Food trends of 2013

What were the best - and the worst...

MOST POPULAR

THE GOOD

Peruvian

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Zingy, fresh and light, it’s not hard to grasp why the Peruvian food juggernaut keeps rumbling on. Head to Lima, 31 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 1JH; 0203 002 2640; limalondon.com, which made its debut in the Michelin guide this year, for the best ceviche this side of the Amazon basin. Or pop in to Martin Morale’s Ceviche, 17 Frith St, London, W1D 4RG; 020 7292 2040; cevicheuk.com, for some damn fine anticuchos ( small pieces of skewered meat).

MOST POPULAR

Eclairs

This feather-light tea-time treat has had something of a facelift this year – eclairs now come with flair. Try them at restaurant du jour Berners Tavern, 10 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NP; 020 7781 0000; edition-hotels.marriott.com/london, which serves a toothsome caramel apple and calvados version, and at Michelin-starred Yauatcha, 15-17 Broadwick St, London, W1F 0DL; 020 7494 8888; yauatcha.com, which sells them piped full of hazelnut praline or with cherries, and manjari chocolate crumb (above) . And you can even grab the Maison Blanc version when you’re next on a Singapore Airlines flight.

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Negroni

Half bitter, half sweet – wholly delicious, we can’t get enough of the Count de Negroni’s eponymous drink. Head to Banca, 30 North Audley Street, London, W1k 6ZF; 0207 647 252; bancarestaurant.com, in Mayfair and make your way through their 10-strong negroni menu or go east to the negroni bar at Polpo Smithfield, above, 3 Cowcross St, London, EC1M 6DR; 020 7250 0034, polpo.co.uk.

Skinny Champagne

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Increasingly a party-circuit staple, this low-sugar champagne has only 6g of sugar (rather than 15g) per bottle – and still manages to taste great, too. A boon for calorie-counters. Try Alexandre Penet Brut Nature Cuvée Grand Cru, £49; thomsonandscott.com , or Finest Fizz Lopez-Martin 'Henri Martin' Extra Brut, £37.50, finestfizz.biz, which has a weight-conscious zero grams of sugar per litre, and we love it.

Hotel Dining

MOST POPULAR

Not so long ago, hotel dining rooms were places where good cooking went to die. But this year, that all changed. Check out the triumphant Berners Tavern at the London Edition, 10 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NP; 020 7781 0000; edition-hotels.marriott.com/london, David Waddington’s newbie Hoi Polloi, above, at the Ace, 100 Shoreditch High St, London, E1 6JQ; 020 8880 6100; hoi-polloi.co.uk, or Simon Rogan’s two superlative restaurants in Manchester’s Midland Hotel, The French, The Midland Hotel, Peter Street, Manchester, M60 2DS; 0161 236 3333; the-french.co.uk

Nouveau Korean

Korean food has exploded like a supernova this year – and we’re not complaining. We can’t get enough of Koba’s, 11 Rathbone Street, London, W1T 1NA; 020 7580 8825, lauded Soondoobu Jjigae seafood stew and its just -opened sister eastery, On The Bab , 305 Old Street, London EC1V 9LA, onthebab.com , which does a tasty line in anju - Korean party food .

AND THE NOT SO GOOD...

Matcha Powder

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It smells like an old shoe, tastes worse and costs the earth – what’s not to hate about the caffeinated green powder that is popping up everywhere from Starbucks (matcha latte, anyone?) to The Wholefoods Market( where you can buy 30g of the powdered stuff for £25)? . How about a cappuccino instead?

Food in nightclubs

Eating a lobster roll in a nightclub is never a good look (yes, we’re looking at you Rock Lobsta at Mahiki). And caviar at Ruski’s Tavern? Hmmm, do you really want to smell of sturgeon all night? How about eating your dinner and then going out?

Poncey Menu Description

Yes, Mr Restaurateur, your chicken might be ‘hand reared’, ‘bio dynamic’ and possibly ‘line caught’ – but where exactly did it come from? How about your keep the menu- posing to a minimum and just giving us the facts instead?

High-concept Restaurants

The product of one- too- many hours in that ‘imaginarium’ meeting ( no, me either). There have been a rash of them this year, including the egregiously bad Whyte and Brown, the ‘free-range chicken and egg’ joint, and Tanner & Co, which is modelled on a school gymnasium. Oh and Prezzo’s ‘burger, chicken and rib concept, Cleaver, deserves a mention, too – no, just no.

Cronuts

Image Getty

To misquote - ever-so slightly - Charles I, doughnuts and croissants are clean different things. We don’t want a cronut, above, and we certainly wouldn’t spend two hours queuing for one of chef Dominique Ansel’s artery cloggin’ creations. And Greggs’ version, the abominable Greggsnut … don’t even talk to us about that.

The Burger Trend

A new burger joint opens in London about once every four seconds – and, quite frankly, we’ve had enough. We want dinner on a plate. We want something we can eat with a knife and fork. And we don’t want to queue for it, thanks very much Shake Shack and Five Guys.

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