Lazy Susan will struggle to find a better Friday night than snuggled up in a booth at the newly opened Norma on Charlotte Street. The chef Ben Tish has created a menu of broadly Sicilian dishes and everything from caponata and focaccia to cannoli, via this delicious pasta with pork ragu and scented with orange zest, is a winner. And it’s a looker too, from the raw bar at the front to the super-chic upstairs bar.
Baozilnn opening another site near London Bridge recently provided the perfect excuse for the Dumbwaiter to feast on a selection of dumplings, rice and tempura dishes. Their new location is clearly a hit, as the restaurant was full of diners sampling a range of dishes from their extensive menu, ensuring there is plenty to please even the pickiest of eaters. Particular highlights included Bazozilnn’s signature soup dumplings, with the addition of mushroom transforming the classic miso soup for the better, alongside salt and pepper prawns and garlic asparagus. The casual dining space and friendly service also makes it a great spot to catch up with friends over a cocktail and as much food as you desire.
It was to Baker Street on Thursday evening to visit Ooty Station, the more casual, laid-back version of its older sister Ooty. Ooty's Head Chef Manmmet Singh-Bali also look's after the Stations food offering, which is more café-style than it's more fine dining focused counterpart next door. Particularly good were the mutton samosas and the spicy, sticky chilli paneer buns. Make sure to order a cocktail from the extensive cocktail menu: the Opihr Mule and the Tongba made with Sri Lankan Lager were much needed after a journey on the circle line.
It’s the concept we didn’t know we needed, but now that the world’s first cheese-on-a-conveyor-belt restaurant is here, everything feels a bit less terrible. The team behind The Cheese Bar have brought 20 amazing British cheeses to Kerb’s Seven Dials Market and as they gently motor past, it’s impossible not to grab multiple dishes, as each has a bespoke, amazing accompaniment. Great wine and cheese pairings on the menu, too.
The six finalists in the chef category for this year’s YBFs dazzled the judges, including your CODE correspondent. Bravo to the chefs from Whole Beast, Wander, Kol, Kin + Deum, Bao/Snackbar and Carousel who gave 18 stellar dishes to James Lowe, James Knappett, Alex Dilling and Camilla Schneideman of Leiths, in whose kitchens the judging was held.
The Dumbwaiter jetted off to the popular holiday destination Kalkan in Turkey this week and when in Turkey, do as the Turkish do! Whilst all of the food in Kalkan is guaranteed to impress, the Dumbwaiter’s favourite was Coast, where they serve up Tapas with a Turkish twist. Their fresh, homemade selection of Turkish mezze dips was the ideal starter, before moving onto dishes such as salmon carpaccio and spiced edamame. Of course, the Dumbwaiter couldn’t resist tapas classics such as patatas bravas- not strictly Turkish, but tasty nevertheless.
Two of Lazy Susan’s favourites came together when the forthcoming Sarap took over the kitchen at Native in London Bridge. (Its owners, Ivan Tisdall-Downes and Imogen Davis, will be in the next CODE Quarterly, btw). The Not Native dinner showcased chef Budgie Montoya’s Filipino dishes; starting with this delicate but intensely flavoured rice cracker with rock oyster emulsion and calamansi gel.
We’ll have to wait for his permanent London patisserie, but if the cakes that Yann Couvreur made for his one-week residency at Claridge’s are anything to go by, all diets are hereby abandoned. Among others, a glossy lime tartlet, a mirror-glazed chocolate finger and this heavenly cloud of joy – a Paris brest – made Lazy Susan’s heart beat faster. Luckily, #nocaloriesatclaridges