Review of 'Taste of London (Christmas 2017)'

https://london.tastefestivals.com/

Taste of London is back in Tobacco Dock again for the Christmas version of their massive Taste of London show in the summer. It was held on a cool weekend in November and, as always, was very busy.

The show has a number of restaurants in attendance selling small versions of some of their best dishes. Thankfully, seem to have given up on the use of “taste credit” with all of the restaurants now accepting contactless (or PIN-entered) payment via plastic. As always, the prices are quite steep but the dishes very good indeed.

There are a number of other vendor stalls with everything from dinnerware to travel to Christmas gifts spread out on the ground floor and basement levels of the venue. Every nook and cranny seemed to have something there to look at.

We took advantage of our early entry “Champagne” ticket to quickly get into the queue to book tickets for the “Get Baking with AEG” experience where were learned how to prepare “Pear & almond friands” (yeah, we didn't know what they were either - “friands” are a small light almond cake that we prepared with a light caramel sauce). They were also showing how to prepare “Christmas spiced sausage rolls” but we thought the friands would be more interesting. If you want to do any of the “hands on” demonstrations you really do need to be quick as spots go very quickly indeed.

Throughout the day we spent a lot of money but were able to try the following dishes from the show menu (looking for the more unusual or exceptional dishes on offer):

  • Action Against Hunger 5* Doughnuts - “Peter Gordon: Pear and ginger compote stuffed doughnut, crunchy maple corn flakes, pandan basil icing” (£5)

Peter Gordon doughnuts

  • Farang - “Roasted peach massaman curry with peanuts, sweet basil and wild ginger” (£5) - I am a sucker for massaman and this was wonderful with the sweet notes of the peach

Massaman curry

  • Les 110 de Taillevent - “Chicken: Yellow breast chicken stuffed with foie gras, fettuccine, supreme sauce” (£6) - Wow, very rich but very delicious. Not sure I could eat a lot of this though…Large queues and waits for it as well.

Chicken with foie gras on fettuccine

  • Sagardi - “'Piauillo' peppers stuffed with oxtail in Biscay sauce” (£7) - incredibly delicious sauce - and “Txuleton basque style matured beef with piquillo peppers on sourdough” (“taste exclusive” dish; £12) - amazing beef barbecued, of course, on site in front of us

Peppers, oxtail in Biscay sauce

Beef on sourdough

  • The Cheese Bar - “Rollright tartiflette with smoked bacon” (£6)

Tartiflette

  • Motu (Sunday Only) - “Chicken Tikka Paratha Roll: Motu's classic chilli chicken tikka wrapped in a flaky paratha” (£6) - really tasty if a bit of an odd fusion - and “Tawa Goat Keema Pilou, Raita: Spiced goat keema mixed with fluffy pilau rice - served with raita” (“taste exclussive”; £8) - Delicious but not a lot of goat.

Paratha Roll

Goat Keema

  • Dumplings' Legend - “3 x Michelin Venison Dumplings recipe Pied a Terre” (£4) - Incredibly tender venison served in a deep-fried dumpling, delicious but could have done with a sauce…

Venison Dumplings

At the end of the day we were lucky enough to arrive early for front row (centre) seats at the “Jose Pizarro” cooking demonstration where we even were able to sample the razor clam dish he prepared (very tender, very delicious).

A good show but, again, quite expensive and very crowded. Quite difficult to get to by public transport (and local parking looked particularly busy this year as well) but, I think, worth a look in if you like trying some very good food (and are not afraid to pay for it).

Rating:

Review Date: 2017-11-19



Tobacco Dock

Location: London (England)

Address: Dock, Tobacco Quay,, Wapping Ln, London E1W 2DA ENGLAND

Public Transport: NRLOGO Shadwell London Overground TUBE Tower Hill

Telephone: +44 (0) 207 680 4001

URL: http://tobaccodocklondon.com/

The biggest problem I have with Tobacco Dock is the fact it is quite difficult to get to. The second problem I have with it is that it is largely open to the elements. Composed of a number of smaller, awkwardly sized, spaces it often feels a bit cramped. There are two levels: Ground and basement with the basement space slightly smaller.

Tabacco Dock has an amazing, relaxed, atmosphere and always makes for an interesting visit.