What we’re eating…

Our weekly food diary shares on-trend ingredients, fun foodie events, Instagrammable restaurant dishes and must-try street eats.

This week we tried...


High Chai

If you still think afternoon tea has to mean uniform cucumber sandwiches, scones with jam and classic cakes washed down with a cup of tea, then think again. While you can still find plenty of traditional afternoon teas, there’s been a huge rise in the popularity of alternative versions which put a twist on the classic. We had this ‘High Chai’ at Zindiya in Birmingham, which injects Indian flavours into its afternoon tea. Choose your pot of freshly brewed masala chai or a floral Earl Grey to sip alongside several courses of savoury skewers and spiced sweets. Savoury offerings include a crisp samosa, crunchy bhel puri and a choice of chicken tikka or chunky paneer, while sweet options include Indian spiced carrot cake, macarons and soft homemade cardamom scones with lashings of cream.

 

Vegan afternoon tea

As veganism continues to rise in popularity, you can now find a vegan-friendly version of just about anything, from burgers and fried ‘chicken’ to cakes and desserts. This week we tried the afternoon tea at Café Forty One, a brand-new, entirely vegan café at Hotel Suite West in Bayswater, London. The afternoon tea features a selection of vegan-friendly sandwiches and scones with jam and a coconut-based cream, but the highlight is the French patisserie tier. As it’s notoriously rich in butter and cream, making French patisserie vegan-friendly is no mean feat, but French-born head chef Clarisse Flon has done just that. The sweet treats change daily – on our visit we enjoyed the mini marble loaf cake, topped with praline buttercream, and the lemon meringue slice, with super zingy lemon curd and sweet, fluffy aquafaba meringue piped neatly onto a rectangle of pastry. 

 

Black Forest twists

Christmas trend alert! It might be the middle of August, but here at Good Food HQ, we’ve been looking into trends for Christmas 2018 and one flavour combination we’ve seen plenty of in cakes, bakes and desserts at Christmas previews is Black Forest gateau. Yes, from what we’ve seen at supermarket and restaurant menu previews, there’s a retro revival going on, with old school classics like jelly and gateau back on the dessert menu – sometimes with a modern twist. This week our cookery team have been experimenting with Black Forest flavours in the test kitchen, including this chocolate and cherry loaf cake and a decadent Black Forest trifle. Look out for the full recipes in our Christmas issue, on sale 25 October.

 


Last week we tried...


Figs

Figs are at their best right now – plump, sweet and jammy. No wonder we’ve seen them on so many menus recently, as well as in several new products including fig balsamic vinegar, fig relish and even fig crackers. Our favourite fig dish of the week? It has to be these gorgeous juicy figs paired with creamy burrata, peppery rocket, red onion and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar – part of a special vegetarian menu created by Phil Howard at Elystan Street to celebrate the 25th anniversary of one of London’s finest grocers, Andreas in Chelsea. Fancy getting figgy with it? We have plenty of recipes to choose from. 

 


Sweet hummus

Hummus has become such a favourite in the UK that two in five households are said to have a pot in the fridge. These days you’ll find plenty of variations of the chickpea-based spread in supermarkets, from red pepper to caramelised onion, but have you ever seen sweet hummus? A UK first, this hummus from Hou is made using chickpeas (of course) and flavoured with ingredients like cocoa (for its choc-o-chick flavour), caramel and banana (banoffee pie) and fruit (mixed berry). The idea came about after co-founder Harry Tyndall was forced to change his diet for health reasons. Hummus became a staple in his diet but he couldn’t shake his sweet cravings, so decided to try making a sweet hummus with friend and chef Jake Finn. The verdict? It received mixed reviews here at Good Food HQ, with some going back for more and others finding the texture too grainy.  
 


Whisky fruit cup

Although whisky isn’t a drink you’d usually associate with hot weather, London-based Scottish restaurant Mac & Wild has given it a makeover. Named Highland Solstice, this drink (pictured on the left) is a Scottish twist on the summer fruit cup. It’s made with Copper Dog whisky, sweet vermouths and triple sec, macerated and flavoured with verbena, cucumber, bergamot and strawberries. Topped up with either lemonade or ginger ale (or both) and finished with fresh strawberries, cucumber and mint, it’s like summer in a glass! Sound good? Mac & Wild is selling pre-bottled Highland Solstice online at Master of Malt
 
 


Earlier this month we tried...

Hyderabad brunch 

Brunch has come a long way from poached eggs on toast. As the trend continues to spiral, more restaurants and cuisines are jumping on the brunch bandwagon and you can now satisfy just about any craving you might have, from Mexican to Middle Eastern. We tried the brand-new Hyderabad brunch menu at Soho’s Dum Biryani in London – along with its famed dum biryani, the restaurant has added a huge range of exciting dishes to its brunch menu, showcasing the regional flavours of south-eastern India. Highlights include toasted sourdough smothered in a punchy fenugreek sauce, topped with spiced stir-fried lamb and fried quail’s eggs; a crispy-coated banana chilli stuffed with potato and paneer, served with tamarind chutney, fried puffed rice, peanuts and coriander chutney; and tender, roasted stuffed aubergine with peanuts and poppy seeds, plus dhal and steamed rice. Washed down with a cocktail and set to a hip-hop playlist, this might be our new favourite way to brunch.

 

Lemon drop chillies

Bright yellow, hot and with a spritz of citrus in their flavour, lemon drop chillies are common in Peruvian cuisine, where they're called qillu uchu. They’ve been featuring on the menus of the Peruvian Ceviche restaurants in London, where they add colour as well as flavour to ceviches, but now lemon drop chilli is popping up in other guises. Single Variety Co makes a popular lemon drop chilli jam that they recommend serving with cream cheese to cool it down; several brands of sauce are available (we like the Fruity Dog made with mango from Chilli of the Valley); Solkiki Chocolatemaker have a white chilli mint chocolate bar (pictured here) that has quite a kick; and the newest flavour of Manomasa tortillas is queso blanco & lemon drop chilli – so expect to see more of it. The heat dies down after you’ve eaten these chillies, leaving a sweetness and recognisable lemon flavour which lingers. Overcooking them will lessen the flavour, so if you have fresh ones use them raw or add at the end of cooking. Find dried whole chillies and powder at Chilli Britain, as well as chilli plants (so you can grow your own next year).
 


Plastic-free tea

If, like us, you’re on a mission to reduce single-use plastic in your household, you’ll be disappointed to find out that many of the UK’s most popular teabags contain polypropylene, a sealing plastic which is used to hold the teabags together. Right now, we’re sipping our tea with a clear conscience thanks to We Are Tea, whose teabags are plastic-free. They’re made from a material called soilon (a by-product of corn starch) and sealed with ultrasound rather than glue. When you’ve finished your cuppa, just put them in your food waste collection bin and they’ll break down in the industrial composter. We Are Tea is also the first premium tea company to remove paper tags from its entire range to save paper, as part of their campaign #treesbeforetags – talk about sustainabili-tea! Want to do your bit for the environment? There are other companies providing high-quality tea in plastic-free teabags too, including Pukka and Teapigs. Some of the bigger brands, including Yorkshire Tea and PG Tips, also recently pledged to switch to biodegradable bags by next year.
 

Missed an entry in our food diary? Find out what we've eaten previously...
What we ate in July 2018
What we ate in June 2018
What we ate in May 2018
What we ate in April 2018
What we ate in March 2018
What we ate in February 2018
What we ate in January 2018
What we ate in December 2017
What we ate in November 2017
What we ate in October 2017
What we ate in September 2017
What we ate in August 2017
What we ate in July 2017
What we ate in June 2017
What we ate in May 2017
What we ate in April 2017
What we ate in March 2017
What we ate in February 2017
What we ate in January 2017
What we ate in December 2016
What we ate in November 2016
What we ate in October 2016
What we ate in September 2016
What we ate in August 2016
What we ate in July 2016
What we ate in June 2016
What we ate in May 2016
What we ate in April 2016
One year of food trends

Comments, questions and tips

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marthamydear
22nd May, 2017
What is unappealing about the ramen pic is that the egg white looks raw...I assume it'll cook in the (hopefully) hot broth? I always love a runny yolk, but NOT raw egg white! :-)
Craig McKee
9th May, 2016
Are there links to these recipes?
selimcan22's picture
selimcan22
27th Oct, 2016
cheese bread is very tasty. My place for breakfast every morning.
HarrietONeill95
18th Mar, 2016
Normally a fan of the sweet/savoury combo (bacon and banana toasted sandwich was my epiphany) but the bacon hot cross bun is wrong. Keep 'em a sweet treat!
heidigough
24th Jan, 2016
I don't know who is doing the PR for Shuang Shuang but they've pulled a blinder. They seem to be everywhere this weekend, not always positively reviewed though.
kfurber
2nd Oct, 2015
Love these articles, please keep them coming!
aveyard
21st Aug, 2015
Would like to try the Blackberry Bakewell recipe, but couldn't find a link. Is it available, please?
woodie1234
11th Jul, 2015
Where are the recipes for these delicious looking treats??
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
11th May, 2016
Thank you for your feedback. This page is a visual diary of food and drink trends made or spotted by the Good Food team on their travels. We don't create recipes for these as sometimes they are a product, an experiment in our Test Kitchen or are made especially by another chef or producer. However, if we spot a key trend we think you’ll love we will develop it into a recipe – so let us know if there’s something you’d like to see more of!
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.