Do you know your kimchi from your kraut juice? by Lottie Wilkins

Food and Drink
lucre on January 10, 2018

Discard deep-fried grasshoppers, step away from the burger, the brunch bubble has burst people, but you Avocado, you can stay!!

Would you like an Instagram optimisation kit with your table for four? What the devil is Japanese Dude Food? Tried fish cooked in vinegar? By the end of 2018, you’ll know all the answers to these questions and more if food trend experts are to be believed.

According to the restaurant consultancy company Baum+Whiteman and as we’ve previously reported, Filipino food is where it’s at this year. Luto, chef Mary San Pablo’s London supper club, is most definitely worth trying – paksiw na isda (fish cooked in vinegar) pork belly Adobo and cuttlefish Pallabok with strawberries, lemon and avocado for dessert, what’s not to love? Filipino street food experts BBQ Dreams in London (@bbqdreamz) and Manila Munchies in Birmingham ­(@ManilaMunchies) are all riding the Filipino fast train to food heaven too.

2018 will be the year of the old bird. 100-day-old chickens (most commercial chickens are slaughtered at 60 days) or gamy cockerels will be viewed as the ‘Pengest Munch’ (thanks, the Chicken Connoisseur). Try HG Walters or The Ginger Pig – both are extraordinary butchers, with fans such as The River Café, Nigella, Gordon and Jamie!

Sayonara, sushi; hello, Japanese “dude food”. Think deep-fried chicken karaage, agedashi tofu and grilled yakitori chicken skewers. Sosharu, Jason Atherton’s restaurant is leading the Japanese “pub grub” charge, lesser mortals are sure to follow. According to the Sterling-Rice Group’s Culinary Trends 2018 report Asian-inspired breakfasts such as jianbing – Chinese crepes smothered with hoisin sauce and filled with egg, are about to land in the UK too. Feeling some Hawaiian flavours? Then poke bowls are for you. Big in America last year, this ‘sushi without the fuss’ is customisable, healthy, delicious and most importantly, an Instagram favourite.

Restaurants including Dirty Bones in Kensington are introducing Instagram optimisation kits (tripods, wide-angle lenses, phone chargers) to help diners snap the heck out of their three courses. However, at the other end of the scale, more are banning phones outright – don’t try and post from St John’s Dining Room, Locanda Locatelli or the Chelsea Arts Club.

Sales of fermented foods show no sign of slowing, as we all feel the benefits of eating more natural probiotics. Though off-the-shelf, little bottles of milky coloured liquid are convenient, they’re not the best source of natural probiotics – fermented or pickled cabbage is. Kimchi is exactly that, hailing from Korea and sauerkraut or kraut juice is pulped pickled German cabbage. In the US, whole supermarket aisles are devoted to spicy kimchi shots and tangy sauerkraut juice. Sounds too healthy? Try a Pickleback instead (whisky with a pickle juice chaser).

Along with this cornucopia of culinary delights, 2018 will also see a rise in Veganism. We welcome wonky veg and we’ll be eating this wonky veg root to tip. We’ll be partial to sip on booze-free bevvies as mocktail mania takes hold. Tacos will be raising their game; breakfast tacos, chocolate tacos, sushi tacos and shaved jicama tacos stuffed with pokē. It’s endless.

Though one of our least favourite food trends is gourmet food for pre-schoolers – we’re all for our little ones eating well, but Fois Gras for four-year-olds? That doesn’t rock our world!