there are few things i will go to west london for; food and friends just happen to make that very, very short list. so, when i heard about the newest pop-up food fair on street - pergola on the roof, over atop white city's own television centre, and found a bunch of pals equally as unimpressed with the idea of travelling west, but who also understand the lengths necessary to go to to thoroughly enjoy all of the london foodies scene's spoils, well...i think you know what happened next.
and considering the menu is pretty lengthy despite there only being four traders on show, i thought i'd help you out by taste-testing a lot of them for you, so that when you go, you can avoid the queues and go right for the winners. sound good? oh, and while we're on to passing along tips, here's a biggie: book a table. groups of six or more can reserve tables in advance, which will mean you won't have to get in the 200-deep, one-in-one-out queue snaking the length of the building outside.
rotisserie chicken with harissa yoghurt, corriander and pickled chilli and fat skin-on chips with scratching from lecoq. we were there bang on 6:30 and the line for lecoq was non existent at that time, so we started there. seemed to make sense to five hungry girls! i'm normally a chicken wings kind of girl, but seeing as the only wings on offer were from patty and bun, a restaurant i've tried before, it made sense to try something new.
the free-range chicken was perfectly seasoned, with the slightest hint of charcoal on the outer. my faaaave. seriously, i love the taste of charcoal, so bbq-burnt meat has always been a love of mine. i was expecting the harissa and chilli to be a lot more spicy than it was, whereas actually the herby spices were perfectly complimentary, and easily set the bar too bloody high for the rest of the evening.
if anything, there wasn't enough meat on the bones compared to the sauces atop, but those sauces just hung around as dipping sauces for the side dish: chips with scratching. omg, honestly, i don't know what i was expecting, but these chips blew my tiny mind! i love potatoes, and chips are up there as some all-time faves, but wedges i'm not usually a big fan of. these though, were cooked in the chicken oil, so were already seasoned a little saltier and tastier than normal. they were crunchy af, and with the scratching sprinkled over the top, were even meatier with ever second bite. these chips became the hero of the first course, and ones i'll not soon forget. at £4 a serve, i'd happily eat them every day. the chicken and chips: eat them.
hand dived scallop seared and served with chorizo crumb, from farm-to-table restaurant rabbit. this one's served in its own shell, after being seared on the kettle-drum bbq outside of the food truck. i'm sure everyone in the immediate area was coughing from smoke inhilation, but with such a pretty truck and such a tasty menu, i don't think there were too many complaints. plus, it's west london. people have manners, which is a nice change.
rabbit's british tapas menu was pretty hard to choose from, but in the end i will always choose seafood if it's on the menu, and i was interested to see how the sea salt and the spicy sausage worked together; let me tell you this: they work very well together. not as salty as you imagine, but definitely a fresher mouthful after the saltiness of those fat chips. the scallops: eat them.
charlie wouldn't stop talking about the courgette flowers from salt yard as apparently they're one of her favourite dishes evaaaaaaar, and because she opted to forgo them in favour of a pudding, i opted to eat one instead of a pudding. muhaha! the baby courgettes were stuffed with goats cheese, battered in tempura and deep fried, and then served with honey. honey! i mean seriously! as if that doesn't sound like the more moreish combination of flavours, ever!
so, yeah. i didn't go for a dessert in the end because after eating a full plate of courgette doused in sweet, sticky honey, i figured that was pretty much close enough. plus, the dessert options were all pretty samey, and i like to be different. the courgette flowers: eat them.
to wash it all down, the bar has a nice selection of themed cocktails alongside their house punch and a range of other happiness drinks. the yellow one - can't quite remember what it's called but it had a lot of actual ginger and lime in it, and looked like it was made to sit on the beautifully tiled bar. after three pretty filling dishes and a large glass of the rooftop punch, it was nice to get something zesty into my belly to refresh me a little bit. the yellow one: drink it.
so, i hope that's helped you pre-plan your dinner menu for when you head out to visit pergola yourself. it's only there now for about another month before it disappears as quickly as our summer sun does, so if you're up for a trek out west, i can guarantee you won't be disappointed. could anyone be though, when the roof top is serving such mykonos realness and there's enough bougainvillea to sink a ship? no. i think not.
*my meals were complimentary; all thoughts are my own*