First up is the founding feast of London’s top gastro fast food spot of the moment, the Classic Bao at the latest (and first permanent) outpost of Bao in London. Gua Bao, otherwise known as Hirata Buns, are pillowy, soft, rice flour or milk buns containing any variation of imaginative Taiwanese cuisine. Originating in Taipei where they are generally consumed as light(ish) snacks to go along with beer or cocktails, the Classic Bao at this particular spot consists of tender shreds of braised pork topped with ground peanuts, fermented greens and fresh coriander. The other Gua Bao options are all just as – if not more – delicious, including the sole vegetarian option of Daikon, but you really shouldn’t leave without sampling the bun that made it’s name.
Geographically just a little further North, the Yangnyum Chicken dish originates in South Korea and is proudly recreated at On the Bab in Covent Garden. Serving up an enticing array of Korean barbecue specialties, it’s this signature dish of fried chicken that keeps customers raving and returning for the perfectly light and crispy batter, topped with crushed peanuts and served in a choice of four flavours: special soy sauce, sweet and spicy, with garlic mayo or finished with a fair of seasoned spring onion. The menu crafters recommend you consume yours with their national beer, and who are we to argue?
Taking inspiration from summers in Maine, the humble lobster roll has only recently been adopted on these shores, but the reception so far has been beyond enthusiastic. Arguable the most ragingly successful of all the contenders is the creation of the dynamos behind Burger and Lobster: quality, tasty chunks of lobster crammed into an already buttery brioche bun, with the option of pouring on added melted butter or mixing cooler meat in with mayonnaise, this is comfort food at its classiest.
Though traditionally more of a winter-warmer, the well-loved roasted aubergine with turmeric yoghurt and pomegranate seeds served up at Ottolenghi is light and versatile enough to cross over the seasons. With the turmeric bringing a spicy North African kick to an otherwise classic Middle Eastern dish, this is a veggie-friendly, health-enhancing palate-punch of colour and freshness.
If there’s one new dish that has been starring on our plates for the past few years and is continuing to hold centre-stage for summer 2015, it’s ceviche. Fresh fish that ‘cooks’ as it marinades in garlic, citrus juice and chile, chilled and mixed together with a choice of salad or vegetables, the finest example of this Peruvian export has to be the Don Ceviche at Ceviche Soho. They combine fresh sea bass ceviche in amarillo chilli tiger’s milk (the name for the ceviche marinade), limo chilli and serve it with sweet potato and red onions – don’t forget to drink up the rest of the marinade at the end either!
Come and try out these dishes and more just minutes away from London’s best restaurants atevery Hotel Piccadilly.