HUNGER’s culinary guide to a ‘Tomato Girl Summer’ in London

From salty seafood and Spanish tomato bread to dirty tomato pickle brine martinis, we give you the lowdown with a whistle-stop tour of the best toms in the capital.

TikTok has coined another uber-niche trend – but this time we are totally on board. The Tomato Girl Summer aesthetic, which is inspired entirely by the little red fruit (no, it’s not a vegetable), has taken over all types of videos on the platform, be that cooking, GRWM, and travel vlogs. Fashion and food are married right now by the Tomato Girl, with a lifestyle synonymous with the coasts where the food is used in dishes the most, like the Amalfi coast or any Mediterranean scape – not necessarily the pureed frozen tomatoes you would find on a takeaway pizza, if you catch the drift.

This is a glowy getaway look with sundried tommy blusher and crushed cherry lips, fruit-printed garms and floppy hats, and flowy maxi dresses with an open netted bag slung over the shoulder. It’s a breezy life that should inspire a Sunday trip to the local market to pick up your freshest produce, namely the tomato itself. Olive oil, feta cheese, seafood, pasta, and salads are all components of the ultimate Tomato Girl Summer to fully celebrate the food in all its glory. It’s high time the humble tom got its day, and as an ode to all our tomato girlies living it up out there, HUNGER has whittled down the best tomato-based dishes and drinks in London for you so you don’t have to travel the world for some good red cuisine…  

Tomato Top Negroni | Outcrop

Ever tried a Tomato Top Negroni? Now you can, with Outcrop’s green social club in the city, that can bring all the Tomato Girls together this summer fuelled by an ethos to have a positive impact on the planet. With a pop-up at 180 The Strand, the foodies are celebrating all-natural foods with their new restaurant and bar. Their Tomato Top Negroni hails a recipe of heritage tomatoes, 58 & Co House Gin, Asterley Brothers Estate Vermouth, and Rosemary Bitter. A delicious take on the strong Italian aperitif if ever there was one. 

Taken by Ben Broomfield.

Mount St. Martini | Mount St. Restaurant

As fresh as tomatoes are, they can also be a little dirty. At Mount St. Restaurant on the first floor of Mayfair’s The Audley, craftsmanship, culture and good food are brought together in this artist space. You can grab one of their cocktails alongside their breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday lunch menus, with our recommendation being the Mount St. Martini. With Tanqueray No. 10 Gin, Dry Vermouth, Tomato Liqueur, and a dash of tomato pickle brine, their dirty martini has got the tomato treatment perfect for those sunnier days in London, and ultimately, a great start to a night on the town. 

Burrata with Vesuvio Tomato, White Peach, Shaved Fennel, and Sfincione | Luca

If you have been on the food side of TikTok recently, you will have noticed a surge in swoon-worthy burrata opening videos, with foodies pining over the creamy cheese spilling onto the plate. Rich cheese and tomato are a match made in heaven, and St John St restaurant Luca knows that all too well. Sourcing high-quality ingredients from around the British Isles and Italy, they thrive on their seasonal produce and observations that take Italian traditions with a modern twist. As part of their antipasti menu, they have a burrata with Vesuvio tomato (Pomodorini del Piennolo del Vesuvio – a sweet, heirloom cherry variety with a teardrop tip), with white peach, shaved fennel, and sfincione (a thick doughy pizza bread).

Pan Con Tomate, Mussels, and Salmon Roe | The Ninth

Fitzrovia restaurant The Ninth is a neighbourhood French escape, with inspirations for this dish taking a Spanish twist. Simple yet refined, their Mediterranean-style cooking encourages a big sharing platter with a plethora of tomatoey dishes on offer (including an extensive list of veggie options). Our chosen dish revels in the simplicity of salty seafood and the juicy tomato, with Pan Con Tomate (Spanish Tomato Bread) acting as the ultimate dipping agent for their mussels and salmon roe. 

Heritage Tomato Panzanella | Nessa

If you haven’t yet heard of Soho’s hottest new bar and restaurant, then this dish is sure to get them on your radar. Nessa champions classic recipes with an inventive twist, offering their Heritage Tomato Panzanella on their Greens & Grains list. The traditional Tuscan salad consists of chopped and soaked bread, onions, and, of course, the red favourite, and is a popular Italian go-to in the sizzling summer. Nessa pairs theirs with black pepper croutons and jalepeño for a spicy edge.

Vesuvio Tomato, Carosello Cucumber Capers, Marjoram, Lemon Zest | Pastaio

Would it really be a Tomato Girl summer if we weren’t stuffing ourselves silly with the best pasta we can find? On central London’s Ganton Street, Pastaio offers fresh pasta made by hand every day paired with the best seasonal produce around. The restaurant was created by British chef Stevie Parle, whose passion for top-quality ingredients means his mission is to give foodies the best pasta possible. This Vesuvio tomato dish recruits carosello cucumber capers, marjoram (a citrusy, sweet pine-flavoured herb), and splashing of lemon zest. Simple but delicious – the Tomato Girl ethos through and through. 

Taken by Harriet Langford.

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho | The Colony Grill Room

The red tomatoes cousin, the sweeter-tasting yellow tomato, is taking centre stage for our final pick in effortlessly chic The Colony Grill Room. The New York-style restaurant boasts a timeless menu of transatlantic favourites, including their gazpacho. The cold soup and drink is made of raw blended veg, originating in the southern regions of the Iberian peninsula. Spain and Portugal are big fans of the cooling fresh bev, and is a favoured alternative in the summer to the stereotypical hot soup. The Colony Grill Room has added Dorset crab and green almond to theirs, making it a tasty dish and celebration of flavours like you have never had before.

WriterElla Chadwick
Banner Image CreditLuca Restaurant