The cooler temperatures are nothing if not an excuse to indulge in some hearty comfort food. And nowhere does hearty comfort food better than London, as this round-up of dinners taking place in October demonstrates. This month we have Wagyu, Mac ‘n’ Cheese, game and Michelin-quality pub food – and boy does it all sound wonderful. Food writer Hugh Thomas fills us in.
Game – what paints a better picture of British food in the autumn? At the Tate’s Rex Whistler Restaurant, which conveniently features Whistler’s massive mural The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats, chef Alifio Laudani will cook up a four course meal of British-caught game, as supplied by Yorkshire family butcher Farmison’s & Co.
South Bank | £75 – £115 | October 12
The Eggleton siblings (Josh cooks, Holly serves) have proved a formidable team since taking the reins at Chew Magna’s Pony and Trap seven years ago, winning the pub a Michelin star. The kitchen team at the Pony and Trap does a good job of showing off not only the wider Somerset larder, but that of its own kitchen gardens too. Here, the pub uproots to Marylebone for four days, rustling up dishes such as Porthilly oyster with leek oil and elderflower, and Somerset ham, Baron Bigod and beef dripping toasties.
Marylebone | £39.50 |October 2—6
Model Isaac Carew is quite the catch: a model who’s also pretty handy in the kitchen, having trained under Angela Harnett). He’s on the cusp of releasing a cookbook The Dirty Dishes (a welcome break from clean eating?) and has tag-teamed Francesco Mazzei to bring a select few to life at the Italian chef’s restaurant, Radici. Various dishes from the book are set to make an appearance, such as ‘Dirty Lasagne’ and a beetroot carpaccio, which will then be chased by a signature Mazzei dessert.
Angel | £35 | October 9
James Donnelly – product of Tom’s Kitchen, The River Café, and The Palmerston – is shaking the pans at this busy Fuller’s pub. Donnelly is into a British kind of cooking – especially the nose to tail part – and sourcing from small producers around the UK. Look forward to dishes like roasted rabbit leg with garlic and parsley butter, scallop salmon tartare, and Port and vanilla-poached plum with crème anglaise and shortbread.
Soho | Runs until late December
The Mac Factory – as you might expect – deal in macaroni cheese. Good ones at that – I’ve had many a dinnertime calamity averted with the help of their Posh Spice (chorizo, Harissa, caramelised onion). Quite possibly as part of Debenhams’ want to “make shopping fun again“, the department store are taking The Mac Fac in to dish up hot pasta and cheese (not a bad idea, going in to the colder months). Find them at the back of the store.
Oxford Street | Runs until January
Before it became scarce enough to be considered lunch for the gentry, lobster was once a dish reserved for the underprivileged. Black Cod & Wagyu want to do the opposite with, well, black cod and Wagyu. The soy-marinated fish and prime marbled Japanese beef (both delicacies in Japan) are going on the menu for significantly less than their standard price. Wagyu steaks, for instance, will go for £15 and £20 for lunch and dinner respectively. Like everything else these days, (job applications, political campaigns) bookings can be made via Instagram.
Soho | Runs throughout October
For diners “willing to try something new” and who like a “party atmosphere”, look no further than Borough. Morjaria, who leans towards the experimental, will use East Asian influences to cook up a mostly plant-based menu at GGS. The chef’s restaurant concept – Dynasty – appeared on the BBC’s Million Pound Menu, and if dishes are anything like what they were on the show (hint: this and this), then South London could be in for something special.
Borough | Until October 6
In the middle of the month, two of the biggest brains in restaurants come together to marry their respective areas of expertise. Richard Turner, butcher and cook and Hawksmoor restaurateur, will bring the meat. Nathan Outlaw, probably the UK’s best seafood chef, will bring fruits of the sea. The resulting dishes look promising to say the least: chilled oysters with grilled chipolatas, John Dory with lamb tongues, and monkfish with duck.
Knightsbridge | £195 | October 15