London’s delicious new shopping and dining destination, Coal Drops Yard, has attracted some of the capital’s most exciting culinary talent. But this isn’t simply a greatest hits collection – simmering in every archway you’ll find fresh ideas, future classics and recipes reimagined, whether you’re after a relaxed sit-down dinner or a quick bite to grab and go. Here are 10 of the most exciting plates to try at Coal Drops Yard for all budgets – consider it your new “to-eat” list …
1. Ravioli fatayer at Coal Office
Tahini lovers unite at Coal Office, where Middle Eastern classics take on new shapes. Traditional fatayer are baked or fried, but these star-shaped parcels are reimagined as delicate ravioli, stuffed with a verdant mix of wild herbs, spinach, chard and feta and served in a pool of silky tahini yoghurt. Stellar.
2. Octopus, peperonata, cured egg yolk, almonds at hicce
The octopus at hicce is a truly memorable dish – a whole, masterful tentacle seated atop sweet, stewed Italian peppers and mellow garlic purée. Almonds bring texture, a cured egg yolk adds richness and ribbons of wakame seaweed nod to the dish’s origins in the deep blue sea. What a catch.
3. Mushroom and truffle grilled cheese sandwich at Morty & Bob’s
Oozing with a signature blend of Neal’s Yard cheddar, buttery mornay sauce and a lavish helping of truffle-laced roast chestnut mushrooms, it’s no surprise that this grilled cheese sandwich is one of Morty & Bob’s bestsellers. Park a pickle on the side and you’re golden.
4. Sea bass ceviche at Casa Pastor
Casa Pastor’s bright, zesty Baja California-inspired ceviche showcases a lesser-known side of Mexican cuisine. Fresh raw sea bass is prepared in lime juice, pico de gallo salsa and spices, spiked with herbs and topped with cooling avocado and cucumber.
5. Arroz negro at Barrafina
Barrafina has earned its place in every London foodie’s little black book thanks to dishes just like this – regional Spanish cooking, served with urban flair. The arroz negro is a true spectacle: rice cooked in briny black squid ink, topped with artichokes, Iberian pork ribs, baby octopus and dollops of creamy, nutty romesco sauce.
6. The Tony at Bodega Rita’s
Drawing influences from all over the globe for their deli subs, The Tony is Bodega Rita’s Italian-American baby: a soft baguettini stuffed with salami ventricina, prosciutto, pickled chilli mayo, pesto, smoked cheddar, giardiniera pickles and cheese dust. Or, to translate: a really stonking ham and cheese sarnie.
7. Hand-cut macaroni with confit rabbit shoulder at Vermuteria
Good things come to those who wait – and Vermuteria’s slow-cooked confit rabbit is a very good thing (although, luckily, the chef has done the waiting for you). Dished up with rustic, hand-cut macaroni and a little olive oil, parmesan and oregano, it’s rich, delicious, and deeply comforting.
8. Smoked salmon toast at Spiritland
Spiritland is a cafe and bar for music lovers, and its menu reads like a symphony with touches of freeform jazz. A far cry from the usual salmon on sourdough experience, this inventive brunch plate adds caper leaves, freshly strained labne and a potent flurry of aleppo chilli and sumac. Consider it a remix.
9. Rosticeria at Plaza Pastor
The star of the show at al fresco dining terrace Plaza Pastor, this Mexican spin on rotisserie chicken demands rolled-up sleeves and extra napkins. Lavished with hot and smoky rojo or aromatic verde marinade, your free-range chicken arrives with confit onions and heritage corn tortillas for a DIY taco party. Sunshine on a plate.
10. Pork pie and mustard at The Drop
The Drop may primarily be a wine bar, but it takes food equally seriously. Its neat menu runs from nibbles such as petit lucques olives and oysters (yes, oysters!), to larger plates of meat and veg. Their standout dish, however, is the pork pie and mustard – a generous slab of pastry-wrapped terrine, studded with apricots and served with a traditional dollop of Colman’s mustard. What should you wash it down with? Well, finding the perfect wine shouldn’t be too difficult.
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