Some Restaurants in London have secret dishes that you won’t find on the menu. Who knew? And why didn’t you tell me?! EatOffTheMenu is a fairly new website that allows you to order these secret dishes to eat at restaurants all over London. Alex, the founder, chooses the dishes that are available from his site. He sources out restaurants with a story to tell about these secret dishes and makes them available to order. I went along to a special dinner put on by Alex at Zayane, in Notting Hill
The decorations were very on point for this Moroccan restaurant, with intricate lampshades and pretty, patterned plates. We were welcomed with glasses of wine and introduced to Alex. It was great to have the owner of EatOffTheMenu sit and eat with us, as we all had a lot of questions about this concept, so it was very handy to have him there whilst we experienced his business first hand.
As we were served our starters, chewy squid, spicy chorizo & salty green olives, Alex told us more about how EatOffTheMenu came about. Being a massive foodie in London, Alex wanted to try as many new dishes as he could, so when he went out dining, he would ask the restaurant chefs to surprise him. Seeing how much most of these chefs enjoyed showing off some of their favourite creations, Alex decided to share these secret dishes with everyone, with the consent of the chefs, of course, and so, EatOffTheMenu was born. There is still a level of secrecy as you don’t know exactly what the dish is, or where it will be served before booking. You’re just given a single photo of the dish and an area in London where the restaurant is based.
Finally, it was time to find out what our secret dish of the evening was.
Zayane’s secret dish was succulent flakes of cod atop a bed of kale, surrounded by a Moroccan spiced tomato sauce. It’s not something I’d have personally picked, but it was actually really delicious. The tomato sauce wasn’t too spicy and overpowering, instead it complemented the soft, fresh fish. As we were all enjoying our mains, the chef came out to meet us all and to tell us about this dish. Traditionally, this dish would be served with mallow, but as it is not grown here in the UK, he’s used kale instead which has given it a great little British twist. It was lovely to hear the story behind the how this particular dish was created. It really does make you enjoy and appreciate it so much more.
I had stupidly forgotten to ask about vegetarian options before planning our dining experience, but the chef was more than happy to whip up a scrumptious looking soup for Claire. It’s so lovely with a restaurant is so accommodating.
Our night wasn’t over once our mains had been eaten, as we were treated to the yummiest apple pie I have ever eaten. I don’t usually like it, but thought it would be rude not to give it a try, and I can tell you, I ate every last bite. I would go back to Zayane just for another bowl!
If you’re not too fussy about your food, and love being adventurous when eating out, then I’d definitely recommend EatOffTheMenu. You never know, you might get to eat at a Michelin starred restaurant, just like we did!
* I was invited along to try EatOffTheMenu for free, but rest assured, all words and opinions are my own 🙂
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