This year, new trends can take a back seat. As we navigate back into our once colourful lifestyles awash with pub gardens saturated in the sunshine, bustling airports and animated offices; when it comes to food and drink – it’s about all things nostalgic we once took for granted.
Moments that spark our senses and transport us back to brighter days gone by, this year, nostalgic dining is all about the indulgence of comfort and familiarity. From that warm scotch egg balancing on the bar, the family Sunday roast swimming in gravy we’re so reminiscent of, or returning to the local Italian restaurant for that classic but ever so good Margarita; eating and drinking will reconnect us like never before.
Dayashankar Sharma, Executive Chef at Heritage Dulwich thinks that ‘a lot of people would agree that beautifully-crafted food served at a fine-dining restaurant, combined with an amazing ambience is something that we have missed terribly over the past year.’ At Heritage Dulwich, Dayashankar’s menu has been created on the back of his memories of cooking with his mother, and when they fully re-open in May, the Indian restaurant in London that serves traditionally grounded recipes with a contemporary twist will share their passion for cooking with as many people as possible.
Meanwhile, with fresh seafood that ushers back memories of the crisp English coastline are Wright Brother’s – the London seafood specialists. With a mission to bring oysters back onto our menus, the brother-in-law duo, who now have two restaurants located in Borough Market and Battersea, have launched their new at-home website delivering the nostalgia of salty ocean favourites.
The ready to cook fresh fish range includes whole wild turbot and brill, along with sides of salmon and whole seabass. They also have a collection of seafood boxes that features the showstopping Fruits De Mer, ideal for a special seafood treat. And it doesn’t stop there. These savvy seafood aficionados also offer a selection of recipes to ensure you’re sentimentally satisfied, from lobster thermidor to scallop ceviche and moules à la crème.
Friday night feasts that are inspired by the very best dining experiences we are so fond of (but may not have access to) is Rogues. A welcome change from the usual Friday night takeaway, Rogues’ weekly changing family-style feasts are designed to end the working week with a bang, followed closely behind by a Sunday roast to round off each week in style.
Leaving behind any pretence and instead focusing on creating beautifully crafted dishes, each Friday night feast has a different theme that delivers a taste of life pre-COVID. From their pie night that comes complete with proper pub-style gravy, chips and mash to a French feast of beef bourguignon and dauphinoise potatoes, to their curry night filled with dhal, prawn tikka and curried spinach & paneer; Rogues know what we like, and they do it well.
Should you be lusting after exotic aromas that evoke a sense of freedom, then turn to Short Eats who are delivering fresh and colourful plant-based Sri Lankan feasts with a Caribbean twist. Freshly prepared and fitting the bill for food that is both healthy and delicious, these lovingly made plant-based plates are filled with plant-powered protein, fibre and minerals and with very little oil.
With a choice of one-off deliveries or a rolling subscription, Short Eats founder Melissa Bakth will bring the colours, flavours and textures of ‘Sri-in’ – a Sri Lankan and Trinidadian melting pot into our homes. Awakening the senses with the smells and spices of faraway cultures, pre-lockdown, Short Eats championed their family-style cooking with their ‘Friday Curries’ Supper Club.
Whilst they take a break from this, they’re delivering dishes that pack a punch to be enjoyed at home. This includes the Signature Vegan Curry Set Menu. At £27 for two people, this plant-powered feast features a deep and rich aubergine and potato curry, a smooth and hearty red lentil curry, an aromatic and spicy chickpea curry, and a fragrant and creamy green spinach curry with fresh peas.
Sushi is certainly something many of us have had to do without in the past year. One of those things that is often best left to the experts, whilst we stay home it can be tricky to satisfy yourself with sashimi or get your mitts on some maki. Thankfully, the steak and sushi experts at Hot Stone restaurant in London have just launched their lockdown 3.0 home delivery menu! With dishes that have been carefully reimagined for at-home dining by Executive Chef Padam Raj Rai, ponder your à la carte favourites and some new Nepalese dishes.
Available for delivery and collection across most London postcodes, what makes this at-home menu stand out is that each of the ingredients has been conscientiously selected to ensure the best possible at-home dining experience – no sad seafood in sight!
Expect Sanpuki Nori grown on the shores of the Ariake Sea, premium Koshihikari rice – widely considered to be the best sushi rice specially grown in Japan – a range of aged soy sauces (up to 30 years matured), a selection of Wagyu cuts including A5 Japanese sirloin, and real Japanese wasabi, grated freshly to enjoy with sushi at-home.
Alongside an extensive range of signature sushi, hot and chilled sashimi, carpaccio and maki, hand-shaped and sliced fresh to order, the at-home menu also features 48 hour marinated black cod with saikyo miso sauce, Japanese Wagyu don and grilled avocado with passion fruit and spicy mayonnaise.