If you thought cooking with flowers equated to scattering a few violas and pansies over a side-salad to add a touch of colour, you clearly haven’t experienced the true flavour of flowers.
From cocktails to crab dressings, here’s where you’ll find some of the best floral-infused menu finds from around the capital.
Created by award-winning bar impresario Ryan Chetiyawardana, A.K.A Mr Lyan, Dandelyan boasts an iconic green marble bar and dramatic views of the Thames. But its greatest USP is its innovative use of flowers in its cocktails, which take their inspiration from the botanical wilds of the British countryside and around the world. We love the Natural Born Gatherer with gin, melon wine, truffle aperitivo, elderflower and soda, and Fahrenheit Wine with rum, Dandelyan Posca, coriander seed and chrysanthemum.
Throughout June, restaurants in the D&D group are going to be celebrating all things floral for summer. Expect an array of blooming lovely treats, including a petal-strewn tasting menu at Plateau, the prettiest of afternoon teas at Quaglino’s and a Flower Power Voga garden party at Coq d’Argent.
Floral flavours spring up with surprising frequency on Mexican and South American menus. Seasonal flowers are a regular fixture at Breddos Taqueria. “Flowers are used less as garnishes in the Americas and more as a means of extracting as much out of what produce you have to hand,” Chef Nud Dudhia explains in an interview with the Evening Standard.
You know there’s a good chance of flowers on the menu when the restaurant is named after one. But you won’t just find the peppery-tasting hibiscus on the menu at Claude Bosi’s Michelin-starred Mayfair restaurant. The starter menu (at time of going to press) offers Devonshire crab complemented with the sweet, fragrant taste of elderflower.
As the name suggests, flowers take centre stage at Peruvian Lima Floral – the younger sibling to its Michelin-starred sister Fitzrovia’s Lima London. Chef Virgillo Martinez founded Peru’s Mater Iniciativa, a collective of chefs, scientists and ecologists who hunt for unique edible flowers. Expect to find a scattering of their floral spoils on the menu.
P.S. please don't just try this at home. If you want to cook with flowers, please ask a flower expert for advice and make sure that the flowers are edible!