hiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeee, remember in the summer when the girls and i headed to television centre's pergola on the roof and had a deliiiiiisious experience? yeah? well, they're back. but not for long, so last friday night, the girls and i (and brett) headed back for the winter edition, to see what the nordic forest had to bring to the (proverbial)(and literal, i guess) table.
first point to note: it looks reeeeeally cool. in the summer it was all ivy and wysteria covered and full of fairy lights and it was hot and sunny and wonderful and life was good. now it's cold, and the foodie market event is on a roof in west london. so, i was concerned about being cold, and dry. but i needn't have because.. it's literally under a pergola now! they have built a weather-appropriate plastic pergola over the top of the wooden frames that kept the sun out over the summer, and added some heaters and log fires and pine trees and.. stuff.. and it's very nordic!
now, the food. it's nearly aaaaall different from the summer offering, and weirdly, hardly nordic at all. there's mulled cider and christmas drinks, and a danish inspired restaurant, but other than that.. nah, not much. so, i was surprised to see le bao there. i've still not been able to get into their london restaurant when i've tried, so i was so keeeeen to start there. again, not very nordic - or christmassy, but yum. except: the staff were super rude and totally unfriendly, and not very efficient, which was a pretty annoying way to kick off the visit.
but, the bao buns? incredible. i went for the lamb and the pork (£5 and £4 respectively) buns, and a side of pork croquettes (£4). the buns were far tastier than the croquettes, which were just a little.. crunchy. the yuzu sauce was deeeeelish though, so full points here - minus all the points for them being dicks. still, get them both and be happy.
the only restaurant that i recognised from the last time was patty & bun. i avoided them the last time because there were so many other great places to try, but this time i really fancied their winger winger chicken wings (£6) and their herby chips (£3), so i ordered both. if you've ever been to patty & bun, you will know how great these chips are. twice cooked and crunchy af, and seasoned to perfection, they're the best. plus, there's always loooooads of excess sauce on the wings (you get about eight in a portion - lots!), which is great for dipping the chips in to keep that flavour sensation going. yes to both.
the final treat came by way of the only danish-inspired restaurant in the place: snaps and rye. both leanne and i were taken by the chocolate brownie with winter berry compote with skyr and yoghurt snow (whaaaat)(£6), so it was only sensible that we both indulged. there weren't a lot of other dessert options on show (i was gutted the courgette flower wasn't there this time, but still), and i really fancied something warm - in keeping with the wintery theme. the chocolate was riiiich af, but the skyr was true to form and typically pretty sour. i'm not the biggest skyr fan, i just don't really think it tastes very good. paired with the really rich chocolate though, it really worked. the snow could have been made from anything, it was pretty much just decoration, but the three main flavours - chocolate, berry and skyr, really combined to make a fabbbbulous pudding. i was a big fan, and so shall you be.
well, that is so long as you go while it's still on. the nordic variety of the food festival is only around for a few more weeks, so if you want to sample any of these five items yourself, you'll have to do it soon. the pergola at the television centre closes on the 23rd of december, so you'd better get your ice skates on.
*our dishes were complimentary, but all delicious descriptions are my own*