We have nothing but the utmost respect for the late Douglas Adams, but when he wrote “It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.” he couldn’t have been more wrong. As proof, here are London’s best ways with the terrific tuber.
Hackney - 230 Dalston Lane, London E8 1LA
Confit potatoes have become quite the thing on London's menus, popularised by Quality Chop House (below). Of all the contenders to the crown, this is the one that's impressed us most of late. These potatoes from this Hackney wine bar have a Szechuan seasoning that makes this dish sing. And it's made all the more better by the black tea mayo they come with.
Various locations across London
Hawksmoor has all manner of carby treats, including some particularly good beef dripping fries, mash & gravy and triple cooked chips. But it's the deeply cheesy Tunworth mash that we return to again and again. Essentially it's mash with a quarter piece of Tunworth cheese in the middle - hard to beat.
Sheldon Square, Paddington Central, London W2 6HY
Yes, even more cheesy mash - this time from a restaurant that's ALL about the cheese, the Cheese Barge in Paddington. This is an extremely generous serving of cheese and potato that has created some of the stretchiest mash that we've ever encountered. Best of all, it comes with gravy on the side, just to finish things off.
24 Clerkenwell Green, Farringdon, London EC1R 0NA
Florence Knight's take on the confit potato really takes things up a notch - with layers of eel in between the crispy layers of potato. Definitely a must-order if you book a table here. The addition of the roe makes it feel almost like a new take on fish & chips.
2a Garrick St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9BH
You can find Asma Khan's Aloo Dam both as part of the Royal Thali and vegetarian menus at Darjeeling Express and also her Asma’s Indian Kitchen cookbook. It features potatoes cooked with panch phoran mustard. This is also the dish that Asma first perfected - her entry level potato dish, as it were. It's just one of the many reasons that Londoners - and A-list stars - keep coming back here.
Clerkenwell - 92–94 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3EA
Probably London’s best-known potato dish, this has been on the menu at Quality Chop since it was first devised by chef Shaun Searley back in 2013. Sliced, baked, compressed and then deep-fried before serving with a simple addition of Maldon salt and mustard dressing, it’s the dish to beat.
Notting Hill - 92 Kensington Park Rd, London W11 2PN
One of the classic dishes on Clare Smyth's tasting menu at her multi-award-winning restaurant is 'Potato and roe’ - sitting in a pool of dulse beurre blanc, and topped with herring and trout roe. It's a dish inspired by Clare's childhood growing up on a farm in Northern Ireland by the sea and it's probably the poshest potato dish we've ever tried.
Shoreditch - 4 Redchurch St, London E1 6JL
Take potatoes, place them in the fire at Tomas Parry’s Shoreditch gaff and then let the application of heat, fire and smoke do its work. Serve in a puddle of melted butter. Job done.
Soho, Covent Garden, King's Cross
The arrival of this oozy, not quite set tortilla to London in 2007 was a revelation. Chef Nieves Barragan turned the original 27 stooled bar on Frith Street into somewhere foodies would queue for an hour for tapas. Nieves is now at Sabor (which also do a mean tortilla), but the made-to-order tortilla at Barrafina is still a thing of beauty.
Old Street - 70-74 City Rd, Old Street, London EC1Y 2BJ
We voted this dish our ‘best reason to carb load’ in the 2019 Hot Dinners Awards. There are various iterations of the mash, gravy and bone marrow combo around London but, in our humble opinion, Richard Corrigan’s Old Street restaurant is nailing it.
Bermondsey - 36 Snowsfields, London SE1 3S
At Jonny Lake and Isa Bal’s London Bridge restaurant, the dessert you’ll be most intrigued to try is this - made from roasted potato skins which are then added to puff pastry to form the layers, it’s served with sake and white chocolate mousse, butter and sake gelato. They’ve managed to turn a basic potato into this thing of architectural patisserie beauty and for that, they should be lauded.
Holborn - 252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN
Chef Calum Franklin may have first found Insta-fame with his extraordinary pork pie creations, but this vegetarian wonder, which he serves up to fans who come from all over the world, is every bit as worth the journey as its meaty counterparts. It's also their first gluten-free pie, so even more people can try its potato goodness.
Bank - Bloomberg Arcade, 3 Queen Street, London, EC4N 8BN
Originally described as chaat masala aloos, these are now called chips on the menu - but they're really another great example of confit potatoes in London. They're deep-fried and then dusted in their house chaat masala, and served with masala ketchup. Awesome.
South Kensington - 55 Exhibition Rd, London SW7 2PG
With a whole section of the menu devoted to placki - Polish potato pancakes - a visit to Ognisko in South Ken has to be on any tuberphiles hit list (yes, we're aware that's not a real word). You'll have to take it from us that there's actually some underneath all the chicken livers in the picture above. These rosti-like pancakes are heaven and you'll need them if you're going to work your way through Ognisko's vodka list.
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