Every car park, rooftop and towpath at the more trendy end of London is filling up fast with food trucks, fancy cocktails and, if you're lucky, the odd art installation. Red Market, one of London's first pop-up street food markets (est. 2011) has now reopened for another season of alfresco revelry. Food this year includes tandoor-cooked rotis from the head chef of Whitechapel Punjabi restaurant Tayyabs and pizzas from Voodoo Ray's in Dalston. There will also be cocktails, DJ sets and a fake beach. What more could you wish for in the capital? Good weather, perhaps?
Find out more about Red Market. Not in your area? Find more great London markets.
288-299 Old St, EC1V 9DP. Open Wed-Sat, 5pm-midnight.
This Greek spot in Marylebone didn’t exactly hit the ground running. In Opso’s first month it took me three visits to find the kitchen in full tilt. Visit one had a partial menu. On visit two the restaurant was unexpectedly closed. A stoic third attempt was rewarded with some excellent meze dishes. Opso blends its modern architectural look with a contemporary menu of small plate dishes – mezédes – that are pimped up almost beyond recognition. ‘Taramas cream’ (taramasalata) was a world away from bright pink supermarket tubs. Served with crisp olive crackers, the pale, untinged cod roe was delicate and fresh. Served as a dessert, tsoureki – a brioche-like bread usually eaten at Easter – was like a panettone in appearance and lightness. This, like all the other baked goods, was made in house. It came flavoured with mahlab and mastic, traditional Greek spices made from cherry kernels and tree resin respectively, giving it a distinctive, almost bitter almond or cedar aroma. Served with clotted cream and sour cherry jam, it was like an Attic afternoon tea. Not all dishes were improved by modernisation, though. Pastitsio is usually a lasagne-like slab of macaroni baked with ground beef and béchamel sauce: comfort food. But here the elements were deconstructed and swapped around, then plated in a mound, ‘MasterChef Greece’-style. Although the allspice flavours in the beef were good, tagliatelle-style pasta was a fiddle too far. The simpler dishes worked best, such as the dakos,