Weekends are for fun. Weekends are for friends. Weekends are for fitting in as many activities as you can possibly cram in over such a brief – but enjoyable – period of time. Our favourite way to spend our days off is, of course, by eating great food and drinking great drinks. Living in a city like London, you'll never be lacking for a range of ace and tasty events running over the weekend. But choosing which ones are worth your precious presence (and, moreover, worth the Google Calendar invite) is a bit more difficult.
After all, there's nothing worse than spending your Saturday and Sunday at an event with limp burgers and weak cocktails. To help you make the most of your time off work and away from your glass office, we've created this handy little weekend round-up of the best food and drink events going on across the city. Anything you think we missed out? Well, feel free to be in touch with the events that you think we should be covering next week!
Looking for somewhere to celebrate Diwali and International Pasta Day? You've come to the right place. Truffles, tartufo, and a brand-new Tonkotsu also make up the numbers on this week's weekend guide. Get eating.
20 things to do in London this weekend
1. Diwali at Brigadiers
21-27 October; 1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR
Brigadiers is offering a limited-edition four-course Diwali feast menu from 21-27 October, so prepare yourself for a spate of Brigadiers classics alongside a special Diwali dish for each course, starting with pappadoms and chutney, raj kachori, and masala chicken skins appetisers. Mouth-watering starters include Bharwana aloo tikki and channa masala, butter chicken wings and Amritsari fish pao. Sharing main courses of Sikandari kid goat shoulder, maharaja chicken biryani and wood roast pumpkin butter masala served with sarson ka saag, dal and rice accompaniments should see you off right. For guests who still have room for dessert, there’s an impressive Diwali mithai sweet platter to send you fully into a food coma. Those looking for more of a high-octane Diwali celebration can enjoy a full Bollywood takeover from 26-27 October featuring live dancing performances from the London School of Bollywood accompanied by a Bollywood Fusion DJ set and a traditional dhol drum player.
2. Trishna Diwali
21-27 October; 15-17 Blandford Street, W1U 3DG
High class, high-quality Indian restaurant Trishna is serving up an impressive six-course Diwali tasting menu from 21-27 October. The tasting menu will offer the best of contemporary Indian coastal cuisine including a wealth of dishes such as nandu varuval soft shell crab, hariyali bream, tandoori lamb chops and kozhikode chicken masala. The vegetarian (but no less exciting) 6-course menu is stuffed to the brim with plates of coconut and corn tikki, paneer tikka anardana, and Iyengar aubergine varuval. Both menus finish with a choice of either jaggery and banana kheer or a saffron poached pear cheesecake. Intimate candle light and live acoustic music? That only adds to the overall experience.
3. Celebrate Diwali with Dishoom at Dinerama
22 October; 19 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3EJ
If there's one thing we love more than alliteration here at Foodism, it's a food festival. Which is why you can guess that we're fairly pleased that Dishoom is once again celebrating Diwali at Dinerama with another cracker of an event this year. Taking place on 22 October, this festival of light boasts a never-seen-before line-up of South Asian musical talent as well as first-class vegetarian street food. People of all backgrounds, faiths and persuasions are invited to share in the spirit of Diwali and bask in the lights and splendour of the venue. All, of course, while filling yourself with food from Dinerama's resident traders and Dishoom's very own pop-up stalls. Guests can get intimate with Dishoom's jackfruit biryani and a brand-new shakarkandi chaat street food creation from Chef Naved. Tickets are priced at £8 and £1 from each ticket will be donated to Seeds of Peace, a charity working with young people in areas of conflict to breakdown barriers and inspire peace. Lovely, lovely, lovely.
4. 'Nyamming 3: Grounding' at Island Social Club
24 October; 258 Kingsland Road, E8 4DG
For the third edition of Nyamming – a dining event that investigates and explores the goods traditions of the Caribbean, Island Social Club is joining forces with vegan Jamaican chef, Dee's Table. Hosted at Island Social Club, expect an evening of plant-based dishes inspired by Ital cooking. From 7-11pm, the four course dinner will be accompanied by discussion and debate, connecting diners back to the food we eat with dishes formed from British seasonality and Caribbean flavours. Each course is designed to provide an understanding of the Ital way and how it can influence our appetites today. Learning about high and low-vibration foods, how to live simply through gaining an understanding, appreciation, and connection to the food you eat. Tickets for the evening are priced at £45 per person (£69 with cocktail pairing) and include four courses with four paired drinks from ISC co-founder, Joseph Pilgrim.
5. Diwali at Ooty
24 October; 66 Baker Street, W1U 7DJ
Waltz down Baker Street to Ooty on 24 October for a Diwali dinner to remember. Offering 30% off food and performances from acclaimed Indian dance troupe The Bollywood Co for the occasion, this dinner also coincides with the launch of Ooty's new à la carte menu. What luck! Choose from new starters including a punchy yellow chilli and mustard salmon with burani yoghurt, saffron cream and cucumber roll or a tamarind-glazed peppered quail with a side of quinoa squash cake and a quail scotch egg. New mains include a fragrant Hyderabadi dum gosht biryani, rifling with tender lamb and apricot, and an upmarket take on the street food favourite of ragda chana. And that's not even mentioning the cracking vegetarian options and the decadent in-house desserts. Ooty's Diwali dinner will take place from 6-11pm. Be there.
6. Black pudding burger at Burger Boy
24 October; 51-53 Rupert Street, W1D 7PQ
Black Pudding Day is 24 October. Why do you need to know that? Well, Street Food Union's resident burger dons at Burger Boy are releasing a limited-edition menu for the occasion that'll feature a classic 30-day-dry beef patty fused with Clonakilty Black pudding, topped with red onion and lettuce, wedged in a delicious soft brioche bun. Yep. It's the closest thing we're getting the Bleecker Black in 2019. Pair that burger with crunchy deep-fried black pudding crisps with a tangy chipotle mayo or get a black pudding crumb sprinkled over your fries to do the day in style. It's available for one day only. Be quick.
7. International Pasta Day at Al Dente
25 October; 51 Goodge Street, W1T 1TG
Celebrate International Pasta Day at Al Dente on 25 October. With traditional recipes sourced from Italy's best regions and cooked at the perfect cottura al dente, Al Dente's pasta-heavy menu is ideal for sampling on a day dedicated to the stuff. Order a plate of penne with rich homemade tomato sauce for £5.50, a creamy carbonara for £6.95 or a filling seafood linguini for £8.95. Round that off with a tiramisù or Sicilian cannoli for dessert and you’ll have yourself the ultimate midweek meal. Al Dente's pastificio also offer a selection of fresh pasta for you to purchase and cook at home as well as a selection of wines from the Antinori winery should you feel the need to celebrate this great day from the comfort of your own home.
8. Tonkotsu Shoreditch opening
From 25 October; New Inn Yard, 1 Anning Street, EC2A 3LQ
The brand new Tonkotsu Shoreditch is set to open its doors from 6pm on 25 October. Located just off Shoreditch High Street, the new space will be serving all of Tonkotsu's signature ramen bowls, gyoza, and chicken karaage out of a brand new restaurant space designed in collaboration with Moreno Massey Architecture. With the warmer months of the year well and truly behind us, there's no better time than the present to warm up with a proper bowl of ramen.
9. International Pasta Day at Bottles
25 October; 67 Brushfield Street, E1 6AA
Old Spitalfields Market wine bar Bottles is a neat place to spend International Pasta Day. Why? Well, because it serves great pasta, of course. Think of plates spilling over fettuccine with ricotta, squash, brown butter and thyme girolles or spaghetti all'amatriciana. Each dish (rustled up by the Sood Kitchen team) can also be matched perfectly with a complementing wine for a proper Italian family dining experience. Make your IPD a big one at Bottles. Even if you don't make it down for the day you can always look forward to the opening of the group's new site in Chelsea. Watch this space.
10. International Pasta Day at Berto
25 October; 155 Holloway Road, N7 8LX
Berto's fresh pasta is the sort of stuff that dreams are made of. If dreams were made of perfectly al dente strozzapreti coddled with sardines, datterini tomatoes and parsley, that is. Uncomplicated Italian flavours and fair old dose of old school neighbourhood charm are the primary draws at this North London restaurant. As is the hearty portion of gnocchi with nduja and melted stracciatella. Visit the joint on International Pasta Day for a carb-up of the highest order.
11. Raw & Natural cheese and wine event at Canopy Market
25-27 October; West Handyside Canopy, N1C 4BH
From 25-27 October, Canopy Market is presenting a free cheese and wine event in collaboration with Neal's Yard Dairy and an alliance of natural wine importers. It's there you'll be able to get to grips with a line-up of the best British raw milk cheeses and low-intervention, natural wines from across Europe. Visitors will be able to eat, drink and buy rare and small-scale cheeses and wines as well as get involved in tastings and demonstrations, including a live cheese-making session hosted by Neal's Yard Dairy. Cheese heads will be able to meet the producers and buy direct, with cheeses set to make an appearance including world-famous Montgomery cheddar made in Somerset, Berkswell, Innes Log, Lincolnshire Poacher and Stichelton, and more. Major wine-producing region will be represented by importers specialising in French, Italian, Spanish and German wines. From light and juicy to deep and funky, there's bound to be a bottle that's perfect for you.
12. Halloween at Sea Containers
26 October; 12th Knot, 20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD
Get your bad self to 12th Knot for an early All Hallows' Eve bash this weekend. Featuring spooky cocktails from Grey Goose (with gnarly names like Black Spell and Blood Waters), the rooftop atmosphere at Sea Containers will serve just the right amount of mayhem through its secret play-rooms packed full of surprises. To top it all off, tunes from DJ Hayley Romer.
13. Foodism x Pastaio All In menu
27 October; 19 Ganton Street, W1F 9BN
Taking place on 27 October, this exclusive 'All In' event will give you the chance to – quite literally – go all in on Pastaio's menu, diving headfirst into all of its brilliant pasta dishes and a lemon Sgroppino slushie for £20 a head. That's £40 for a whopping 8 plates of pasta to split between the two of you. They are all half portions, mind – we don't want you to actually explode. If you're the sort of person that gets major FOMO whenever ordering (the one that always wants to get the red prawn, chilli, tomato spaghetti and the wild mushrooms, garlic, parmesan and olive oil tagliatelle) this is the ideal event for you.
14. Diwali at Kutir
27 October; 10 Lincoln Street, SW3 2TS
If you're looking for a downright delicious way to celebrate Diwali, then Rohit Ghai's Kutir is the restaurant you should be slamming into your Google maps this weekend. Available for lunch or dinner on 27 October, Kutir's Diwali menu is the perfect way to celebrate the festivities. From the restaurant's signature truffle-heavy quail naan and masala scrambled eggs to tandoori lamb chop and pan-seared sea bass with curry leaves and coconut, the one-off menu promises to make for the perfect Diwali feast. Stand out vegetarian dishes like wild mushroom naan; jackfruit kofta with sautéed spinach and vine tomatoes; and peanut baingan are also available for those who don't feel like getting meaty. The menu costs £55 (or £100 with additional wine flight).
15. Rotterkhana at Noble Rot
28 October; 51 Lambs Conduit Street, WC1N 3NB
Earlier this year marked disaster in the London dining scene as Gymkhana suffered a fire and the restaurant was forced to temporarily close for renovation. The good news, of course, is that Gymkhana is well on its way to reopening, and in the meantime you can get a taste of the restaurant's superlative dishes and banging biryanis when they take over Noble Rot's menu on 28 October for a 'Rotterkhana' collab. The five-course set menu will be served at lunch and dinner in the restaurant featuring a range of iconic Noble Rot dishes reimagined with a Gymkhana twist. Snacks like jaljeera oysters and achaari wild rabbit masala chicken skin set the tone for the rest of the meal where slip sole with curry leaf, a partridge pepper fry and a muntjac biryani will proceed to blow everything you've ever eaten out of the goddamn water. Don't miss out on one of the most exciting food collabs of the year. Dinner is already sold out (surprise, surprise) but there are still lunch tables available as well as walk-ins at the bar.
16. Pizza Pilgrims x Dishoom bacon and egg naan pizza
21 October-17 November; various locations
You know when you'd watch your favourite TV program and they'd be that rare crossover episode where all your favourite characters from your favourite shows would come together to work as one? This collab between Dishoom and Pizza Pilgrims is just like that. Except it's edible. A riff on Dishoom's iconic bacon naan, this limited edition pizza comes with thick-cut oven roast bacon from Ramsey of Carluke, Philadelphia, fior de latte mozzarella, egg yolk, coriander, green chilli, and a smattering of Dishoom's chilli tomato jam. For every pizza sold, both Pizza Pilgrims and Dishoom will each donate to Magic Breakfast, the charity which provides healthy school breakfasts to hungry and malnourished children in the UK. That’s good eating in every way.
17. Truffle season at Orasay
Until 31 October; 31 Kensington Park Road, W11 2EU
Jackson Boxer's Orasay is celebrating this year's truffle season with some of the world's most exquisite market price Alba truffles. From October, guests will be able to add 10g of white truffle to a specially created menu for the market price of £30. Fancy some of that hallowed fungus shaved over hand-cut egg noodles slicked with roast chicken butter? Of course you do.
18. SubCult x James Cochran Goatober sandwich
Until 31 October; 82 Watling Street, EC4M 9BX
James Cochran and Sub Cult have put their lovely heads together to come with a special gourmet sandwich in honour of goatober. Dubbed 'Billy the Kid', the sanger comes priced at £7.50 and features slow braised goat shoulder, mint, burnt onion relish, goat's curd and 12:51's scotch bonnet jam served in a freshly baked deli-style roll. Eat it and weep.
19. Truffle season at Sette
Until February; 4 Knightsbridge Green, SW1X 7QA
This Autumn, Sette is serving a range of seasonal truffle-based dishes as part of its from new truffle tasting menu. Eat from a choice of main dishes including pasta, meat and crudo to start – all of which will be served with either black or white truffle. Some of the best picks from the bunch include a sirloin of beef with potato, fonduta, parmesan and white truffle, creamy polenta fricassée of truffled mushroom with black truffle. Head on down to see what all the fuss about that expensive-as-heck funghi is.
20. Dia de los Muertos at Plaza Pastor
1 November; Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DQ
On Friday 1 November, Plaza Pastor will host a Dia de los Muertos-themed fiesta featuring a special a DJ set from Severino (Horse Meat Disco). Taking place the evening before Mexico's official Day of the Dead, Plaza Pastor will honour this celebration of the departed with food, drink, a live Mariachi band, DJs, face painting, and a hell of a lot of fun. All you need to do is book a table for the night or simply turn up after 9.30pm for the drinks and dancing portion of it all. Attendees will also receive a special El Jimador welcome drink; either a ponche (basically a Mexican hot toddy with fruit) or a straight up tequila shot. The full Plaza Pastor menu will be available for those with dinner reservations, along with a special occasion sharing dish of Barbacoa: spiced lamb shoulder and leg, cooked overnight, served with its roasting juices, tortillas, chopped white onions, coriander and morita salsa. Severino will play a 2-hour set from 9.30pm and guest DJs will continue until 1am close. Costumery and tomfoolery are highly encouraged.