Published 10 December 2021
by the CODE team
My first trip to Berlin saw me visit a not so German restaurant, Cecconi’s. The Northern Italian restaurant group with outposts around the world never fails, and the Berlin restaurant was no different. For a city that isn’t conventionally sophisticated, the dining room oozes a classy, buzzy atmosphere that makes you feel like you are in the right hands. I started with the calamari fritti with aioli and swiftly moved onto a decadent yet hearty cacio e pepe worthy of the supplement for shaved truffle on top. The unexpected star of the show, however, was the incredibly indulgent and colossal profiteroles with salted caramel gelato and chocolate sauce. Bellissimo in Berlin.
Henry Southan, editorial intern
Clapham has new-openings popping up on the reg and one of the latest and most talked about is The Pigs Head. From the first step inside it’s clear they’ve nailed the cosy aesthetic – low lighting and a mish-mash of old wooden chairs and tables make it the kind of place you could easily while away a good few hours in. We went for the crispy pig’s head to start (it being the house special and sharing a name with the venue and all) followed by the Paddock Farm Tamworth pork – which was no word of a lie the tenderest pork loin I’ve ever had. I consider myself a bit of a sticky toffee pudding connoisseur and theirs definitely passed the test: not too sweet, piping hot and with a pretty perfect sauce to sponge ratio.
Molly Wade, memberships manager
After a rainy weekend in Paris, Folderol was a soothing refuge on Sunday afternoon. Through gently misted windows, the winter light dissipated and groups of young people with young babies and hangovers gathered to recover over a glass of good wine. We sat at the horseshoe bar, charmed by the easy, knowledgeable service from chef-owners Jessica Yang and Robert Compagnon (also owners of currently-closed Le Rigmarole next door). We had their chocolate ice cream with pear sorbet and a glass of lovable pet nat Chenin. It was perfect.
Chloe Hamilton, content manager
Bentley’s is good at any time of year but it is particularly pleasing at Christmas time, probably because of all the sparkling lights and champagne, and the general feeling that so many festive occasions before your own have been enjoyed. Turbot has been a fixture at the 125-year-old institution since anyone can remember. Richard Corrigan cooked me an ice-cool tranche in butter and served it with finely chopped sprouts jazzed up by clementines, and a mashed potato so smooth it had surely been passed through a Borrower’s sieve. There was also langoustine sauce, because life is short and champagne flutes long.
Josh Barrie, contributing editor
Clue’s in the name here, it’s a bit crackers. A discreet bronze gate with ‘Crackers’ lightly engraved on it acts as the entrance. When walking through, you feel as if you have found a secret nightclub, being greeted by a red neon light above the dining room door saying, “you’re f free!!!!” The site used to be a nightclub the waitress tells me, and it brings that energy along with it, with a chic crowd enjoying martinis and farm to fork cuisine.
Henry Southan, editorial intern
Returning to old familiar places has been an engrossing activity since the last lockdown lifted, but even better are the regulars that fed you throughout. Lee Kee is is on Dublin’s Parnell Street. Beside all the other Chinese restaurants in this small ‘Chinatown’, it does not stand out. Yet serendipity caught my eye in the form of lamb skewers being served through the glass window, and my feet took on a will of their own. Away from dainty dim sum, Lee Kee mostly plates the hearty dishes of the North – the best of Dalian is starchy and rich to ward offer winter chills (my most recent discovery has been fried corn and prawns). But the usual regional favourites are there, too, like mapo tofu and sweet roast meats. With warm tea on arrival that just keeps coming, each visit is an all night affair.
Céire Carey, team assistant