I have just returned back to the Londolozi Kitchen from London. I was once again privileged to travel for the second time to The World 50 Best Restaurant Awards together with my dear friend Tamsin Snyman, Academy Head for the region Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands and in my capacity as a judge for the region of Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.
We always give ourselves enough time to graze our way through London and this year was no exception! This year the trend this year was more “pop-up” restaurants and glasses of Prosecco rather then fine dining which was beyond any expectations we had. We started off at Roganic, Simon Rogan’s two-year pop-up experiment follows from his success at L’Enclume in the Lake District. The ingredients used are only from the United Kingdom. A few highlights were the Burnt Mushroom Caramel with Cheese Ransoms and the Onion Brioche with Creamed Nettles, Shallot Marmelade with a Primrose.
We are always extremely honoured to dine at Le Gavroche. This year we had the pleasure of the company of Albert Roux himself which was a great treat! Once again we rolled out after a 14 course extravaganza – thank you to Emanuel Landre and his team for a perfect lunch date.
We then joined long time Londolozi guests and friends Alan & Sue Prince for dinner at L’Atelier by Joel Rubichon – an absolute highlight with mouth-watering Lamb Cutlets, Foie Gras, Razor Clams and Scallops followed by an ice-cream ball covered in gold dusted chocolate! Needless to say big smiles and happy tummy’s were had!
Petersham Nursery Café in Richmond was another hit, and has added huge inspiration to the building of the new Londolozi kitchen will should happen in 2013! A must visit for any foodie who grows their own veggies and herbs!
Borough Market – our absolute must on the Saturday in London! Starting off with the traditional Bacon Bap with Brown Sauce, eaten as you walk with a hot coffee! Tamsin had a Chocolate Crepe with Maldon Salt Caramel and Chocolate Whipped Cream for part of her breakfast from our favourite Rabot Chocolatiers, we also had fresh Scallops with crispy Bacon bits out the shell, and many many tastings of Pistachio Turkish Delight, beautiful cheeses and Chocolate Brownies!
I must say that through all this wining and dining, we did do a LOT of walking! This was imperative to being able to graze our way through so many restaurants.
Another huge highlight was that of the pop-up restaurant Burger & Lobster – exactly as the name says, is what we were served! “the most fun in London to be had for 20 pounds”. Imagine a buttered brioche filled with Lobster chunks dressed in a light mayonnaise served with skinny fries and a beautifully tossed side salad, washed down with a Californian Pale Ale!
The Awards ceremony was held again at the London City Guild Hall – we donned our little black dresses and mingled with the likes of Ferran Adria, Thomas Keller, Matthew & Yannick from NOMA, Prue Leith and many many more incredible foodies! The afterparty was sponsored by Veuve Cliquot and this took us down into the crypt itself where Veuve flowed and canapés were served by Rhubarb Caterers. The whole event had many sponsors, one of which was Slow Food UK – this was very interesting to me, as it is very similar to how we serve our food at Londolozi – by growing our own produce, our guests are served the finest of organic ingredients during their stay at Londolozi.
I returned back to a winter touched bushveld, and my smiling Kitchen Team!
Having had this incredible eating experience, my mind has been ticking, as I create the next season’s menu inspired by all I saw! I Look forward to seeing you at Londolozi this Winter so that you can try out a few dishes which are inspired by my travels and blended with my love of African cuisine.