Haven't been posting much lately. Here are some thoughts on great food in London that I have been eating regularly... Personal preference needs to be taken into account. I am vegetarian and prefer food with great ingredients. So read on if that works for you….
e5 bakehouse have some of the best bread in London. Up there with Franco Manca/Wild Caper, St John, Elliots Café (http://www.elliotscafe.com/bread.html). e5 are super friendly, deliver all over the local region on a very cool bike and frankly just do awesome loaves. There are only a few varieties, Hackney Wild, Multigrain, Borodinsky bread, Fig and Walnut, Ciabatta and Spelt and they are all highly recommended. My favourite at the moment is probably the spelt. When you get it fresh it has that crunchiness on the outside and the inside just melts in your mouth.
Andor Bureau has recently popped up on Mare St, at the corner of Mare and the canal. It took me a while to visit but it was worth it when I did. Café style food and a cool vibe, the food was above Broadway Market standards. Great salads and wicked sandwiches. The guys are friendly and super accommodating. Everything you want in a local café. (see website http://andorbureau.com/)
Railroad Café has been around for a while but again I only got my act together recently and paid it a visit. A sample size of one meal is not enough I know, but what a meal. Started with some sensational slow cooked fennel on toast, along with a really nutty almond and beetroot chilled soup. Loved the almost sour flavour of the almonds. For mains we all had the delice pumpkin stuffed with pilaf and yoghurt. Some seriously good cooking going on in this tiny kitchen. Confirmed with the mind-blowing pressed chocolate cake for dessert. (see website http://www.railroadhackney.co.uk/). They are related to Dock Kitchen, where I have had one (spectacular) meal. (http://www.dockkitchen.co.uk/)
Healthy Stuff is a newish café on Dalston Lane. Given I’m an organic, vegetarian nutcase, it’s right up my alley. Given you are probably not it still may be right up yours. They have a small food store, but the highlights are the simple breakfasts and killer sandwiches. Great ingredients. Awesome combinations. e5 bread. And it has just such a welcoming and friendly vibe it feels like you are in a relaxed country town hanging out here, rather than the chaotic London. (see website http://www.healthystuffe8.co.uk/)
Violet’s on Wilton Way is another underrated café. While it doesn’t do too much, it serves seriously amazing cakes, great salads, an insane grilled cheese sandwich and has a brilliant, relaxed feel. (see website http://www.violetcakes.com/shop/)
The Corner Room in the Town Hall (next to Viajante) I’ve been to a couple of times. Love the room, love the bread, don’t mind the atmosphere. The food is a bit fussy for my taste, and a couple of dishes I have order have been a struggle because the main ingredient has somehow been missing from the description, but a great addition to the area and a reasonably-priced alternative to home cooking. (see their immensely descriptive website http://www.cornerroom.co.uk/)
Frizzante at Hackney City Farm continue to inspire me. Love the café during the week and weekends, especially crazy Sundays, and love the Thursday night Agriturismo even more. There was a time I was going every Thursday and enjoying the sensational ingredients, simple Italian cooking and great atmosphere. The crumble to share is a must. And the past is fresh, homemade and delicious. (See website http://www.frizzanteltd.co.uk/). It does make me think that we are so lucky in Hackney to have the farm. If you haven’t visited it is definitely worthwhile. It’s just great to see pigs in Central London.
There are also the cafes of Broadway Market and Columbia Road, there is Little Georgia, there is One Vyner St (not my favourite), Viajante, the Loft Project, a few pop-up restaurants in people’s houses, Tina We Salute You on the way towards Stoke Newington. Haven’t tried Larder near the Buddhist Centre, Thai Garden (http://www.thethaigarden.co.uk/) is great. La Bouche does deserve a special mention. It’s brilliant.
Still the ultimate, even for a vegetarian, St John Bread and Wine get’s better and better. Freshest ingredients, amazing bread, perfect cooking. The kind of food you could eat every night. (see their website http://www.stjohnbreadandwine.com/)
Story Deli has now moved to 3 Redchurch St. Pizzas are £15. Pizzas are delicious. Atmosphere is sensational. Worth a visit, way better than Pizza East. There are only a few tables and it does get busy, but wait around it’s fun and it’s worth it. All ingredients are organic and super-fresh. Maybe not too traditional but give it a go anyway. (see website http://www.storydeli.com/)
Franze & Evans has again been open a while. Love their Italian cooking. Salads are decent but really I think they are too heavy on the vinegar and too many ingredients. Pastas and cakes are really nice. They are now open for dinner and are doing a great job of that. Amazing cavalo negro, luscious pastas. Worth a meal. (see website http://www.franzeevans.com/)
Rochelle Canteen is still an absolute favourite. Fresh, wholesale, simple, tasty. The way food should be. (see website http://www.arnoldandhenderson.com/4-rochelle_canteen.html
Some good places along Columbia Road, especially on a Sunday, haven’t eaten at Braun because of the vegetarian thing but supposed to be fantastic, a few good places like Gourmet San along Bethnal Green Road but nothing worth a long trip right at the moment, Saf is also a favourite but I don’t dig their recent menu, try to avoid the chains around Shoreditch in general, don’t mind Vietnamese on Kingsland Road but the quality of their ingredients can’t compare with the places above. Pretty big fan of Due Sardi pizza.
Been involved a bit with the London Fields Farmer’s Market. It’s now in local hands which is great. Not a huge number of farmer’s at the moment, but it’s building slowly, has a great atmosphere and hopefully will be one of the shining lights on the Farmer’s Market scene in the next year or two.
Broadway Market has expanded into the school next door. Still has a great vibe on a sunny autumn afternoon. Fresh veg is average (go to the London Fields Farmer’s Market on a Sunday for good veg). Cooked food is ok. This market is all about the vibe.
Stoke Newington Farmer’s Market is buzzing every Saturday, as is Marylebone on a Sunday and Notting Hill on a Saturday. Definitely three great local London Farmer’s Markets that have got it right.
St Ali the South Melbourne café has opened recently in Clerkenwell. Coffee is supposed to be great, but I can definitely recommend the brunch. The beans on toast are outstanding and attact antipodeans from all over for their fix. (see website http://www.stali.co.uk/).
Caravan is also pretty good. Simple, well-cooked food, good brunches, crumpets with butter (wish they were homemade but nobody, not even St John, is able to satisfy my craving for home-made crumpets)… (see their website http://caravanonexmouth.co.uk/)
The Ledbury is apparently in the top 50 restaurants in the world these days. Fair enough too. Had a brilliant meal their a few months back. One of those rare epic dinners where I wake up feeling good the next day which says something about the cooking. Would have the Ledbury on par with River Café as a place to celebrate.
Wahaca stands up time and again with the great ingredients, wonderfully creative combinations and inspiring interpretation of Mexican food. Forget the fact that it is a chain. Forget (in fact embrace) that it is not authentic. My wife and I lived in Mexico for two years, and Wahaca is our Mexican restaurant of choice, far above Lupita, Taqueria etc, although we haven’t tried Casa Morito yet.
Brixton Village. Enough has already been written (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/698606). I still can’t go past Wild Caper though for their brilliant salads, great value, and mind-blowingly mindblowing bread cooked in the Franco Manca ovens (see website http://www.wildcaper.co.uk/).
Eat at Princi at least once a month, and every time I go there I wonder why I am not there more.
Koya is just amazingly good. The seawood or the curry udon are my dishes of choice. So lucky to have a place like this in London.
Tried Nopi and was pretty impressed with a lot of the cooking. Can’t get over the pea and feta dip to go with the bread. Ate that pretty much all night!
L’Anima has amazing, amazing pasta if you can get past the slightly sterile atmosphere.
Garrison is a great little pun on Bermondsey St serving decent food if you can’t get into Zucca (or Jose or Brindisa).
Fareshares in E&C is always awesome. Run by volunteers with the aim of bringing cheap organic foods to the London community it’s a social project as well as a bike shop as well as a wholefoods store. Worth a visit there are always cool people around. (see website http://www.56a.org.uk/fareshares.html)
Happy Kitchen of vegan muffin fame have recently opened up a café. It’s a nice addition to Hackney. Food is good, and buying food in bulk without packaging superb.
Luscious Organics is a cool little café with great home-cooked food on High St Kensington near Holland Park.
Brixton Wholefoods is the ultimate in wholefoods in London. Tiny space, heaps of people, great products and you always come away with some new way of living until you are 400.
Oliver’s near Kew Gardens is just a beautiful store with everything you see in a London organics store only more of it.
The Grocery on Kingsland Road combines organic with hipsters. Go there all the time and so grateful it is close by and always open.
Wholefoods Market is an experience in itself. A slice of organic America in London. Trying to find the kale chips on the basement is an experience in itself.
A quick note. If anybody is an almond butter fan, Monki almond butter blows the competition away!
Gelatorino for me is a very close second. The fior de late comes from the piedoment. They use fantastic fresh italian ingredients, the mantecazione process and the pozzetti (tubs) to store the gelato. Flavours I can't go past are the fiordilatte, Gianduja creamy chocolate with Piedmont IGP hazelnuts, Halzenuts, Croccante milk cream with crunchy pieces of almond croccante, Nocciolini di Chivasso, special cream with Piedmont nocciolini and Stracciatella. Beautiful little shop as well. (see their website http://www.gelatorino.com/)
Finally there is Gelupo which is also excellent but in my gelato cravingness sites just below in the 'would i cycle an hour and a half for you' stakes. Another artisan gelataria in Soho, they deliver all over London. Slightly fancier flavours, I love the fresh mint stracciatella and the ricotta, chocolate and balck pepper. Also a really nice shop to just sit and chat (see their website http://www.gelupo.com/)
deansa, place in brixton village wasn't great the couple of times i tried it. Will definitely get to Maletti soon. I second the vote for Princi.
Was probably there with you Friday. Six of us ate on Friday night. We tried 3/4 of the menu. Some outstanding. A lot good. Some average.
Will post more shortly.
No comparison to the real thing in Condesa by the way. Having lived in Mexico for 18 months I was full of expectations.
Highlights for me are:
* Happy Kitchen: love their sugar free, wheat free, everything free snacks
I've found over the months that this is a star of a market. Not too much or too little. A great market to live close to.
By the way, the farmers market on the Sunday has an amazing organic veg stall that is as good as I have been to in London
I just spent three days in Cornwall over the weekend and thought I would share some of our experiences. We did no fine dining at all while we were there. Padstow looked ok for that although the best recommended being Margot's et al. were all shut on a Sunday.
Arrived in Truro early on Friday morning and headed straight for the beach. We arrived at Porthtowan where there is a sleepy little surf cove and quite a popular cafe/bar called Blue. It was closed so nothing to report. The next stop was St. Ives with the Tate amongst other attractions. It was hot and sticky already in St Ives and the clock was barely past 10am. Perfect time to start with a Cornish Pasty. Ignoring the many, many options we headed for Farrell's. A small little shop on the corner famous for its simple, delicious pasties. I'm vegetarian so a lot of the art of pasty making is lost on me and I'm afraid at Farrell's the vegetarian option was inferior to what I'm sure is an amazing meat pasty. They did serve a mean buttermilk scone. The plain saffron bun was fair to good.
Wandering around St Ives I was struck by the number of decent, cheap eat options. The was an amazing sprout shop, Living Sprouts, that sells sprouting gear, seeds for sprouting, sprouts and other organic, delicious healthy snacks and deli-type foods . We bought a salad and hummus dip from those guys. It was super fresh and delicious with tomato and feta. They also sell homemade chocolate bars in varieties of flavours. The nut and goji berry were awesome and the ginger decent as well.
The pasty hunt continued apace. Past a nice looking deli on Fore St or was it Duke St (they had a great looking homemade gingerbread which we passed up). Eventually we made our way to the harbour where we came across the Simple Foods Cornwall Pasty shop. It was pretty posh, had some good looking sea salt and some strawberries and cream Cornish shortbread biscuits. Kathryn tried the biscuit, loved it, and suggested that any place that had shortbread biscuits that good should make a decent vegetarian pasty. That logic held pretty true. The ingredients were superb. Pastry quite light but there was nothing holding the fresh ingredients together and the pasty lacked the stoginess that makes them so bad yet so good at the same time.
After a decent stroll we realised (1) we were hungry and (2) somebody had said that St. Ives has the best veggie burger in the UK. So I made a dash for Blas and was not disappointed. Haloumi burger was sublime. Fresh haloumi, red peppers, some salad, great homemade mayo. Just a perfect taste. I also ordered a deluxe veg burger based on a black bean pattie but that was not as delicious. We ate the veg burger in the middle of an ancient stone circle a few miles out of St. Ives. Magic.
Spent the rest of the day at St. Michael's Mount before heading over, past St. Austell, to Buttervilla organic farm, our B&B for the night. A bit hungry after so much walking, swimming and driving we got a tip off to visit the Rod and Line pub in Tideford just past St. Germans. A friendly local pub kind of busy on a Friday night and definitely a nice and relaxing place to spend a few hours. But boy did I wish at this stage that I was still eating fish. As the fish and chips, lobster and every other seafood dish looked sensational. I settled with a goats cheese and mango salad with a side of chips. Pretty decent considering. Heaps of goats cheese dry fried on top of lettuce. Simple and fresh but I’d go the fresh fish if I could.
After a sensational run up and down the Buttervilla hills it was time for the home cooked breakfast. I started with the homemade granola and freshly produced raspberry coulis with local yoghurt. Outstanding. Fresh, light, not too sweet. Followed with potato, cherries and home grown leaves (I love greens for breakfast more of that later). Also they had an excellent strawberry jam. Lovely people, beautiful farm and a great breakfast. We left excited about the day ahead and also armed with an inside tip for the best pasties in the region, Sarah's pasties in Looe.
We were not disappointed. Looe is a pretty port village and Sarah's is the last of many pasty shops along a main pedestrian strip. But ignore the rest and walk straight there. The spicy chick pea with lentil was outstanding, as was the regular vegetarian. At 10am on a Saturday they were pumping pasties out of the oven. Everything was hot and fresh. We followed the pasties with a cherry scone and a fruit scone. Both were excellent. I also made a visit to the cake shop but there was too much in our goody bag already. Looking back I reckon I should have tried the millionaieres shortbread or the Victoria Sponge. Actually another saffron tea cake would have been nice as well.
From Looe it was a pretty drive to the Eden Project. The food didn't look very good there by the way. And from there back to St. Germans to visit Port Elliot which is open just 100 days a year. Spectacular house and gardens and a great little tea house. The Victoria sponge was delicious but way too sweet. We had the traditional Cornish cream tea (note: don’t even think about mentioning Devonshire tea – from the rival county Devon next door). Excellent scones, clotted cream and jam. The cake / pastry cook there was top notch. Satiated and a little drowsy we made our way through the Bodmin Moors through to Bangors Organic near Bude.
Highlight of the trip. Warmly greeted we got ready for a three course dinner with everything coming from the garden. After a starter of artichoke with herb butter for me and cream of lettuce soup for Kathryn we took a stroll through an amazing 10 year journey. About 50 garden beds of every vegetable you can imagine. All organically grown. And all picked fresh and served just a couple of hours later – transported 50 metres to our plate – a true farm experience. Still full after a serious days eating I settled for some freshly picked and steamed greens, flavourFULL broad beans and homemade potato chips. Wow. Super fresh and amazingly delicious. To round out the meal I had a chocolate and almond torte but here I missed out as the freshly picked strawberries with clotted cream were out of this world. Some other options on the menu I can remember were wild trout with fennel and home reared duck, stir-fried in a sweet and sour sauce served with basmati rice. Both served with amazing seasonal vegetables.
Breakfast the following morning was fresh fruits from the garden with granola and then a number of options including cornish porridge with clotted cream. But to cleanse I went for baked beans and steamed greens again which caused lots of confusion. But boy they are amazing. Home baked bread topped off a great feed.
We left with huge bags of vegetables from the garden and a home baked saffron tea cake and took a drive down the wild North Cornwall coast. At Tintagel we stopped to view the castle and picked up the worst pasty of the trip. And then late in the afternoon rolled into Padstow and Rick Stein madness. Which we missed. Had a pasty from Clough which was disappointing as well. Found every restaurant either shut on Sunday's, shut by 4pm or owned by Rick Stein. So after a quick stroll we got out of there
sped98 - great photos
i'm living and working in whitehaven at the moment...
can you recommend any great places to eat in the lakes - im willing to drive!!!
Dave - glad you made it, but next time you have to try the bus-up-shot instead of the roti... it's the highlight of Roti Joupa along with the doubles
amoul in formosa st near warwick ave station is outstanding.
they have started doing dinner
church st market next to edgeware road station is brilliant as well, especially the felafel and breads at #16
queens park has a good farmers market
I'm going to give this a go Saturday
I love Latke and vegetarian pierogi.... one question, is the borscht with a meat stock? Guess I'll find out shortly
Amoul's has a swiss chard and lentil soup once a week or so.. also moudardara (green lentils cooked with rice and topped with caramelised onions)
Haven't tried either
They have rotating daily specials like chicken and onion stew, beef lasagna, daoud basha, mushroom and leek lasagna, kibbeh bissaniyeh, fish pie and steak and kidney pie or steak pie
Lisboa is too delicious
And Nii, yeah I think the food at Portobello is just standard market fare, nothing that really gets me excited there
Had lunch here last Sunday after cycling past a number of times.
The food was awesome.
I started with English muffins with honey. I can't understand why the English serve their toast and muffins cold, and this was the owner downer to what was a large, fluffy delicious English muffin. Which reminds me, isn't it a bit weird that they are still known as English muffins in England. Surely everybody knows this??
I followed that with a sensational dish that was essentially two large gourmet felafel balls with a simple green salad. It was a really great dish. As I go back to jog my memory I notice that this Sunday's menu is quite different, which is great to see. While not that seasonal they certainly vary their menu.
Other members of our group had the eggs, soup, salads and the salmon.
The only query was with the salmon which was pretty good only.
By the highlight by far, the Ricotta pancakes, crème fraiche, green plum & gooseberry compote... man they were incredible. The pancakes were light and fluffy and the ricotta gave them a creamy and slightly sour taste and also a lightness that you don't usually associate with American style pancakes.
The three levels of the restaurant were absolutely packed all afternoon.
The Modern Pantry
Saturday my girlfriend and I went to an afternoon's eating and cycling around London.
We started at Church St market just off Edgware Road. Such a great market very well used by the local Middle Eastern community. I forgot how good the produce here in comparison to the Ridley Road market which is now my local cheap fresh fruit and veg market.
But we weren't looking for produce, instead making a visit to the cafe at 16 Church St which sells my favourite Lebanese pizza in London. We knew we had plenty of eating to come so settled for one zaatar and cheese and one zaatar with salad. The zaatar and cheese was the star. Perfect mix of Lebanese cheese (a lot like haloumi) and the zaatar spice blend. I'm salivating right now as I write this up. The best part of the snack was mopping up the edges of the pizza with the melted cheese and zaatar that had dripped into the paper bag..... mmmm
Then we hopped on our bikes and headed over to Warwick Ave tube to Amoul's, a great little cafe on Formosa St that I've written about before. Amoul is a great Egyptian cook who makes everything from scratch. The pastries are no longer a secret and regularly disappear before 10am (where else can you get beautiful hand made pastries that are not mass produced). But we made it for lunch and settled for the fatoush, tabouleh, hummous, moutabal and another green salad which I can't remember. Really nice salads, although the lemon was really strong on the fatoush, and I couldn't taste the pomegranate juice as strongly as when I've had this dish in the Middle East. Home made labneh rounded out an awesome lunch.
To work off lunch we headed off to Regent's and (ignoring the road rules) cycled round the park for half an hour or so, watching the sports matches and passing through the rose garden. The purpose: get some fresh air and prepare for afternoon tea.
We cycled back through Warwick Avenue, over the canal and along Westbourne Grove. I was keen to stop at Arancina for their new combo special but was hounded down. We had a look at El Pirata de Tapas (but I'm going there in a couple of weeks so gave it a miss) - the lunch menu looked outstanding and then headed to the top of Portobello Road along the backstreets to Lisboa Patisserie. Moments later we were in possession of 10 custard tarts, each with its own small mountain of cinnamon. Excellent. Is there anything in the world like these tarts? I can't believe that the clientèle is still 99% Portuguese.
Back through Portobello Road we checked out a few stalls, tried the felafels at the Vegetarian place, but as always found the food section underwhelming.
We jumped back on our bikes and rode through Notting Hill. Unfortunately the farmers market was long over, and we had no shopping to do so didn't need to stop off at the Chegworth farm shop. Instead we took Kensington Church St towards Kensington High St, making a stop at Ottolenghi. Tried the granola bar which was too sweet, disappointing really. Unfortunately the salads just didn't do it for me on the day - too many ingredients and too much roast root vegetables.
The final stop was a visit to Wholefoods. I always like looking at the huge variety of 'healthy' junk food that they have there like almond butter, millions of types of chips, chocolate etc
We made it to our friends house in time to have a snack before heading off to dinner at Wodka which I posted about separately.
absolutely loved the aubergine and most importantly the delicate slicing
Had a great meal at this Polish place close to Wholefoods, High St Kensington on Saturday night.
We were a party of 8, three were vegetarians (myself included) so I can't comment personally on the meat dishes.
For starters there was quite a substantial menu broken down along four themes
1. Soups (borscht and sauerkraut): unfortunately both were cooked with a meat stock
A few flavoured vodkas later and it was time for the mains.
I had the vegetarian moussaka. I know, I know. It was the only veg main on the menu. I did manage to negotiate on behalf of my girlfriend and got her a plate of latke with a side of cabbage. Piping hot latke, quite small but perfectly fried and heaving on everything that makes a latke such a great dish. Just like my grandma used to make! The moussaka was also delicious. Lentils and squash, and not too heavy at all.
Around the table the goulash was the highlight. Served in a large black pot with much ceremony it came with cream and apparently the meat was melt in the mouth. The pork trotter was cooked to perfection. The only query was the pheasant which was a little dry.
Given the night was for a friend's party, dessert was a cheesecake made by the kitchen.
Words fail me - it was awesome!
Thanks again JFores
Disappointing that the 30 course feast did not materialise, but somehow that adds to Thattukada's charm....
As always the appams were sensational..
Loved the warm cumin water we had to start (cleanse the palate and help create room in the stomach).. just warm water with cumin seeds but it had a very pleasing taste and a lovely warm yellow colour
Being veg I can't vouch for a lot of the meal, but the veg thali was great. The beetroot and cabbage dishes were lightly spiced, not too heavily cooked and made for a very simple introduction to the meal. The dhal was good - mild with the yellow split peas cooked very well, not too soft, although it came out a little late and lacked something special. I wasn't a massive fan of the cold yoghurt curry - mainly because I'm not a huge yoghurt fan.
The kothu was really good - although debate raged whether the plain putu is better... i'm happy with either
As always, chaotic inside, great company and a really fun night.
that is correct
and the saddest thing is that there are no more hand-made Chinese desserts either like the sesame balls with ground peanut...
But the dim sum is still good, great for vegetarians
i find the best stalls at broadway market are concentrated towards the front of the market (canal end, not london fields end) - but i have a crazy diet and don't eat meat so can't vouch for carnivorous satisfaction
the dulwich bakery has sensational bread... everything is great....
the organic veg stall has great rainbow carrots and often excellent organic lettuce deals, amongst other things
the russian stall has great, simple homecooked russian food... i love the salmon, rice and egg slice and the beetroot salad
there is also a polish stall with fantastic pierogi
further up the market (past la bouche) there is the happy kitchen which is an inspiring and delicious vegan, sugar free sweets stall and also a creperie with buckwheat galletes
the rest of the stalls can be found at other places around london
special mention to chegworth's for their lovely apples and the tomato stall for their summer golden cherry tomatoes
the banh mi is also good halfway along the market (I have heard, but have not tried)
30 course veg meal?
I have to do that!
Took a Sri Lankan friend to Thattukada on the weekend and she was blown away by the food... and I cannot get over how friendly they all are... and how much I love their Appams.
Yes that is flafel not felafel.
167 Commercial St, 0207 247 0272
I've eaten here twice on the recommendation from a lovely German cyclists with two degress in philosophy (so it had to be good)
They cook the felafel fresh when you order - a very good start, and they roll the dough and heat it on the saj so the bread is also cooked to order which is very, very good. I had the mutable and tabuleh as sides and both were super fresh and delicious. Nothing too sophisticed, it is a felafel takeaway after all, but comparing apples with apples they were excellent.
Second visit I had a small felafel wrap whichi is three quid. Again everything was prepared fresh, the only downside was that there was no tahini (but only that day).... highly recommend it
In a city where a lot of the takeaway joints are average Flafel house is now my cheap and easy food of choice around the City/Brick Lane area along with a salmon and cream cheese bagel at the beigel bake
So that covers off the city and clapham (roti joupa) as well as east ham with thattakadu, edgeware road (cafe at no. 16 church st) and 101 thai kitchen in hammersmith as the cheap local places that make me happy, but I've got a long list to get through in the next couple of months
3 months in the making, 9 of us visited the New Fortune Cookie on Queensway Saturday night to eat a whole suckling pig plus other courses. We'd been talkig about eating a whole roast pig since May but logistics were complicated.
The pig came out first to much acclaim, unsliced, and was left on the table for two minutes... it was then whisked away and 15 minutes later was sliced up into hundreds of little pieces. The meat was fantastic, tender and soft, with excellent crackling. It was a lot of fun sharing, eating and chatting away and the quality did not let us down.
Even though we were all stuffed there were seven more dishes to come
We followed up with steamed scallops which were excellent although the sauce was a little heavier than I would have liked.
Finally six more dishes were brought to the table:
- dry shreded beef
I loved the lotus leaf wrapped rice adn the dover sole
It came out to around £30 a head and was a great, great Saturday night.
could we also revive the whole lamb option - im up for it and could easily get 6 others to join!
will give it a go in a few weeks
out of curiosity I've passed Dragon Castle near Elephant & Castle plenty of times over the last few months. How is it? I've never been in
Taqueria has nopales and cotija and pasilla chiles as well I'm pretty sure. They stock products from cool chile
Thanks for the tip
I went last night around 10pm and there was a queue - heaps of Pakistanis though, a good sign for an ethnic restaurant
I got talking to a guy in the queue who reminded me (1) the chef was the original Tayyabs chef and they are still on good terms which is why everything is so similar (2) Pakistanis love meat
I ordered palak alloo and the aubergine curry. Both were good but no better or worse than Tayyabs (perhaps that was my mind controlling my taste buds after receiving the chef information). Look it was a great meal but I did spend some of my time reflecting on chowhound and wanted to put this out to the group...
Why is it that we need to find places like Needoo. Is it that popular places like Tayyabs eventually sacrifice some of the essentials of chowish dining to feed the massees, or is it that a place can't be chowish unless it is undiscovered. I started reminiscing on my favourite food experiences which all involve repeated adventures to an eatery that holds a special place in my heart. Some are busy and some will never be discovered. Some most people would describe as mediocre, but they have a je ne sais quoi that I love.... it feels at times like hounds become treasure hunters caught in the paradox that to reveal the source of the treasure is to lose it, but to not reveal it is to not have the treasure at all
maybe i've lost my marbles, but thanks for this great board, it's the people here who discover the places like Needoo which turn them into places like Tayyabs which make more Needoo's possible, and that can only be a good thing, right?
Again this is no secret but I took some friends on a hunt for the Pastei de nata @ Lisboa last weekend
Funnily enough we missed it (don't ask) and ended up at Oporto - we ordered 12, piled on the cinamon and had a ball. The tarts were super fresh, really tasty with a fantastically constructed base. Usually they crumble under the weight of the custard but Oporto's version somehow held firm while also having more flavour and subtlety that most.
Plus this is a great part of the market. There are a few food stalls by the side of the road that I am going to have to try.
Had to check out the Stingray Globe Cafe as I had been hearing plenty about it since moving nearby.
It's at the top of Columbia Road and has a nice outdoor seating area
Menu is a bit confusing and spread over three sheets but it was easy enough for me as I was just on the look out for pizza. Had a Fiorentina pizza and a green salad. It was quite good. Not fantastic pizza but it wasn't trying to be. Not too greasy and a huge serving.
All in all I was really happy altough the service was slightly lacking.
Not too chowish I know but thought I'd post it up anyway for people who are interested.
Went a couple of weeks back but haven't got around to posting
Great atmosphere upstairs on a Sunday morning. Busy but not packed - lot's of attitude
Food was very good
Sardines, peppers, tomatoes and dill on toast and
Polenta was rich and creamy and reminded me to go back to the deep south in the US some time
Loved the sardines, simple and delicious
Have no idea what my friend ordered but it was good
Going back for lunch/dinner soon
I know reviews over the years have been variable but for brunch it was great and the best option I've found so far in the area
Never tried because it has never jumped out at me - or maybe whenever I get out of Clapham North station I'm on a doubles mission.
Have to say again in defence of Roti Joupa's roti, it is sensational when it is freshly cooked but you have to beg, cajole, wait