Provisioners restaurant at the new Dixon hotel on London’s South Bank, is a stylish place for both guests and locals to eat. Gently innovative, the chef focuses on pink and black food such as beetroot tagliatelle, squid ink-battered skate and black coconut ice cream. By Jenny Southan
Opened at the beginning of the year, all-day restaurant Provisioners is a good example of a 21st-century hotel restaurant. Set up by Clive Watson, co-founder of Blixen, by it’s stylish yet approachable, serving a la carte food from 6.40am until 10pm daily.
Attention has also been paid to the design of the restaurant, which sits in the transformed Tower Bridge Magistrates Court. Once again colour plays a part, with a palette of millennial pink, ice blue and mint green to appeal to a more youthful, aesthetically-minded audience. The seasonal menu does a good job of listing all the trendy kinds of foods Londoners like to see these days – spiced cauliflower, asparagus arancini, seaweed butter and halloumi flatbreads – with more unusual dishes such as oxtail croquettes and culurgiones (Sardinian dumplings) with Pecorino and winter truffle.
It’s nothing ground-breaking and the quality isn’t always spectacular, but Globetrender did observe a leaning toward pink and black food, which is an on-going trend.In addition to the pink pasta with golden beets, fennel and wild mushroom, there is a vivid beetroot hummus with rose harissa, and a jazzy black rice and pomegranate salad. A nice twist on English fish and chips is the skate coated in black batter, coloured with squid ink. Meanwhile, the black coconut ice cream gets its colour from coconut ash.As we know, the use of “activated charcoal” has been popping up all over the place as an additive to everything from smoothies to dough. At the vampire-themed Lost Boys bar in Camden, for example, they serve a black pizza.
With Instagram pushing chefs to create ever-more visualising interesting plates, employing colour in surprising ways is an effective way of getting people to post.
A 2018 article on Bloomberg says: “Sensationally colored foods have a short shelf life in the Instagram news cycle. Unicorn lattes might last a few months, before fading from view. Black foods are an exception to the rule…
“Among the reasons are the popularity of bitter, charred foods from such places as Scandinavia, the acceptance of squid ink as more than a novelty ingredient, and the rise of activated charcoal as a health food. And there’s the visual impact, which should never be underestimated in this age.”