Location: The Roof, Selfridges 400 Oxford Street, London
Remember the lucky dip round on Ready Steady Cook?
The final ten minutes where the guest celebrity chefs were handed a bag of random ingredients to make speciality dishes. Well, very similarly I had the pleasure to dine at London Selfridges, exclusive pop up WastED. Located on the rooftop, the concept comes from internationally acclaimed Blue Hill restaurant chef Dan Barber. Originally opened in New York, he has now come to London for a short period to share his idea, working alongside the Selfridges team and a number of Guest chefs from the UK and Europe.
His aim is to “bring to life a passion for building better platforms for sustainability” by utilising scraps of food and transforming them into delicious meals using a selected range of ingredients, whilst supporting local and regional food systems.
Each night stars a guest chef who will create their own meal using the same concept and which would be the “special” on the menu. The night I visited the guest chef was Nuno Mendes; head chef at Chiltern firehouse and I had the pleasure of meeting him. The chef also selects their own playlist which would feature on the night.
The same concept was adopted by the bar and we began our night with the cocktail special of the night “Melon Rind Negroni” created by Neil Donachie which contained Gin, Campari, Martini Rosato, melon rind infusion and chopping board pickle.
We then went on to have our starters. Dishes are best eaten shared. The first was “Wasted Bread” which consisted of bran and barista milk bread, pea skin hard bread, Napoleonic margarine, whipped jamon drippings and whey ricotta.
We also had the “Salt Beef Ends Burrito” served with blood and bran crepe, chickweed and pepper brine hot sauce.
The final starter, which was my favourite was “Rescued Veal Nuggets” served with smoked tomato seconds ketchup, mango scrap and ginger mulch chutney and ash mayonnaise.
For mains we shared the “Lamb Tail Lasagne” which was my favourite main, served with pasta trim and parmesan rinds. We also had the “Juice Pulp Bacon Cheeseburger” which was served in a repurposed bread bun with waste piccalilli, beetroot runoff ketchup and bacon from a waste- fed pig, one of the most popular dishes on the menu. Oh and not forgetting the extra surprise which was not on the menu but bought over by one of the chefs on the night; a pizza made from waste ingredients which tasted amazing!
Finally, my most favourite dish was dessert. We decided to try the “Treacle Waffle” made from waffle scrap and the “Panna Cotta”.
As well as the food, the Selfridges team had transformed the rooftop to fit the theme with unique furniture, décor and tableware from lamps made from mushrooms to chairs created from artichoke thistle, allowing customers to rethink reused materials in a creative and sustainable way.
Overall, I was very sceptical about trying some of the dishes on the menu; however each one surprised me and tasted really good. I do think some of the dishes were slightly over priced, but was a great experience and a very thought provoking concept.