There are some cities that are known for being “foodie” such as San Francisco, New York, and then the ones that are essentially food capitals of the world, such as France and Japan. However, London had never been considered that. In fact, the UK is known for their very plain and atrocious food.
But food is finally finding a place! I’ve visited multiple times before, but my two most recent trips were during my semester abroad, and then for a program called Arts In London, by the Suum Project, a project that aims to bridge the cultures of Europe and Asia through art.
We went to pretty much every museum, gallery, and collection in this wonderful city, but we did not get a moment to breathe. It was very Korean style – why take a break when we can do EVERYTHING and NEVER SLEEP?! But in all seriousness, it was an incredible and unforgettable experience, where I learned so much about art, the art industry, people, relationships, and life in a very compact week.
As per usual, the week was underhandedly dominated by food. Every meal was planned, and we got to experience the best of what London had to offer.
We went to two very successful chain restaurants called Kimchi, a Korean restaurant (surprise surprise), Busaba Eatthai (Thai…), and Ping Pong, a Chinese restaurant (no comment). They were actually very good quality and perfectly catered to a Western audience, but not at the cost of authenticity and taste. I call this “Tower of Dumplings”
We also got to experience a Gordon Ramsay restaurant called Maze, where we had a tasting menu. Delicious as expected. The presentation for each dish was also beautiful and artistic. My favorite was definitely the foie gras dish.
A super pleasant surprise was the Savoy Grill (another Gordon Ramsay restaurant), where I had maybe the most amazingly cooked salmon I’ve ever had. It was supposed to be a small, early meal before we went to the show Top Hat, but we couldn’t stop raving about how perfectly cooked it was – not too undercooked, but soft and smooth enough to melt in your mouth. 😉
We went to the Cinnamon Club, an ages old and extremely successful Indian restaurant that was built in an old library, a meal at Le Pont de la Tour, a riverside French restaurant with a view of the Tower Bridge, and then a most unforgettable dinner at the Art Club, one of the most prestigious and private clubs in the city, where art and artists are discovered.
We even made it to Hogwarts!! aka Oxford, where we went to an old and famous pub called The Trout Inn, where we had some classic fish and chips. On that pub thread, my friend recommended the Portobello Gold, a nice pub in Notting Hill, where I got a DELICIOUS burger.
But as I’ve said before, my favorite meals are ones prepared at home or prepared by friends and family. I was so lucky to be able to visit a very famous architectural firm, where their chef made us an AMAZING Mediterranean-themed meal. It was probably the best meal I had overall.
Everybody needs to learn this Carrot and Coriander Salad recipe. I normally hate carrots that are cooked or just whatever, I don’t like carrots that much (for all of you who have asked if I dislike any type of food, it’s generally just cooked carrots – exceptions here and there). But this salad was so refreshing and tasty. The carrots didn’t even taste like normal carrots.
I had a huge Europe/London nostalgia day today after my host mom emailed me…so that’s a VERY brief summary of my amazing, amazing week in London to top off my summer. If you want to know more, just ask me, and I’ll be happy to talk your ear off.