One of the new trends in the restaurant industry in London is menus with fewer dishes, conflicting with restaurants that offer a wider range of dishes. Some restaurants prefer a unique style of cooking to create this reduced menu, often using one key ingredient.
But where has this new trend come from?
When the economic crisis struck a few years ago, in order to contrast the depressing atmosphere in the restaurant industry, many launched new brands offering one or two premium plates, with chosen ingredients and combined skilfully. The benefits were evident. With a reduced menu, they could cut off costs. In fact the same ingredients used as the base for all the dishes resulted in a lowering of food waste. On the other hand reducing the number of dishes to choose allowed chefs to be able to offer a high quality service, thus reducing costs and risks.
The use of two or three key ingredients, allows restaurants to crate strong relationships with their own suppliers. This takes advantage of another trend of the century: clients priorities are no longer the calorific content of the dish, but knowing about where the food they are eating originates from.
Amongst the restaurants that follow this new trend there is Polenteria in Soho. First restaurant of its type, Polenteria benefits from the versatility of a millennial and simple dish such as polenta, creating sweet and salty combinations. When it comes to street food, Mr Piadina in Camden town offers the best piadina romagnola (Italian stuffed flatbread), using fresh ingredients directly exported from Italy. On Portobello Road in Notting Hill instead there is Tonda, with the best pizza in London according to many.
Given the benefits, in time London will most likely have a more ‘reduced menu’ restaurants.
There isn’t an obvious reason why this trend would die soon. The restaurant industry in London is extremely competitive, but a good dose of creativity and differentiation can be the roots of a successful business.