The Resident’s must-read guide to the weird and wonderful food movements set to hit London next year. You’ll be able to spot those who aren’t quite in the know by their Instagram feeds – don’t be the one still Instagramming smashed avo on toast… that’s so 2016!
Words: Rachel Mantock
From beastly ice cream sundaes to the return of the fat, juicy slab of meat, (thank goodness, the conversion to veganism wasn’t going well, am I right?) we’ve got you covered. You probably didn’t even get round to mastering all the 2016 It Food Trends, and maybe you are just done with following suit. It doesn’t matter if you actually love red meat, dairy, and sugar. And perhaps you can’t stand the texture of avocado, but we’ll let you in on a game changer that might get you back in the Instagram food game…cake for breakfast may be a top trend in 2017. Really, this is not a drill…
1 Veggie cut offs are in
Seaweed is maintaining the top spot as King Green for 2017, having knocked kale of its throne – a quiet fall from grace. Thanks to Pan Asian cuisine where seaweed is typically included in ramen dishes, and its umami taste, the sea plant slowly but steadily crept its way to the top. Though seaweed is still the green of the moment, we are starting to see a big move towards the ‘waste not’ culture, where leftover turnips, beetroot, mustard greens, carrot tops and chard are used in the main dish or as decorative condiments.
2 Rise of the freakshakes
Witness the freakish evolution of milkshakes as they morph into monstrous explosions of sugar and spice and all things nice. A counter health trend, this movement takes the concept of a cheeky dessert treat to new levels. Huge scoops of ice cream, full sized pieces of cake, hoards of whipped cream and ridiculous amounts of sprinkles have all been spotted on these luscious creations.
You can even top your freakshake with doughnuts, cookies and sticky candy. A trend that sparked in New York, freakshakes have now invaded the UK, set to maintain their domination in London throughout 2017. Available at Maxwell’s, Canvas Cafeand Le Freakshaker at Pond Dalston to name a mere few, your jeans will not thank you for this one, but there’s a freakshake calling your name seductively from afar…
3 Virtual immersive dining
Food start-ups are taking things digital, while bigger food chains are catching on to the tech savviness and jumping on the bandwagon too. Opening kitchens in cheaper, non hot spot locations and delivering fresh fresh food to your door is the game here. It is not takeaway as you know it, rather healthy and nutritionally balanced fast food, only the click of a button away. Everything is about maximising time these days and city dwellers are the most time poor of them all. This food trend plays on the idea that time is the only luxury and convenience is essential.
With VR headsets being all the rage now, food spots are also tapping into this craze. Condé Nast College holds a virtual wine tasting experience in an igloo in collaboration with Moët & Chandon in March, and for those that never got over Breaking Bad (raises hand), Brick Lane’s Old Truman Brewery held a BB themed immersive evening earlier this month, complete with cartels, explosions and blue meth inspired cocktails.
4 Drone city
Food delivery via drones is already happening in Virginia, where Google drones deliver Chipotle burritos, Nevada, where Slurpees and sandwiches are delivered via drones in Reno and New Zealand, where Domino’s pizzas are delivered piping hot, drone style. Admittedly, in over populated capitals such as London, it’s a little less feasible but lo and behold, the drone invasion has landed here too.
Just Eat have already started to roll out their drone delivery service, using self driving bots. While these aren’t the futuristic, super fast, flying kind, those are not far off as safety measures are strengthening rapidly, making it a very possible city-wide reality in the next year or so. Just think of it like the Return of the Daleks 2, after they’ve had a few iOS upgrades and are ready to attempt a takeover of earth again.
5 Meat without the meat
Despite health warnings looming over everyone’s head about the dangers of consuming too much meat, most of us still crave it. In response to the fact that most of us can’t just switch off a lifetime habit of meat eating, veggie butchers boasting a variety of faux meats are popping up everywhere. The first ‘vegan butcher’ opened its doors in January across the pond in the US, ironically founded by a man named Kale. He took things a step further, providing faux cheeses as well as faux meats, giving you the option to cut down on two problematic food groups in one go.
The movement hit Europe swiftly, with Holland and Spain both boasting their own veggie butchers, and it’s only a matter of time before they spring up all over London Town. Sagaia, a travelling vegan butchers is set to hold a pop up store at the city’s Vegan Life Festival in early January 2017 and at Just V Show Festival in early July of next year. You can also find their products at Greenbay Supermarket in Kensington and at E5’s Black Cat Cafe & Shop.
For one off orders and subscription boxes, visit sagaiafoods.co.uk
6 Thai curly-roll ice cream
A gift from Thailand, ‘The Roll-up’ is 2017’s master ice cream style. It’s made using uber thin layers of frozen liquid ice cream that are then rolled into thin cylinders before sprinkles and toppings are poured over them in a cup. Tucked away inside Stables Market, Snobby Whale were one of the first to pioneer this trend in London, whipping up these delicate ice cream spectacles in front of your eyes. They introduce a new flavour every month to make sure you gluttonous snobby whales keep coming back.
7 Brand giants want a piece of the pie
Luxury retailers and mega food suppliers are keen to cash in on the city dining scene. Sparked by Shoreditch’s Cereal Killer Cafe, the all day cereal diner has taken off worldwide, and mega cereal brands are joining the craze in a big way. Kellogg’s recently set up an all day cereal restaurant in New York, taking things up a notch with thyme leaf and lemon zest garnishes. Luxury brand, Ralph Lauren also has a vintage style café in NY, while London has Thomas’s – a café by Burberry.
Seoul is home to the on-trend pink, fluffy and marshmallow like six floor super restaurant by Dior, Milan is keeping cool and eclectic with its Dsquared2 food offering, while Tokyo basically has a luxury brand food spot around every corner. This movement is only set to grow in the next year. Dining at Chanel is definitely cheaper than shopping Chanel, so treat yourself.
8 Herbivoracious main courses
Vegetables are taking centre stage as main entrées, with veggie-centric restaurants predicted to grow in number even more rapidly during 2017. The rise of courgetti and other vegetable pasta alternatives means more food spots are going on health kicks in a bid to ‘out-health’ their competitors. As city diners get smarter with their food and more health conscious, this trend will only grow smarter and more health conscious with them. The Gate Restaurants are city leaders when it comes to the all-things-veggie scene, serving standout vegan dishes in a relaxing setting.
9 Butcher fancy
As a counter trend to the faux meat movement, old school butchers are hitting back, pushing the idea that nothing can beat the real thing. Artisan butchers are pulling out all the stops, focusing on sustainability, drug free produce and locality and also adding dine in options to their shops where you can choose your own gorgeous cut of meat, have it grilled just to your liking and tuck in then and there. Some are also offering meat platters, along with craft beer, just like the vampiric, dark and Italian Macellaio RC does at Exmouth Market, a charming spot jazzed up with fab cuts of meat and good beer.
10 Golden fried mornings
Taking the counter faux meat trend into a league of its own, the concept of having fried chicken for breakfast is alive, well and kicking for 2017. The south American classic is pushing bacon out the pan when it comes to Breakfast staples. Some food spots are throwing all food guilt out the window and letting loose, featuring fried chicken inside donuts, with biscuits, cheese and syrup. All guilt aside, get down to Dirty Bones Shoreditch and pick the most extravagant fried chicken dish they have to offer.
11 Chocolate cake for breakfast
We saved the best until last, chocolate cake for breakfast may actually hit the food scene in 2017 after two big studies concluded that chocolate was highly beneficial for cognitive functioning and aiding weight loss by reducing cravings. This paired with the fact that most people will use any excuse to gorge on cake means that this food trend could be a winner. If there is one fad you get behind in the new year, let it be this one. Chocolate cake first thing in the morning, who in their right cake craving mind would argue about that?