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Tales of roe: the London restaurants serving up fish eggs

Richard Ehrlich

Eggs are trending big-time at the moment. But there’s another trend in eggs at the moment, and it’s no yolk. This is the fishy variety, specifically cod’s, and more specifically smoked. We’ve spotted it recently at three leading-edge places.

First was Mark Sergeant’s small-plates specialist Morden & Lea near Leicester Square, where the eggs are served in a delicate purée topped with yet another fishy egg: bottarga, traditionally from grey mullet. You’ll need extra sourdough toast to mop up every single egg (or just lick the plate). Next came the brand-new Oldroyd on Upper Street, where a similar purée is fairy-dusted with celery salt and served with crunchy radishes. Insert radish in roe, then in mouth; prepare to swoon. And finally at the mega-deluxe Kitty Fisher’s in Mayfair, where you’ll find the unborn codlings whipped to a silky froth (Kitty Fisher was an eighteenth-century courtesan) and marched onto the table with dainty soldiers for dipping.

You probably know cod’s roe best in its role in taramasalata, maybe of the toothpaste-pink variety. It’s capable of much, much more. And some of London’s best restaurants know it. Wake up and smell the eggs.

Want more egg-citing news? Egg restaurants are the latest London food trend.

Image: Andrew Reid Wildman

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