Eating creepy crawlies has been a delicious source of protein in many cultures for thousands of years. For most people in London, however, the idea is relegated to the distant future when experts warn we’ll have to adapt to eating bugs to survive. Somewhere in the middle, here in 2023, London’s chefs and mixologists have decided to toy with the idea of either celebrating a country’s traditional cuisine for the sake of the environment, or simply trying something new.
For an easy introduction, visit Southern Thailand Plaza Khao Gaengthat uses a pheromone made from bugs called Lethocerus indicus in the morbid Maeng da Lagerita cocktail, or sip on legendary bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana’s experimental Wolf-y Bam Sour at Lyaness, blended with Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, tree caramel, toasted cricket syrup, Rowanberry, Deer Antler Powder, Johnnie Walker Red and a dash of Talisker.
For a tastier option, see Mexican Restaurant Holy Cure‘s Crispy Grasshopper Guacamole and Ask at a Latin American Restaurant palate to introduce you to his crispy Colombian hormigas culonas (literally “big-assed ants”), which can be served on amuse-bouches. Meanwhile, food start-up Yum Bug has partnered with the tapas restaurant Morito at Exmouth Market to serve spiced cricket hummus. Plus, Lao place Lao coffee offers malang tod (fried bugs) and Edomae at the chic Japanese restaurant The Aubreythe hamachi nigiri is topped with surprisingly lemony dried black ants, and chefs are now developing an expanded, bug-loving menu. Go and inspect – sorry, inspect – for yourself.