1 | For Dangerously Tasty Pub Grub: Fishdogs At The Hat & Tun (above)
The Hat & Tun pub in Clerkenwell certainly knows how to pick its pop-ups, and it’s got Mark Hix on board for this one, along with his infamous Fishdogs. As you would imagine, they’re kind of like hot dogs – but not. Pollock covered in panko breadcrumbs is served in a bun with minted mushy peas and tartare sauce. It is darned good fare that is normally only served up at festivals, markets and private events, so get yourself here before 14th August to catch them.
Also on the menu are the Holy F***ed Fish Balls (croquettes with spicy mayonnaise) and spicy crab chips. And we thoroughly recommend dessert while you're at it: mini doughnuts rolled in cinnamon sugar ready to be dunked in Cornish sea salt caramel sauce. In for a penny, in for a pound, after all.
2 | For Dainty Date Night Dining: Blixen
Opened back in February by the former owner of the hugely successful Riding House Café near Oxford Circus and Bermondsey’s Village East, Blixen has ‘date’ written all over it. Be that breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Or even just drinks on their leafy terrace if the weather is fine. It’s style is modern European, meaning that you get homely yet urbane food in an airy, easy-going and pretty setting – nothing too austere, nothing too rustic, but just right.
Nab yourself a table for dinner and wake your taste buds up with one of the few but inventive cocktails such as the 1st & 65th (red and white vermouth, cynar, prosecco and orange) or the G, G&T (perked up with grapefruit and coriander). The menu proper brims with delectable choices, thus making ordering quite the task; nibble on the beetroot hummus and crispy lavosh while you decide.
Starters include citrusy seabass ceviche, devilled kidneys and a squid, chorizo and chickpea stew, and the mains mean business with the fresh crispy salmon, or beautifully light sea bream, or the mouth-wateringly tender pork belly with kale, quince and that brilliant Austrian noodly thing, spaetzle. Though portions look worryingly delicate at first glance, they fill you up nicely, and everything about this place is done with exquisite taste – pure and simple. It’s a winner.
65A Brushfield Street, London, E1 6AA; blixen.co.uk
3 | For A Novelty Pop-Up: Storeys
What do you do with an old television centre car park? Plonk a pop-up street food market on the roof, that’s what. It’s not exactly subtle, but the novelty value is most certainly there at Storeys, which is now open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday atop the old BBC building in White City.
Street art adorns the walls to jazz the concrete up a bit, and there are game areas during the daytime and DJs in the evenings. Vendors will rotate over the summer, but include Crabbieshack and their soft-shell crab burgers, fiery Carribean chicken from White Men Can’t Jerk (who’ve been hugely successful this year), burgers from Le Bun, plus Peruvian ceviche, buffalo wings and all sorts of tasty grub.
Multi Storey Car Park, Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, W12 7RJ; storeys.london
4 | For Bargain Weekend Meals: Regent Street
Brasserie Zedel's Bar Americain
London’s Regent Street has been putting on all sorts of activities of late, and this weekend is a food-based bonanza. So if you’re in Central, then you could find a real lunchtime treat. The bonus is that a massive list of nearby restaurants have got in on the act and have special offers on their menus so that you can go for a meal or drink at a discount.
Everywhere from the Hotel Café Royal, to steak house MASH, to the jaunty Cocktail Trading Company have offers on the go. Just two examples of the bargains in place are the great big shellfish sharing platter and desert for £45 at upmarket seafood restaurant, Bentley’s, or three courses and a glass of wine for £25 at Esquire favourite, Hix. Brasserie Zedel’s deal even throws in tickets to The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition and, in addition to its offers, Hawksmoor Air Street is hosting a complimentary wine tasting on Saturday afternoon (you just have to call to book your slot in advance). The choice is endless.
Regent Street, W1; regentstreetonline.com