There was a time, not so long ago, when the word that a new restaurant in town had opened, had you hot footing it down there to steal the ashtray and collect the matches while dining on all the alcohol you could possibly manage and shooting the calorie counter up to eleven. The naughtier and more generously appointed the dish the better.
As the years have gone by however the courses, as opposed to the prices, have gotten smaller: We had nouvelle cuisine morphing into bacon and egg ice cream, and eventually just bits of air floating about in a clear glass dome on a plate.
So, just when the menus of hip and happening restaurants had become so absurd and gone beyond you even asking for the chef’s recipe book for Christmas – solely for coffee table decoration – we finally pulled ourselves together and decided what was interesting was what actually might be good for us to eat. Good in a kind of ‘I am superhuman, I live in the Noughties (are we still in those by the way?) I am immune to any new disease mankind may throw at me. Bring on the kale! Bring on the bizarre South American herbs! Bring on the sense of worthiness/smugness I will obtain just by looking at this food on my plate!’
Farmacy, one of the latest restaurants currently fascinating London town fits this particular bill.
I sauntered through the autumnal leafily-decorated doorway a couple of weeks ago to ask if they’d like me to write a blog post for them.
“Nah. To be honest we just don’t need any more press” I was told. “Have you been here at breakfast/lunch/dinner – the queues are around the block??!!!”
Americanisms aside, currently the health-life of me and almost everyone I know predominate most conversations. Who knows how we all got here? Is it our age? Or in what’s become an inadvertent foodie country, is it finally fashionable to get back to (albeit sophisticated) basics?
I sat up at the breakfast bar. All gleamed around me from the shine on every piece of glassware I could see to the hair of the beautiful blonde children running about the place – momentarily escaping from the large plate of heaped greens they were supposed to be eating.
A ‘London Town’ smoothie was my first ‘dish’. “I’ll take an extra shot of milk thistle with that please” I said to my waiter. The bottle appeared before me. It also glimmered in this sunnily lit Notting Hill eaterie. With the tang of pineapple and comforting smoothness of banana, a faint whiff of ‘Hawaian Tropic’ – the coconut water led me to that – and an accent of berries, I had to admit they’d got the name right. I mused on how they came to it: the seduction of a big city and all that it has to offer, with the edge of how hard you have to work at being here and the ever present thought of when you can next get away from it. Good call, Farmacy.
Next I had the ‘Bee Grateful’ porridge. Not your usual slam a few oats into a saucepan with some milk and heat on the stove kind of way, but a cold one with chia seeds, spirulina yogurt, crunchy almonds, fresh fruit and Bee pollen. I recalled Bee pollen was a bit ‘last year’ but never mind, I could excuse that this once. My spoon slipped through caviar like textures to green creaminess below as I scooped out a luscious mouthful. A halo practically appeared over my head.
A Turmeric latte finished off my morning repast. Feeling virtuous and nourished, I picked up my things to go. The unique ‘double-walled’ glass of my libation/s would go down well at home I thought. But dare I pick it up and deposit it surreptitiously in my bag? No. That era, dear reader, is well and truly over.