On our way to the Taste of Christmas fair on Saturday, Gaby and I were really excited about, although we had to go all the way east to the ExCeL for it. A few hours later we were tired and grumpy and rather disappointed. It was far too crowded for anyone to be able to have a good time, and without any sound proofing it was pretty loud in there too. We queued up to watch Michel Roux Jr (next to rubbish bins) on stage but couldn’t get a spot where we could even remotely see him, or even hear what he was saying. And it was the same wien Mary Berry was on stage before him. Later in the day when people had given up, and the probably lesser known Simon Rogan (of l’Enclume and Roganic) was on stage, Gaby and I suddenly liked it again, as we got seats to watch him cook. Compared to Taste of London in the summer, there were only a few restaurants represented, but a handful street food places were there as well, which was a nice addition. The first thing we had was a foie gras burger from Comptoir Gascon. We expected a burger with foie gras in it, but received a big sliver of perfectly cooked foie gras with some dressed lettuce in a brioche bun. Absolutely delicious! Next up was street food from Mark Hix; a fish dog with french fries and tartare sauce. Apart from the sauce which was weirdly bitter, it was really good. At Saltyard we tried comforting and yummy truffle mac ‘n cheese which really hit the spot. And the street food place The Bowler, served two types of meatballs, so good we tried both varieties. Left is the Thai meatballs in coconut milk and right is the pork shoulder meatball with cumin soured cream. Both were delicious, but the shoulder variety in tomato sauce was a tad better than the other one. Both were served with slaw and rice.
All in all I had a good day, party thanks to the company, and partly because it was less crowded in the afternoon. It was really not worth going around lunch time. Hope it will improve until next year.