Wine and the City looks into its crystal ball to bring you 13 food and drink trends set to tickle your tastebuds in 2013.
Already big in New York, ramen will continue its charge, building on the momentum provided by Bone Daddies, Tonkotsu and Ittenbari in Soho and Shoryu Ramen at the Japan Centre on Regent Street, as Londoners devour oodles of noodles in 2013.
2: Korean food
Korean cuisine will blow up in 2013 the way Peruvian did in 2012, capitalising on the hype of Psy's Gangnam Style hit, with the roll out of the fresh food focused Bibigo chain. By the end of the year, Londoners will know their bibimbap from their bulgogi.
Homer Simpson’s favourite snack will be the latest sweet treat to get the gourmet treatment, finally knocking the cupcake off its perch. Top chefs like Yottam Ottolenghi and Fergus Henderson have been fuelling sweet-toothed Londoners with churros and a salted caramel version respectively, while Pizza East sells hot cinnamon rings and the Harwood Arms a lemon curd version. Late night revellers will be able to get their sugar fix at Soho Houses's Electric Donuts, offering the likes of bergamot orange and maple bourbon.
Chicken will be the meat of 2013 – following on from the trend that started last autumn at places like Tramshed in Shoreditch, Chicken Shop in Kentish Town and Wishbone in Brixton, more chicken focused restaurants will emerge, will all styles, from fried to rotisserie getting Londoners clucking with delight. Move over Nandos…
5: A tipping point for beef
Burger and steak restaurants will reach a tipping point. With MASH and STK opening late last year, and Eva Longoria's female friendly SHe steakhouse due to hit our shores soon, Londoners are likely to lose enthusiasm for this meat heavy approach peddled by a plethora of identikit restaurants. It will become a survival of the fittest scenario, with burger joints like the MeatLiquor chain likely to thrive, while others fade into obscurity as we tire of beef encounters.
Pizza will become the next gourmet junk food of choice, with more "by the slice" restaurants emerging.
For 2013, tea will be the new coffee, and will be taken increasingly seriously, with more tea bars emerging, selling vintage and single tree teas. The Rare Tea Lady will be much in demand for events and tastings. HKK (the latest in the Hakkasan group) has already started the tea trolley trend rolling.
8: Vintage cocktails
Veteran Italian bartender Salvatore Calabrese kicked off a vintage cocktail trend late last year when he broke the record for the world's most expensive cocktail by using, among other things, Cognac from 1788. The Nightjar in Shoreditch quickly followed suit with a value-led approach, launching a vintage spirits list, including 1863 Rye and El Chico rum from the '30s, at deliberately affordable prices. Expect more rare vintage spirits lists to pop up at trendy bars across town, giving a new meaning to Prohibition cocktails.
9: "No choice" restaurants
“No choice” will become the restaurants of choice as an increasingly dizzying array of choice in all elements of our daily lives leads us to eateries with refreshingly little on the menu. Burger & Lobster and Tramshed spin-offs will no doubt pop up.
10: Aperitivo hour
Inspired by the Milanese tradition, the aperitivo hour will become mainstream in 2013, with Italian restaurants offering free, freshly prepared small plates of antipasti, cured meats, cheeses, crostini and pizzette to those who buy a cocktail at the bar between 6-8pm. Theo Randall, Apero, Aperitivo at Banca, Il Tempo and Market Quarter are currently spearheading the aperitivo hour trend, with the Negroni and Aperol Spirtz the bitters of choice.
11: The carafe
The carafe will become the wine measure of choice in 2013 – expanding from hip London wine bars and small plates restaurants to more mainstream venues. Smaller than a bottle but larger than a glass, the carafe is ideally suited to after work drinking with friends, when one glass isn't enough but three is too many. By-the-glass offerings will also become more interesting and plentiful in 2013, championed by the likes of Sir Terence Conran's Lutyens Bar & Bistro on Fleet Street.
12: Affordable glamour
More "affordable glamour" restaurants like Bob Bob Ricard and Brasserie Zedel will emerge that combine beautiful decor and delicious, refined food with affordable prices. They will be characterised by their friendly service and all-day dining.
13: The death of the main course
And finally… I see no end to the casual dining/no reservations trend just yet, which will gather pace in 2013 and polarise diners. As small plates take over menus, the main course is in danger of becoming an endangered species. Happy munching in 2013 folks!