5 Recipes That Show London's Food Scene is Changing (Bye for Now, Fish & Chips)

October 11, 2016

Finishing a book is bittersweet. I gathered over 300 recipes in my research for The London Cookbook and had to narrow down, after much testing and retesting, to 120.

Getting down from 300 to 200 was easy—some recipes simply don’t translate to the home kitchen or to American ingredients (note the difference between their cornstarch and ours or their bramley apples and our cooking apples). Others are too fussy or cheffy with too many components. But then there are the 80 recipes it was really hard to cut. Here are five recipes too good not to share in some form.

The Rogan Josh Shepherd’s Pie from Vivek Singh, the chef-proprietor of London’s Cinnamon Kitchen and Cinnamon Club; the Arrocina Beans with Chorizo, Morcilla, and Pork Belly, from Barrafina; and the Amalfi Eton Mess, based on a version from Locanda Locatelli, are wonderful examples of the changes in food in London and the incorporation of global spices and ingredients.

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The Zuppa con Sarde is found at the beloved River Cafe. Sardines might have a bad rap, but, if ever there was a soup to redeem them—this is that soup. And the Vanilla Saffron Gelato is a funny story; it was supposed to go into the final manuscript but somehow was lost when we separated desserts into two sections: desserts and chilled desserts. 

For more recipes from today's London food scene, Aleksandra's book is The London Cookbook.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Aleksandra
  • Joe Black
    Joe Black
  • HalfPint
  • Leslie Forsyth
    Leslie Forsyth
Author of The London Cookbook


Aleksandra October 19, 2016
Please tell me where you like to eat in Bristol! I'd love to know.
Joe B. October 19, 2016
Have to agree London has amazing and constantly changing food scene but the 'suburb' smiley face emoji Bristol is the fastest growing food scene in the UK, great innovation, provenance and cooking.
Aleksandra October 13, 2016
I have and they are good. I've even written about some for Travel & Leisure, but a book can only be so long so I kept it to the city proper.
Do you have any Edinburgh favorites?
HalfPint October 11, 2016
I've traveled to London several times in the last 15 years and it's always had exceptional food. I think the "British food is bland, heavy, and boring" applies to the more rural/suburban areas. London food does not have this problem. Not in the last 10 years for sure.
Leslie F. October 11, 2016
Have you eaten in "suburbs" like Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow or Bristol? Or noted that some of the best restaurants in the UK are located in rural areas?