts, boiled egg, and fried shallots (and the rest) is one of London’s street food dishes of the moment. For the time being, it makes an appearance on Kaki Lima’s home turf and  Nunhead’s favourite pub, The Old Nun’s Head.

Nunhead | Thursday and Friday nights, until late February

Chinese Laundry at The Mountgrove Bothy 

Turns out it was goodbye but not farewell when family-run Upper Street restaurant Chinese Laundry shut down back in March. For this residency, the focus is, as before, ‘dirty’ Chinese food – kung pao chicken, BBQ squid with bream stock polenta, stock-braised chicken feet – alongside low intervention wines.

Highbury | Thursday – Saturday nights Jan 10 to end of March 

Elote at The Prince

KERB favourites Elote – set up by a former Caravan head chef – have toured the capital with their totopos, chargrilled corn, and Mexican truffle tacos since early 2017. For the past few months, they’ve been holed up in The Prince (sibling to fellow North London pub Duke’s Head). On Sundays, keep an eye out for their offbeat Sunday roast with Mulato beef short rib, chilli roast potatoes, guajillo gravy, greens, and pickled onions.

Alexandra Palace | Around for “at least the next few months”

Elote Pop-up Elote

Meet Me at Fatma’s at Lost Boys Pizza

Even in her pop-up’s early days, Fatma Al-Baiti has proven to be a respected ambassador of Yemeni cuisine. Her last outing was a sell out, bringing dishes like fava bean curries, khameer (sweetened, fried dough), and sahawiq (spicy green chutney) to the table of Londoners often for the very first time.

Archway | January 27 | £15.03

Crafty Pies at the King & Co

If you love MyPie (on John Lewis’s rooftop ‘til the 6th) but are doing your best to avoid the double threat of Oxford Street and the January sales, turn your attention to fellow pie-peddlers Crafty Pies. Adventurous fillings like whisky-smoked BBQ chicken and jerk sweet potato curry feature, while Tuesday nights are pie-and-pint nights, with both for £12.

Clapham | Until January 19

Crafty Pies dishCrafty Pies

Nightbird at Carousel

Four superb Carousel residencies this month, including a visit from Bristol based Romy Gill and vegetable-focused Toronto restaurant Rosalinda, makes picking one a tough ask. Nightbird, perhaps, does enough to get the nod. Chef Kim Alter went through a couple of Bay Area’s hottest restaurants before she set up her own place in San Francisco revolving around the best of Californian produce. The chef has received numerous plaudits in the process, none more so than for her quail’s egg topped with brown butter aioli and caviar.

Marylebone | January 22-27 | £49.50

Kim Alter -NightbirdCarousel

Yacatán at The Duke’s Head

Fresh from a stint at Pergola Paddington towards the end of 2018, Yacatán are now up north with their southern Mexican cuisine. Signature dish, if they had one, would be the chilli pineapple pork al pastor tacos, best accompanied with Yacatán-style nachos, house guacamole, and followed up by cinnamon sugar churros with chilli chocolate sauce.

Highgate | January 3-31

Pastificio Mansi at Le DeliCorner

This pasta workshop is well respected all around the city. Here they host two sittings to a three course dinner involving Italian techniques and formats, but with British produce. Head to Upper Tulse Hill for dishes like sweet potato, pesto, feta and pumpkin seed bruschetta, or black truffle and parmesan ravioli in butter sauce.

Brixton | January 25 | £30.44

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Hugh’s based in south east London, via an ex hop farm in Kent. He writes about food and beer for magazines and blogs. He’s contributed to Foodism, Ferment, Great British Chefs, The Indy, and more besides. Eats cake for breakfast and his own words for tea.

More articles by Hugh Thomas



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