Sunday, 3 January 2016

FoodPunk's Top 3 Restaurants Of 2015

Happy new year FoodPunkers!.
After eating and drinking a shed load of food and alcohol and recovering from celebrating the new year, I have taken some time to reflect with what has been a very busy twelve months.
For me 2015 has been a pretty damn good year. I have been fortunate to eat at some top places and of course at other times had some not so good experiences.
If I had all the time and money in the world then there's no doubt I would eat out more and write about it. But never the less I feel I've had a good run.
So after a little think I have come to the decision of what my personal top three restaurants of 2015 are and I hope after reading this post, you will go and check them out for yourselves.
In third place and what an exciting restaurant this is. Located in Clapton, Jackdaw serves up some of the very best food London has to offer right now. Josh and the team outdid themselves when I popped in back in September and the food, drink and service was top dollar. I couldn't pick a fault with any of it and it was even harder to pick the best dish.
Josh and Joe from Jackdaw
For example, there was the juicy tender chicken leg, the flaky succulent plaice which just fell off the bone and sweet and the tender heritage beetroots combined with the soft, salty, melt in your mouth blue stilton.
Norfolk Chicken Leg, Carrot, Tenderstem & barley
Line Caught Plaice, Salsify, Almond & Seaweed
Heritage Beets, Black Fig & Stilton
The talented team are always wanting to excite their customers and their vision and creativity always seem to create bold, mouth watering menus. Not only is the food out of this world but if you're into smooth jazz, then Jackdaw is the place to be. Kick back, relax and take in the live music with a cocktail in hand.
At number two, I've picked a restaurant that has been the toast of East London and been in many of the top magazines best restaurants list.
Matt Young
Rök is spearheaded by a very talented chef, Matt Young and I was introduced to him by a very good friend of mine. After eating at one of his pop ups in late 2014, there was an indication that 2015 Matt was going to hit jackpot. So when he opened Rök in the middle of the year, it was a no brainer and I just had to go and eat there.
Rök is heavily influenced by the Scandinavian cuisine and Matt gives quality British food the Nordic treatment.
The food there was simply stunning. From the very first dish to the last, each one just took the experience to a whole new level. The cauliflower cheese was probably the best I've ever had, it was gooey, creamy and the beef crumb on top just made it that extra special.
The pickled vegetables and the charcuterie meats were outstanding, perfect for getting the taste buds going.
 My particular favourites were the juicy scallops which had added heat from the Nduja and the rich, moist, flavoursome duck accompanied by the tarte lingonberry jam.
Cauliflower Cheese, Beef Dust & Almonds
Pickled Wild Mushrooms
Cobble Lane Charcuterie
Duck With Lingonberry Jam
Scallop In The Shell With Nduja
Matt is always posting new, creative, tasty looking food on social media and it will be a restaurant I will be heading back to very soon.
The Ninth
Finally ladies and Gentlemen here we have my number one restaurant. It may not be a surprise to some but the Ninth is a blinding restaurant. Jun Tanaka is a revered chef and to see him open his very first restaurant was exciting to see. His food on the night was nothing short of perfection. Every dish had individuality and ticked every box. His food was a mixture of  fresh, (the razorclam cerviche or the sea bass carpacchio ) warm and hearty (salted beef cheeks, lamb en croute).

Razor Clam Cerviche

Sea Bass Carpaccio, Salsa Verde and Pickled Kohlrabi

Salted Beef Cheeks, Oxtail Consommé, and Charred Cabbage

Lamb En Croute, Jerusalem Puree
It was an incredible evening and meeting the man himself was an honour and I left that evening with a big smile on my face.
So there you have it fellow FoodPunkers, that was my top three restaurants of 2015. Go check out these awesome places for yourselves and if you want more of an insight on these restaurants, you will find them in the "FoodPunk visits" section.
So what's next for 2016?
I've already booked to go and scope out a few restaurants in January, so watch this space.
Not only will I obviously be continuing to write but I think it's about time I kick start my YouTube channel again. Watch out for some FoodPunk videos in the coming months.
I hope you all have a great year ahead and I hope my blog over the last twelve months have enticed you to go out and be more adventurous. London has so much more to offer and there are plenty of more hidden gems to unearth.



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