Britons love their food. From feasts of old to oh-so modern brunches, our days are planned around our meals, and our lives governed by our stomachs. As a result, some of the best dishes in the world have originated from our small isle – fish and chips, the roast dinner, the Full English. Need we go on?
But, with such quintessentially British grub – quite literally – under our belts, some of these dishes run the risk of growing old and getting cold. Which is where a whole host of exciting young entrepreneurs and eateries come in – bold and talented Brits at the vanguard of gastronomic reinvention. Here’s our pick of the best businesses putting their own unique spin on classic cuisine.
Kerbisher & Malt
A little over five years ago, London-based Kerbisher & Malt opened their first shop – and revolutionised fish and chips in the city. A classic British dish, you may not think there was a way to update such a meal. The name pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?
But you’d be wrong. At Kerbisher & Malt, you choose from one of four fish: haddock, plaice, cod or coley, and then decide if you want it battered, grilled or deep-fried in matzo breadcrumbs. Offered with lemon mayonnaise, fennel & dill salad and the classics, such as mushy peas and bread and butter, this is a traditional dish imbued with new life (and lots and lots of vinegar). A classic, bettered – and battered.
The roast dinner is the cornerstone of most people’s Sundays for a reason. It’s hearty, tasty, and so British that it almost hurts. So surely no-one could possibly reinvent it successfully? If it ain’t broke, and all that…
But along comes Roast, an uber-successful British eatery that has taken the roast dinner – and crammed it into a bun. Carved beef, ale and mustard cheddar, kale, cabbage all sitting pretty inside a roast potato bun (which is exactly what it sounds like). Add a side of red wine onion gravy, and you’ve got a winning combination. The roast dinner – reinvented.
Ah, the full English. A trusty fry-up, and surely the most convincing argument that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But the meat masters over at Hawksmoor clearly decided that it could be done better. And they were right.
Hawksmoor, an award winning British steakhouse, launched their breakfast in 2010, and it has steadily climbed the brunch ladder to become one of the most lauded and decadent meals in London. This isn’t your usual fried eggs and sausages. Think Short Rib Bubble and Squeak. Think Dripping Toast. Think a full Bacon Chop. Think gravy imbued with HP Sauce. A classic, improved.