To share or not to share
On a recent date with someone I know very well a huge difference reared its head across the dining table, not our usual sparking or still over long conversation but something much more insightful to the beautiful girl sat opposite, I like to share food, she certainly does not, I love to book a tapas restaurant of Asian sharing plates my date likes three courses with at most giving me a little taste.
As the founder of the London Lifestyle Awards® I see first hand how the great London public over the last decade have increased their appetite to dine in restaurants that believing sharing is caring and a very desirable way to spend an evening and as mentioned I am certainly one of them.
My date for the evening was so passionate about separate ordering and not sharing food I suspected that maybe she would be better off having dinner with Smithy from Gavin and Stacey, for those who have watched this classic series you will never forget Smithy’s rant that nearly ended up with him eating alone in his car rather than sharing food with the Shipman’s.
My date is not the only time of really experiencing someone who does not enjoy the sharing plates or generally not having your own full plate, growing up my Fathers enjoyment of Sunday tea was someone limited as Dad found the competition with four hungry and often greedy children too much to bare so much that in the end, the buffet type spread that was laid out on the table most Sunday tea times became the negotiation field for her and my brothers and sister while my father had a prepared plate so he could eat without thinking he was taking food out of his children’s mouths in the assurance that he too would have enough. But maybe this is where my love for sharing comes from, you see Sunday tea was a little bit of a free for all and we could basically take our favourites and leave our not so much, where the rest of the week due to the fact that my mum was very keen on a balanced diet the food delivered each meal time was on a plate, no choice you get what you are given, and I suppose apert from Sunday tea there was some scarcity as the fridge was a no go area and after I got caught taking cheese out of it late at night my mum resorted to measuring the block to control my pilfering.
Maybe because of my father senior blue collar 1950’s up brining this maybe created in reluctance to indulge in sharing and in later life as more money rolled in my father so enjoys some tapas or French small plates as long as he has some menu direction then maybe heritage of food scarcity or at least the fear of it has nothing to do with it as I know my date has never experience food scarcity, coming from a Asian and West Indian heritage I think the only thing she had to worry when it came to the abundance of food was how to extend the fridge to house the numerous dishes that were always availed in the family home.
However you the reader likes to eat their food, either from one plate or many the London restaurant scene has certainly embraced the popularity of sharing. So here are some of my favourite sharing plate restaurants in London, this list could have been pages long but for those of you that believes sharing is caring make sure you tick these off your list for starters.
By the way back to my date that inspired this article, and for those who are interested, they only bit of the meal she was willing to share was the bill, of course I did not let her, it was a date after all…maybe that’s a whole other piece….
Roberto, Joel, Cortés and Ruben first met working together in a tapas restaurant in London. They were doing what they knew best; cooking and offering the best customer service with a very friendly approach. Now also open in also in Frith Street Soho this very buzzy restaurant has an amazing vibe with amazing tapes, very tradition, great cuts of meats.
14 Borough High Street, SE1 9QG, lobostapas.co.uk
EMBER YARD – 2022 TOPTEN London Lifestyle Awards®
Ember Yard specialises in dishes inspired by the amazing wood-fired grill of Spain and Italy. Head Chef Adam Kulikowski creates exceptional small and large sharing plates. No fuss. No fanfare. Just flavour. Located in the heart of Soho over two floors, including an exciting downstairs space known as The Ember Bar, a slick area in which to indulge on small plates over our impressive cocktail list. Find yourself amongst an electric and buzzy atmosphere making it a perfect space to relax with a drink pre or post dinner.
60 Berwick Street, London. W1F 8SU https://www.saltyardgroup.co.uk/salt-yard-group-venues/ember-yard
When the Hart brothers launched Barrafina, they had no idea the impact their restaurant would have on London’s culinary scene. It’s gained a reputation over the years of being the go-to place for Spanish food in the city. expect gooey ham croquettas that quite literally melt in the mouth and garlicky, juicy seafood — just as it should be. Meaty highlights include the succulent grilled quail with aioli and the milk-fed lamb throat.
26-27 Dean Street, W1D 3LL, barrafina.co.uk
Indian food is built for sharing and this Soho spot blends British and Mumbai flavours to offer a contemporary twist on traditional dishes. The restaurant started out small in a shipping container in Pop Brixton. It has since opened sites in Soho and Brixton (with White City set to open in September), but its industrial roots can still be seen in the decor, with the exposed piping and open kitchen. The food packs a punch, too: standout dishes include the popular samphire pakoras and the Keralan fried chicken with a curry leaf mayonnaise.
12 Denman Street, W1D 7HH, kricket.co.uk
Los Mochis 2022 London Lifestyle Awards® TOPTEN and Winner
Two iconic cuisines are blended for the first time resulting in complex flavour combinations with fresh sashimi, maki rolls, ceviches, tiraditos, and over 20 unique tacos.
Their chefs use the finest, seasonal, and sustainable products from best-in-class artisans to create a highly technical, ever-evolving menu that is entirely gluten, nut and celery free. The main menu contains minimal dairy throughout, and all our vegetarian dishes are also vegan by design, allowing you to indulge without compromise.
2 - 4 Farmer Street Notting Hill London W8 7SN www.losmochis.co.uk
Hopper Soho London Lifestyle Awards® TOPTEN
The original Hoppers, this one feels like an authentic shack restaurant in Sri Lanka. Smaller, intimate with a great Soho vibe important to have a reservation in this service focussed restaurant.
They serve hoppers, dosas, kothus, and roasts, complemented by a tropical drinks list which has Genever and Arrack at its heart. Made the TOPTEN in 2022 London Lifestyle Awards® casual dining restaurant of the Year
https://www.hopperslondon.com 49 Frith Street London W1D 4SG
Rambla is Victor Garvey's third restaurant, opened in late September 2017. Specialising in the Catalan food of Garvey’s childhood in Barcelona and named after the city’s most famous boulevard, From spinach croquettes that come served with a pine nut aioli, to the garlic-soaked grilled octopus. A lively place with a good wine list that is reasonably priced the food is quite simple but superbly executed.
64 Dean Street, W1D 4QG, ramblalondon.com
Kiln 2022 London Lifestyle Awards® TOPTEN
Kiln from chef Ben Chapman, the menu focuses on stir fries, curries and barbecue dishes cooked over open flames The menu also changes frequently to coincide with hat is seasonably available however Kiln’s signature serve – clay pot baked glass noodles topped with Tamworth pork belly and brown crab meat. Kiln certainly one of my all-time favourite restaurants especially as now you can make a reservation and not join the que half way down Brewer St.
58 Brewer Street, W1F 9TL, kilnsoho.com