Wish List — 2017

It wasn’t really that bad. But, still, 2016 be gone.

Here’s my seventh annual Wish List — a marginally more macro version of my monthly to do’s. I’m never really sure whether I write them as a personal prompt, or as a vague predictor of things that we all might get involved in over the twelve months that follow.

Whichever, in 2017 I hope to enjoy some or all of the following:

1. Dumplings

Back in March last year, I noted that it felt we (London) were about to get a upgrade on our dumpling options. There were a few indy uprisings — My Neighbours the Dumplings, a bunch of new Mama Lans, Dumpling Heart, and Dumpling Shack to name a few. Well, I think and hope that it really is going to kick off in 2017. Not least because word has it that Din Tai Fung will be opening in London this year. I have an inkling John Li’s excellent Dumpling Shack shengjianbaos will be available under a roof too, not just in an East London playground. And rapidly expanding restaurant group Ennismore’s Dumpy Lynn strikes me as a good idea, if it happens.

The more dumplings the merrier, as far as I’m concerned. For what it’s worth, I don’t limit this to dumplings of east Asian origin — Mike and Ollie’s Turkish manti in Flat Iron square and Ukrainian varenyky via one of Olia Hercules’ pop-ups are on my hit list. Does anywhere do a really good pierogi?

2. Fermentation and vegetable plots

I’ve dabbled with fermentation over the last few years. But this year is the year I really annoy my wife with the number of fizzing crocks dotted around our not-nearly-big-enough kitchen and living room. All sorts of buds, leaves, vegetables and fruits will get the brining treatment. She’s going to love it.

Also, I’m going to get back on the sourdough making and start a balcony vegetable plot. Even if the world doesn’t implode, it’ll be good to be a little more sustainable.

3. Recipe books

Consuming cookbooks has become a bit of a habit. Last year’s harvest was a pretty good one, and no doubt there’ll be many more to add to the collection over the next few months; both well publicised new tomes, plus a few under the radar slow burners too.

I look forward, in particular, to books from Mina Holland (oral history on the food that made us), Tim Siadatan (Trullo), Rachel Roddy (on Sicily), and Olia Hercules (on the Caucasus). Hopefully mine will sit nicely next to their’s on your shelf …

4. Beyond zone 1

Sure, some new jazzy restaurants will open in central London this year; there seems to be an awful lot of big name, big money restaurants lined up. But it’ll be all about the interesting and independent places opening outside zone 1. Whether that’s Camberwell, Clapton, Camden or Cornwall.

Also, I want to go and eat in Sicily and at Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

5. The weekend supplements

I still find the weekend supplements to be a great resource. There are always at least a couple of things that I would never have thought of or cooked had I not browsed every recipe. And a handful more that remind me of dishes or ingredients I’d been meaning to get to. So perhaps you will be pleased to know that #Supplemental will continue [for six months more at least].