While carved orange orbs line windowsills and doorsteps for Halloween celebrations in autumn, this season, our attention is instead being drawn to pumpkin on the plate at some of London’s best restaurants. These pumpkins are a world away from the field pumpkins you’d buy for creative carving purposes – Delica pumpkin is a popular choice for chefs, as its dense, honeyed flesh and contrasting deep-green skin makes it a visual hit as well as an excellent base for other autumnal flavours like sage.
Some venues like Mayfair’s Native and Hide are taking a theatrical approach – using pumpkin’s natural bowl-like shape to present elements inside and alongside fittingly autumnal plating elements like golden leaves. Others are taking a less traditional approach, like Islington’s Prawn on the Lawn, who are teaming pumpkin with cod, lime pickle and fermented squash.
So, if you’re keen to jump into seasonal dining in London this month, these are the dishes you should be eating.
BRILLIANT PUMPKIN DISHES AT NINE LONDON RESTAURANTS
Burrata, Delica pumpkin, hazelnuts and sage
Noble Rot, Bloomsbury
Noble Rot’s Delica pumpkins are caramelised in extra virgin olive oil with sage stalks and garlic until fudgy, served with Burrata from London-based cheesemaker La Latteria and a toasted hazelnut and food-waste-combating day-old focaccia crumb. Crispy sage and pumpkin seed oil finishes the dish.
Baked pumpkin with warm Brixham crabmeat, garlic butter and basil
The Michelin-starred Hide takes a theatrical approach with its hidden pot of gold – or Brixham crabmeat. A baked pumpkin encases the Devon shellfish, which is dressed in garlic butter and fresh basil.
The River Café, Hammersmith
The River Café’s autumnal menu features pumpkin antipasti alongside buffalo mozzarella, artichoke alla ‘Romana’ (sautéed in olive oil, garlic and fresh mint), delicate Risina beans and fresh marjoram.
Flourish Farm pumpkin velouté, Duchess Farm smoked oil and pumpkin seeds
Native’s playful presentation makes one thing clear – this is very much pumpkin’s moment. Inside a mini Gourd you’ll find a velouté of the vegetable from Flourish Farm in Cambridge, smoked British rapeseed oil and crispy pumpkin seeds.
Gnocchi, Violina pumpkin, parmesan and chervil
Stylish Peckham neighbourhood restaurant Levan takes an Italian slant ith its roasted gnocchi and Violina pumpkin two ways: pickled and puréed. Brown butter, pumpkin seeds, a parmesan crisp and chervil finish this dish from the sharing plate dinner menu.
Cod, lime pickle and pumpkin curry, fermented squash
Prawn on the Lawn, Islington
Prawn on the Lawn is a spot known for its fresher-than-fresh seafood, so it’s no wonder they’re taking a zingy approach with cod and pumpkin curry, lime pickle and fermented squash for some bite.
Delica pumpkin with wild mushroom, goat’s curd, radicchio
Isla, King’s Cross
Sink into plush booths at The Standard Hotel’s Isla to enjoy roasted Delica pumpkin with bitter leaves, tangy goat’s curd and seasonal wild mushrooms.
Ravioli of Delica pumpkin, amaretti and sage butter
The beautiful dining room of Luca is no stranger to silky pasta dishes, and its pumpkin ravioli is one to look out for. This seasonal handmade pasta dish is accompanied by a classic sage butter and crushed amaretti biscuits.
Tempura pumpkin, aioli and ramson capers
Say goodbye to summery fronds of Tenderstem broccoli tempura and hello to sweet wedges of pumpkin. The wine bar at Carousel has been serving this lightly-battered pumpkin with a large dollop of aioli and salty-sharp wild garlic capers.