Where I’ve Eaten
If you’re browsing the Friday market on Portobello, make sure you pop into artisan bakery Layla for its fantastic pastries, spiced buns, locally sourced coffee and focaccia sandwiches. Sourcing is everything here and along with using seasonal ingredients for their pastries and toasties, they use Wildfarmed flour, stone milled from a diverse variety of grains grown using farming methods that improve soil health.
If you haven’t yet eaten at Santiago Lastra’s Mexican restaurant Kol, you’re in for a treat. But if you can’t get a table, try the buzzy Kol Mezcaleria downstairs for antojitos, or small plates and superb cocktails. I loved their ‘no avo’ creamy pistachio guacamole served with salty fresh tortilla chips and the pork belly empanada with achiote and rhubarb salsa. A range of mezcals are mixed into cocktails you could drink all night, including a sour made with tangy sorrel and hops.
At Cafe Cecilia, Max Rocha’s Hackney restaurant overlooking the canal near Broadway market, fashion meets food in this modern, light space. Max’s River Cafe and St John training speaks of delicious simplicity: the sage and anchovy fritti was as light and crisp as popcorn, pork, and apricot terrine was perfection, and the stuffed mussels a revelation of juicy freshness with a crunchy bite. The Guinness bread (a recipe from his mother) is recycled into brown bread ice cream on the dessert menu, although the current Instagram sensation is the deep-fried bread and butter pudding with cold custard. Need I say more.
This article originally appeared in the May edition of House & Garden magazine.