Zingy, fresh and light, its 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 Morales Ceviche, 17 Frith St, London, W1D 4RG; 020 7292 2040; cevicheuk.com, for some damn fine anticuchos ( small pieces of skewered meat).
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 youre next on a Singapore Airlines flight.
Half bitter, half sweet wholly delicious, we cant get enough of the Count de Negronis 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.
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.
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 Waddingtons newbie Hoi Polloi, above, at the Ace, 100 Shoreditch High St, London, E1 6JQ; 020 8880 6100; hoi-polloi.co.uk, or Simon Rogans two superlative restaurants in Manchesters Midland Hotel, The French, The Midland Hotel, Peter Street, Manchester, M60 2DS; 0161 236 3333; the-french.co.uk
Korean food has exploded like a supernova this year and were not complaining. We cant get enough of Kobas, 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...
It smells like an old shoe, tastes worse and costs the earth whats 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, were looking at you Rock Lobsta at Mahiki). And caviar at Ruskis 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?
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 Prezzos burger, chicken and rib concept, Cleaver, deserves a mention, too no, just no.
To misquote - ever-so slightly - Charles I, doughnuts and croissants are clean different things. We dont want a cronut, above, and we certainly wouldnt spend two hours queuing for one of chef Dominique Ansels artery cloggin creations. And Greggs version, the abominable Greggsnut dont even talk to us about that.
The Burger Trend
A new burger joint opens in London about once every four seconds and, quite frankly, weve had enough. We want dinner on a plate. We want something we can eat with a knife and fork. And we dont want to queue for it, thanks very much Shake Shack and Five Guys.