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food, travel, food culture

All I want for Christmas is…food

A new restaurant for Ben (Spalding). More ramen, less queues. More reservations, less copycat burgers. Please, pretty please. Have you been good and well behaving all year? Well, I haven’t. I have been mostly obsessed by food and other sinful pastimes. But still, I am writing a little letter to Santa to ask him everything a foodie in London could desire for 2013 – I might as well get lucky. Feel free to add your requests to Foodie Santa in the comments and have a delicious start of 2013! 

Foodie christmas

Dear Santa,

Can I please have:

  • A ramen place in East London (sorry but Yo! Sushi wouldn’t quite cut it- I mean a proper place with an option for insanely porky tonkotsu broth like Bone Daddies, Shoryu or even Cocoro). I am a bit tired of having to decamp to Soho when my ramen cravings hit me and it’s about time to open an East End branch of #ramenanonymous. And since you’re there moving restaurants around- a branch of Santa Maria Pizzeria located less than a billion hours from the East (Sacro Cuore in Willesden Green doesn’t really help) would be really really fab. Thanks.
  • A restaurant for Ben Spalding- well this is an indirect gift, but please Santa can you do it? Ben looks like a nice fellow, it’s just that nobody understands his genius so he tends to not last in any residency longer than a few months (see the latest fallout with John Salt in Islington). This leaves hordes of stalkers fans like me longing for more of his delicious, inventive food (smoked watermelon anyone?)  and just wishing that he finds a place for himself. Like “Stripped Back” in Broadway Market last summer, just with more seats– which sounds like a good idea anyway so please please bring him a nice restaurant or if that’s too bulky for your sack just a bunch of money, or a few investors, that will do just as nicely. Thanks (even on behalf of other fans).
  • Less Fifty Shades of Grey, more Fifty Shades of Chicken. You know what I mean. I can’t stand the FSOG hype anymore and no, a badly written, anorexia- advocating book is not “what she really wants for Xmas” like those HWSmith ads say. Par contre, I’d really like to have more choice when it comes to meat – the “burger revival” is all OK but please bring on the next big thing and may it not just be fried chicken. Thanks
  • More places like Dishoom- I know they’ve just spawned from Covent Garden to Shoreditch High Street but we could do with a couple more. It just works- food is great, fresh and unpretentious, cocktails are ace, prices reasonable and the vibe is just great even in Hipsterland. I went there with the most diverse companies from couples of hardcore food snobs to a bunch of middle-aged bankers and they all loved it so please, sprinkle some magic over some old tired restaurant and magically transform them into another “Bombay café”. Thanks.
  • Superpowers: like, being able to look at The Outnet website without buying anything, or to stay in the house for more that 3 hours in a row without getting restless, or being able to blag my way into The Ledbury or Dabbous. Thanks (my credit card says thank you too).
  • Less royals antics  (be it a drunk Prince Harry or a naked Kate Middleton); more attention to real scandals like food waste, the spreading of eating disorders and the trend of onesies as daywear (the latter especially).
  • Restaurants that take reservations – you know how bad it is to wait outside in the cold right? Well actually even waiting in warm weather is quite frustrating, especially fi you can’t even pop in the pub at the corner.
  • Patrons who made reservations and then actually show up (see above- I hear the chefs ‘pain when a party of 20 cancels two hours before or just does a show up); treat the staff kindly and tell the chef what they think; leave honest reviews; talk about their meals on Twitter and blogs not just to brag but to share the enjoyment; and possibly don’t take themselves too seriously.

This should be all. Sounds reasonable right?

Thanks a million.




Bonus for all those who made it to the end of this quite self-centered post: a “so awful-it’s-wonderful” mashup between “Last Christmas” and the hit of 2012- Gangnam style. You’re welcome

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  1. What I want food-wise for 2013? Probably more opportunities to try out London’s restaurants – and a renewed love for cooking, which deserted me 1,5 year ago. Must invite friends home for dinner parties more often!

  2. Also (only thought about this now): I MUST go Borough Market. I can’t believe I haven’t been yet…

    • This have to be corrected! Borough Market might be more than a bit touristy these days but still there are a few gems…

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