Pinch, punch first of the month. Forget April, May is when everything goes down. Spring/Summer menus are announced, alfresco shindigs pop up across the City and people's resting bitch face generally starts to dissipate as they make the most of those blue soaked skies before the sporadic showers catch us all off guard and we're left with soggy sandals. Regardless of however shoddy the weather may turn though, we can always find salvation in summer inspired foods. We're all salivating thinking about those little mouthfuls of sunshine; and so here we go, our offerings of picnics on a plate, from us to you. Midsummer morsels cometh!
Ceviche Baja (£9) @ Casa Negra, Shoreditch
Douse yourself in this playground of Mehicana mischief where Mezcals, Tequilas and some of the best Mexican fare will have your tastebuds yearning for more. Pretty much most of their menu is divine in its own right, but in the spirit of Summer their Sea Bass Ceviche knocks it outta the freshly mown park and into a haven of fresh and fiery palates. Pomegranate and chipotle vinaigrette tease the senses whilst flakes of fish fall into your mouth. Mmm yes, I can hear you nodding.
Camaro No Abacaxi (£16) @ Floripa, Shoreditch
Champions of South American excess, Floripa are a festival of fun when it comes to colourful plates and pleasurable foods. In true exotic form, this next dish comes to you live from a pineapple ... yes, a pineapple people. A Brazilian blend of Rice cooked with Prawns, Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions and Coconut Milk topped with melted Mozzerella Cheese takes its summery stage whilst being cooked in the juicy innards of a pineapple. All together now: 'If you like Pina Coladaaaa's and gettin' caught in the rain'.
Nantucket Lobster Survival Bucket @ Skylounge Rooftop Bar, DoubleTree Hilton, Tower Hill
Skylounge have transformed their rooftop into a land of Nantucket nibbles, New England cuisine and Massachusetts mayhem all in the name of Summer. Chill on this rooftop pad where there'll be Surfside Punch and Snow Queen Vodka laced tipples to contend with. But, after all is said and done the Nantucket Lobster Survival Bucket is what we came for. Loaded with shellfish and crustaceans aplenty, dig, crack and scoop your way through this mound of seafood with fries and garlic aioli dip at the sidelines too. Guidelines included.
Memsahib's Mess Pudding (£5.20) @ Dishoom, King's Cross
For all you Bombay blokes and Delhi dolls out there, Dishoom is an Asian wonderland of aromatic flavours, spices and Indian cuisines. Take an edible journey through the cafe culture of India and delve into colonial stylings. Evoking the traditional dishes of the Indian continent, it's the Memsahib's Mess pudding that's got us all hot and bothered. Sink into this authentic Mumbai sweet once served to the Memsahibs of Malabar Hill, and with this mix of fresh cream, crushed meringue and strawberries with rose syrup and gulkand, you'll definitely reach Nirvana.
Raw Chopped Galloway Beef (£12) @ Craft London, Greenwich Peninsula
Newbies on the restaurant scene, Craft London are the slice of summer solctise we've been searching for. Set in the Greenwich Peninsula and overlooking some of London's greenest pastures including a botanical garden and orchard where the ingredients go from earth to eats right in their kitchen. It's with this fresh philosophy that their Raw Chopped Galloway Beef, Pear, Crisps and Salmon Roe caught our eye. Colourful, catching and it's got a crunch to it. Yes.
Asparagus & Scrambled Egg Brunch (£9) @ Stories, Broadway Market
Stories is where all the Broadway Market hustle and bustle come for a bit of refuge. Whilst storming the market streets is a Summer must, Stories is equally a charming little plot knocking up some of the best brunches in the East. Start your day with a Mediterranean medley of Asparagus, Feta, Scrambled Eggs, Nutmeg, Sourdough toast and Parma Ham. Italian meats and European inspired eats make a mean Summer dish in our books. Cha-ching.