What if I told you that some restaurants in London have amazing secret dishes that are not listed on their menus but are available only for people who know about them!? How amazing would it be to try one of those dishes?
Well actually, you can, thanks to Eat off the Menu. The brainchild of Alex Mih I popped along to Zayane in Notting Hill a couple of weeks ago, to learn more about this new concept and to taste one of their exclusive off the menu dishes!
Zayane – named after one of the original Moroccan tribes – was opened just a little over a year ago, by head chef Meryem & her son Joe who wanted to bring genuine authentic Moroccan food to London and has already made its way into the Michelin Guide. I don’t think I’ve ever had Moroccan food before so I was excited to try something authentic.
Over a glass of Moroccan white Alex introduced himself as a self-confessed foodie who would often ask chefs to surprise him rather than ordering from a menu. He thought others might like this approach too so combed the city for restaurants with their own secret dishes and gathered them on his website so others could enjoy them too – the catch is you don’t get to find out which restaurant it is nor anything about the dish except a single picture.
We were treated to a wonderful three course feast starting with an incredibly rich dish of squid, chorizo and green olives with a hint of chilli. The portion was generous and I loved every bite of it with the chewiness of the seafood complemented by the crunch of the olives and the succulent sausage coating everything in its juices.
The main was of course the secret dish – not so secret anymore as I’m about to tell you what it was – flaky cod served on top of a bed of kale and served with a tomato sauce. Simple but delicious and fresh, oh so incredibly fresh. In Morocco mallow would have been used instead but as it doesn’t grow in the UK it has been substituted with kale to give the dish a British twist.
Finally for pudding we had a sweet apple tart served with ice cream. Something I would not have ordered in a million years as I am not a fan of hot fruit but that was absolutely outstanding with just the right ratio of pastry base, fruit and caramel sauce. I could easily have eaten a second slice!
If you’re interested in eating off the menu here’s how it works:
- Go to the EatOffTheMenu website and purchase your favourite secret dish.
- The name and location of the restaurant will be revealed to you via email. You can visit the restaurant anytime you want.
- Once you arrive, order the secret dish and show your electronic or printed receipt.
It’s not just secret dishes on offer either; you can get a selfie with the chef, learn how to cook a proper curry or even indulge in a full 5-course fine dining menu.
91 Golborne Road