- The Dish: Sausages from chorizo to bratwurst to merguez
- The Place: X-Upper, London N1 0NP
- The Chef: Mariam French
What? Sausages are getting a special platform in 2019 with their own dedicated restaurant. X-Upper is opening in London next month with the goal of starting a “sausage revolution,” according to its website, while its Instagram account claims “sausage is the new burger, only better.”
The menu’s world tour of sausages starts with a Spanish picante chorizo that comes with mizuna leaves (a Japanese leafy vegetable) and nutty mojo sauce, a condiment originating in the Canary Islands that is generally made with a mix of olive oil, local pepper varieties, garlic, paprika, cumin and coriander. From Switzerland, the Olma bratwurst is produced from a mix of pork and veal as well as milk, served at X-Upper with a signature purple mustard, pickled red cabbage, and a slice of milk and honey sourdough.
Heading over to neighbouring Italy for inspiration, there’s a chicken and pork sausage with a herby, tangy green sauce and a hot yellow pepper salsa, while home soil supplies the Cumberland, plated with a beetroot ketchup, horseradish mayonnaise, fresh dill and lemon zest.
Nodding to the rise of Middle Eastern eats, the spicy merguez sausage is accompanied with piquillo pepper yoghurt and rocket, and for poultry lovers there’s The Skinny Chick: a lean chicken sausage with a spicy red pepper rouille sauce (a French garnish that consists of olive oil with breadcrumbs, garlic, saffron and cayenne pepper).
There will also be a weekly sausage special at the restaurant – for example, smoky kielbasa, a Polish sausage staple, served on a bed of beetroot hummus alongside roasted beets, chickpeas, crispy carrots, and sour cream and chives.
A choice of two sides will complement the sausages: a rainbow coleslaw made with creme fraiche or a Tuscan panzanella saladof tomato and bread.
Where? X-Upper is due to launch on 88 Upper Street, Islington, in mid-January.
The concept is the baby of Mariam French, formerly of Aryzta Food Solutions and Delice de France.
“It’s a fast casual restaurant and we will specialise in one of the most loved food categories in the world: sausages,” French told Food Spark’s sister service MCA.“We’ve travelled across Europe to hunt down some of the best regional delicacies from artisanal butchers, and have teamed up with top chefs to curate an incredible menu."
Why? As UK consumer interest in world cuisines continue to ramp up, bringing in a universally recognised food with influences and flavours from around the globe has obvious appeal. Plus, street-food-style eats see no sign of waning in popularity – especially those that obvious candidates for a grab-and-go meal.
It’s not just X-Upper either that is seeking to celebrate the iconic banger. Harvey Nichols’ restaurant 109 Bar + Kitchen has just launched a menu with a selection of hot dogs. This American favourite has been transformed into eats like The Under Dog, a beef sausage topped with shredded beef short rib, white cheese, romaine lettuce, tomato and smoked paprika aioli, while plant-based lovers can get their hands on the Veggie Dog with spinach, avocado, crispy onions and artichoke mayo.
Other meaty options at 109 Bar + Kitchen include everything from the Dogs In Blankets –a pork sausage wrapped in pancetta with caramelised onions, jalapeno and barbecue sauce – to Killer Dog, a turkey sausage topped with roasted mix peppers, harissa, wild rocket and yogurt. Smokey Dog, meanwhile, is a beef sausage with smoked cheese, avocado and Harvey Nichols chilli sauce.
The menu will feature sides like tater tots, polenta crisps, sweet potato wedges and coleslaw.
The hot dog focal point takes inspiration from the Lower Ground Menswear floors at the luxury retailer, as the new menu pairs perfectly with the selection of beers on offer. It’s also flexible enough to act as a sit-down meal or a food-to-go bite, a spokesperson for Harvey Nichols tells Food Spark.