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Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

Long time no see.

From what I can tell they're open 7 days a week, but I suspect they close when they want to. If us and another Chinese table weren't in there by the time that they left then I think they would have shut.

Mar 28, 2014
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Jee Cee Neh - Korean - New Malden [London]

Hi all,

Another quick write up (which is more likely to mean that I type a huge amount of unedited content into a box and click "Post" rather than a few brief bullets. Sorry.)

Limster and I went down to New Malden for what turned out to be some fantastic Chow'ing (as evidenced via the Spicy Island post as well as through the fact that I have some delicious Korean snacks from Kimchi Garden in my fridge.) We found a number of interesting looking establishments, but we settled on Jee Cee Neh as it looked extremely busy, the menu was arguably more interesting and the interior was quite nice.

The banchan assortment came free of charge and was vastly superior to anything else I've had in New Malden. Standout items included very good kimchi which appeared to definitely be made in house as well as a great dish of crunchy pickled radish stems which appeared lightly pickled and intermixed with an extremely large number of fresh oysters. This dish was a great surprise and came free of charge. Very tasty with an oceanic brightness that was mellowed by a warm kimchi like background and the pleasant crunch of radish.

Janchi guksu had delicious wheat based vermicelli which could have done with a tiny bit less cooking, but which was win a lovely clear broth that was redolent of anchovy (likely dried / preserved) and seaweed. Very umami like broth and extremely pleasant overall.

Ssam (was about 1/3 the cost of what you'd pay anywhere fancy in Central London or NYC, but let's not even start) took roughly an hour for the restaurant to prepare, but it was a lovely dish overall once served. Unctuous slices of steamed pork belly came with an assortment of condiments, more of the oyster / radish banchan, napa for wraps, and other sides. The meat was delicious, although not particularly strong in flavor. Pleasantly textured and overall very enjoyable and great money for value, but primarily a "sum of it's parts" style dish as making your own perfect wrap of pork, raw garlic, fermented bean paste, chili pepper, and so on was the key.

Mar 24, 2014
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Spicy Island, New Malden, London

Thanks for that! Sounds like we may have found ourselves an illusive Sinhalese Sri Lankan place.

Mar 24, 2014
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

Thanks ScoopG!

Just a heads up that I managed to make it to Xian Restaurant last night and the food was excellent. Currently quite busy so this will be brief.

Pork and lamb burgers were both some of the best I've ever had. They were considerably better than the versions at Xian Famous Foods in NYC and were arguably better than my renditions I had in China. The pork filling was like exceptional Chinese pulled pork while the lamb was studded with cumin and seemed to have been slowly braised in a wok for quite some time. They also make their bread fresh to order for ever burger (and item, my bread was even fresh to order for the yang rou pao mo.)

Yang rou pao mo was really standard, but could have used more of the excellent broth. The lamb was a bit salty, but it was really delicious. Nice chew which gave way to a melt in your mouth texture; it was like lamb salt beef and again appeared to have been slowed cooked quite carefully. The soup itself could do with more of the necessary ingredients e.g. tofu skin, the pickled garlic on the side, etc. Still very good and definitely tastier than Chang's Noodles, but lacking in ingredients at present (basically amazing broth, amazing lamb and bread that's actually flavorful and which has edge bits that maintain their crispness in the soup.

Zha jiang mian was good, but a bit lack on the overall sauce, though the pork topping was pleasantly crunchy and well cooked. Nice homemade broad noodles (not quite biang biang mian, but very similar in appearance.)

Qaozi Mian (not sure if this is correct) was an interesting noodle soup with a nice flavorful broth and a lot of veg. My first time having this; it was nice, but I definitely favor the yang rou pao mo.

Liang pi was very good and packed quite a punch spice wise. Another dish which was really good, but which needed certain ingredients that really bring it all together. I was expected the spongey dofu and other accompaniments that one normally finds mixed into liang pi. Still, this is the only liang pi I have seen in London and while it was not as good as Xian Famous Foods (NYC), it was definitely better than many versions I had in Xian.

All in all this is one of the most exciting places I've been to in a while. They really need some business to encourage them as they seem to only have these dishes for a small Chinese clientele and their local business does not appear to be thriving (people coming in looking for a buffet basically.)

They seem very nervous about the whole operation so please go here and encourage them to expand the menu. I talked about dishes they could potentially add and they seemed like they want to, but they're getting another chef in first (it's currently a one man show in the kitchen.)

Mar 24, 2014
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

Finally!

If anyone needs Xian menu translations check the NYC board. Really old posts on Uncle Zhou's or Xian Tasty Snack are likely to have translations or side by side menu pics.

Mar 21, 2014
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Favorite Xiao Long Bao ( soup dumplings) in Queens?

I have Kung Fu a shot the other night and I was impressed, but it wasn't blow me away good.

The crab and pork ($6.50 I believe) was only a dollar more than the pork only version and it was far superior. I was surprised by that as I generally prefer pork only xiao long bao.

I thought the thickness on the skins was good and the soup was flavorful on both, but only the crab and pork seemed to have good filling as well.

I haven't been to Nan Xiang in nearly 2 years (I tried to go the other night but the queue was immense) so I need to get back there to compare.

My immediate instinct on Kung Fu is that you have to truly beat the champion to be the champion (or that you need a superior theory to replace the one you're debunking if you want to get all econ about this) so I need to try Nan Xiang again and then give Kung Fu a second go.

Pretty good though! Glad to have it close by (and the parking is unnaturally merciful on that end of Flushing.)

Jan 03, 2014
JFores in Outer Boroughs

Luce e Limoni, Holborn, London

Shamelessly posting this so that I don't forget to check this place out when I get back to London. I know it's going to disappear into my pile of CH favorites and bookmarks otherwise!

Jan 03, 2014
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Araliya Sri Lankan

Hi all,

Any update on this? I passed Araliya by chance a few times recently, but it was not open (albeit this was on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the day after Christmas, so not the most likely times to find a business open.)

Is it definitely still shut with no transition over to this Spicy Lanka rebranding?

I thought I found somewhere that wouldn't have been covered yet, but no it's on CH :)

Thanks,

Justin

Jan 03, 2014
JFores in Outer Boroughs

Lioni's--your favorite sandwich?

The Sophia Loren's been my go to for about 15 years...

Mozzarella, prosciutto and stuffed peppers on a massive hero for just under $14. The put about half a pound of prosciutto on the sandwich so it's not a bad deal at all. Quality products with extremely fresh and milky mozzarella.

I wouldn't order most of their sandwiches to deliver, to be honest. They sog out too quickly and the prosciutto sticks together into a mass of meat.

Dec 30, 2013
JFores in Outer Boroughs

School me on Trinidadian food, please!

Just did some Googling and it seems like Warung Kario (Surinamese I noted in previous post) has shut down! Can anyone confirm this?

Dec 30, 2013
JFores in Outer Boroughs

School me on Trinidadian food, please!

I'm jumping on this a bit late and I'm literally about 2 years out of the loop, but here goes a few suggestions further afield (albeit accessible to you as you're not too far from the A train.)

- Singh's Roti Shop: One of the strongest roti places in Ozone Park, not far from the last stop on that section of the A train.
- Sylvie's Roti : Somewhat closer to the train than Singh's, but on the same side of the road. This place became my go-to before moving out of New York again.

Ozone Park and Richmond Hill have an immense range of Trini and Guyanese eateries, bakeries, bars, stores, etc. There's undoubtedly a lot to find here if you walk around and try some places (I haven't been in about 2 years so I'm not exactly the best source on this stuff.)

There's also an excellent Surinamese restaurant over there and Veggie Castle (roughly opp. the Surinamese place) is pretty good for Jamaican / Rasta veg food.

Dec 30, 2013
JFores in Outer Boroughs

Yet another Thattukada update [London]

I'm pretty sure the kitchen crews have merged btw. One good thing is that one of the "old" chefs who I thought was long gone is working at the new branch and I strongly suspect he might be the old fry master in chief. The Keralan drunk food (to use a technical term) at the old Thattukada went way downhill at a certain stage and was then quite inconsistent.

Frying technique has changed at the new branch. They seem to be using a slightly thicker batter and frying things for longer or at a higher heat. Last night's mussel fry was seriously crispy on the outside with a nice soft interior.

Dec 18, 2013
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Yet another Thattukada update [London]

Hi both (yes I'm still alive),

I've been going here quite a bit since the closure of the old branch. The kitchen has really picked up, at least from the quality of what I was getting over the last 6 months or so (possibly because I kept eating at the old branch.)

Mussel fry, netholi fry and beef curry have all been excellent. Kappa was serviceable last night, chicken biriyani was above average earlier this week, and the Onam sathyam was fantastic a few months.

I think the general ordering that's outlined in my older posts still sticks quite well, although I personally tend to eat differently these days. Also, the quality of certain breads (appam and parotha) is not what it used to be, but they're still better than pretty much anything you can get in central London.

I haven't had many of the pricier non-fry seafood dishes since I started to come back here often so I can't really comment on the fish moilly, crab masala / Keralan crab curry, pollitchattu dishes, etc just yet. I'm hosting a large meal here with co-workers in the near future so we'll likely get to some of them then.

Dec 18, 2013
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Chennai - The cost of drinking out in India

This isn't even that bad. Sky Bar in Bangalore has Mayfair London level prices. You pay ca. £25 for a double measure of most decent import whisky there!

Nov 12, 2013
JFores in India & South Asia

Cricklewood lunch [London]

Lihiniya's pretty good. I had a decent meal there while the wife of the owner (and primary cook) was away and it was only alright. Not insanely stellar, but I know others on here have gone and found it to be amazing when the wife was in town.

I'd definitely give Lihiniya a shot, to be honest. The road it's on also has quite a few Iranian and Afghan places if I remember correctly.

Nov 12, 2013
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Indian & Britsh food [London]

Hi there,

I'm a native New Yorker (albeit I'm starting to forget what it's like to be there) and I would say that South Asian food is considerably better here. The only place I hugely enjoy in New York is Neerob in the Bronx (Bangladeshi.)

How far are you wiling to travel? I could give you loads of places that are a lot better than Tayyabs or Lahore Kebab House, but they're farther out.

Justin

Nov 09, 2013
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Blackwall, Poplar or Limehouse

Sichuan Kitchen near All Saints DLR (on the 15 route) has become my go to Sichuanese place in London.

Cold pot fish (top of the Chinese specials menu if I remember correctly), the extremely crispy fish on the first pages of English language specials (see earlier posts for a more correct name) and standard Sichuan staples are all massive stand outs. I've had some really exceptional meals there.

Sep 24, 2013
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Great Kofta Sandwich -Ali Baba, Ivor Place, London

Sounds great. I might give this a shot tonight.

Aug 07, 2013
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Wild rabbit confit and herb salad - Koya - London

Hi all,

I've been very inactive lately, but this dish was literally worth the post. It was on the specials board so I do not know if it appears often at Koya.

The chunks of rabbit leg meat appeared to have been quickly fried; the fat was crunchy while the meat was almost like thick Parma ham. Very strong almost pork-y flavour. Mixed with a generous heap of herbs, flowers and thinly sliced dried blood orange. One of the best dishes I've had in a while.

Aug 05, 2013
JFores in U.K./Ireland

London - Dumplings

Not in Chinatown, but I have always loved the lamb and onion dumplings at Silk Road in Camberwell. They're among the best lamb dumplings I've had anywhere, China included. Great money for value as well.

Jun 24, 2013
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Cheap, African, Asian, South Asian, and of course French - Paris

Hi all,

Just reviving this thread as it was fantastically useful. I`m back in Paris (complete with a job and money this time) and I will be ging to a few of these places again. I will make a thread where I can request some French places, but I would also love some additions to this list.

Many thanks,

Justin

Jun 09, 2013
JFores in France

London - Fusion-Indian experience at Benares, Mayfair

Hilarious response.

As a somewhat related note, I cannot take these places seriously. Even our custom meal at Bombay Brasserie was only quite good with many flavors going through a cultural filter.

It was a shame that Thattukada was ridiculously off when you were in. Perhaps we could do Suvai Chettinad or Hyderabadi Spice to try to redeem your opinion of South Indian places in the East.

Also, I am in town on only Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays. If you are around at the moment drop me an email.

May 18, 2013
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Aberdeen eats?

Just tried Yorokobi by CJ and I would also rate it quite highly. It's a "Japanese" restaurant with a Korean chef and the menu contains quite a few Korean items. I had very serviceable renditions of a seafood pancake and bibimbap. Shockly good and on par with just about anything I can get in London with the exception of New Malden places. I haven't tried the Japanese items yet, but I will probably explore the Korean side of the menu for a while.

Apr 29, 2013
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Aberdeen eats?

As a general follow up to this, I found one place that is OK so far.

Musa is a very solid little restaurant. I had a relatively unremarkable bowl of pea soup with wild garlic, but my main was very good. It was a simple oven baked cod fillet over saffron risotto. Everything was executed well. Their beer list and whiskey list are both immense too (an entire A4 for both.)

Apr 27, 2013
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Looking for Kashmiri / Noon / Sheer Chai (Pink Tea) in London

There's an outdoor stall that does it on the high street in Bury Park. I'd have to ask my friend for an exact cross street or address.

Apr 19, 2013
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Aberdeen eats?

Thank you Harters! There must be something there! I'm going to be up there five days a week so I need some serviceable options.

Apr 19, 2013
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Aberdeen eats?

Hello all,

This post pretty much makes that previous Cardiff one null and void. A bit of bad luck and a whole lot of good luck mean I will be in Aberdeen for the better part of the next few months.

Does anyone have any food tips? The same categories apply. I generally prefer "ethnic eats" (cringe term) and cheaper more homely restaurants, but I will take any sort of suggestion.

Take care,

Justin

Apr 17, 2013
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Looking for Kashmiri / Noon / Sheer Chai (Pink Tea) in London

I know of a place in Luton, but let me look around closer to home (East London.)

Apr 16, 2013
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Thattukada Chowdown - Results! [London]

Just down the road. Also on High Street North.

Apr 15, 2013
JFores in U.K./Ireland

Thattukada Chowdown - Results! [London]

The other night was a worryingly off day for Thattukada. Literally one of the worst meals (food quality wise) I have ever had there in over 4 years. I'll give that branch another shot, but I might start to switch to the new one as it does more turnover and seems to attract their better cooks. The weird thing is that the old branch (where we ate) stayed exceptionally strong on fries, devileds, etc because of the drinking crowd, but those are the dishes are really failed.

The para pollitchattu and the beef curry were still very good. Appam were decent while the parrota was below average given their usual quality.

Apr 15, 2013
JFores in U.K./Ireland