Published 16 December 2022
by the CODE team
Persimmon, shiso and clementine puree at Koya City, Bloomberg Arcade, London
In February this year I went on a pilgrimage to Copenhagen. I arrived at my hostel at 2pm, two hours later than I would usually eat lunch. After dropping my bags, my first stop was Hart Bageri, the bakery run by Richard Hart, my personal baking hero. The temperature was in the minus digits, and so the ham and cheese toasties looked most appealing. On a frosty bench outside I enjoyed thick-cut ham, strong cheddar, and a good helping of wholegrain mustard, all housed in a buoyant sourdough. There are few greater pleasures in life than the simple things done well.
George Gill, operations coordinator
My favourite meal this year was lunch at Koya City in Bloomberg Arcade. To celebrate its fifth anniversary, we had a menu of their best-loved blackboard specials chosen by chef-owner Shuko Oda and Koya City’s head chef Gustavo Tavares. We drank Fuji Sencha classic vegetal green tea and ate mussels, carrot and beetroot escabeche, followed by smoked scallops, irizake, lardo, tomato, fig leaf and chervil oil and grilled baby kabocha, chanterelles and ankake dashi. The main event was the cod pil pil udon which was very refreshing and light. I loved the persimmon, shiso and clementine puree for dessert too. Top tip: Koya City is bookable, so no queue.
Alice Hale, team assistant
CODE was a guest of Koya City
My standout meal for 2022 took place at Amethyst, Carlo Scotto’s new venture. I had the 12-course tasting menu upstairs at the magnificent 21 seat chef’s table. Sitting there boasts unparalleled views of Carlo and his team creating beautifully executed dishes, and the irregular edges of the table are designed so that two people can still feel like they have their own space, without being OTT. The menu is inspired by Carlo’s extensive travels, with flavours from Scandinavia, Japan, France, and India. There are Italian twists too, naturally. There were many great dishes, but I’ll pick out the black cod, which came sitting in a caramelised miso and naganegi dashi. Amethyst is a seriously slick operation and I must give a hat-tip to the sommelier Fillipo (also formerly of Xier), who brought everything together with perfectly paired wines.
Tom Pilgrim, account manager
CODE was a guest of Amethyst
There’s hot competition this year with Moor Hall, Man Behind the Curtain, Spring, The Sportsman and Outlaw’s New Road all seared into my memory of brilliant meals. And The Raby Hunt gets a special mention for its globetrotting opener to the tasting menu, executed to an astonishing level. But the best bite of all goes to a Brat x Flourish harvest dinner in early October. Tomos Parry and his team decamped to the farm for a day, arriving early to harvest the best of the autumn bounty from the fields from baby Jerusalem artichoke to dragon egg tomatoes to shishito peppers. His magic touch with open fire cooking combined with commanding flavour from Calixta’s regeneratively grown produce created an incredibly delicious celebration of very special chef-farmer partnership.
Chloe Hamilton, content editor
I’ve been lucky enough to have had many wonderful things to eat throughouti022 – it would be impossible to choose ‘the best’. But right now, starving and with a touch of a hungover, my mind wanders to a burger: specifically, the smash burger from Manna in Arcade. My family are smash burger aficionados – my father having spent countless hours slaving over a BBQ hotplate throughout the summer – and so it pains me to say it, but dad, I don’t think you can beat this one. An ultra-crisp pattie yet juicy and oozing with just the right amount of American cheese, a soft bun and pickles to cut through the richness, Manna has nailed it. I don’t doubt its deliciousness sober, but for me the dish was amplified further by the four pints of Guinness and the glass of wine previously consumed. A special moment that’s stuck with me.
Molly Wade, memberships manager
Arcade Food Hall is available on the CODE app