Back in London again for a short while. Spending more time here has given me a better scope and appreciation of the vast expanse of culture that exists here. The weather is still horrendous...but the food, ahhh the food makes up for it in spades. London can be a bit overwhelming for the epicurious as there is basically a new restaurant to discover every couple of steps. Restaurant review sites helped me at first, but I fast found out that (like any great city) word of mouth is where it's at.
So--I've got a few current favorites to share, places that make my mouth water at just the mention of their names. No pictures yet though. Every time we saunter off to one of these eateries I get so excited that I forget to bring my camera. My belly tends to take precedence over my artistic integrity. Go figure.
1. Afghan Kitchen Just a hop, skip and a jump away from Big Poppa's flat in Islington is this fantastic, low-key Afghan gem. It is hard to identify, but well worth it. If you get lost just stop into a nearby pub and ask--it seems like everyone in the neighborhood knows about these digs.
Clean, basic decor and simple, fresh ingredients make me drool over this place as soon as I step on the plane to Heathrow Airport. In fact, it is usually the first meal we have in London and as soon as I'm done, I crave it again. Try the aubergines, the pumpkin and the fish stew, you won't be disappointed. Then a couple of pieces of house-made baklava to end with and some wonderfully refreshing spiced green tea and you will run home to tell all your friends. I'm not kidding, it's that good.
Nearest tube stations: Highbury/Islington or Angel
2. Gerrard's Corner I've been to Chinatown a few times and have never gotten it right. There are so many choices and my usual "just pick a place with lots of people in it" doesn't seem to work on London's crowded streets. So when Mr.Big Time took me to Gerrard's Corner...I wasn't expecting much. I was wrong. I guess my motto all this time should've been "just pick a place where all the Chinese people are eating". The food was authentic and flavorful and the service was fantastic. I just ordered basic chinese greens with ginger and fried egg noodles with bean sprouts, but it was packed with intense flavor. I can't imagine what their more complex dishes taste like but I'm gonna go back and let you know.
Stay away from the hot and sour soup though....serious disappointment.
Nearest tube stations: Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus
3. Lahore Kebab House London is full to the brim with Indian restaurants. I've ordered delivery most often from Masala Zone which never fails to disappoint when you're looking to watch bad reruns and eat some comfort food. However if you want a true Indian dining experience, then Lahore Kebab House in White Chapel is the place for you. The ambience is lacking but the kebabs are to die for. The way these people do meat is sinful. To be honest I had the food ordered for me by a seasoned foodie--so I can't even remember what I ate. All I can tell you is that every bite was juicy deliciousness. There are several restaurants in that area with the word "Lahore" in the name, so be sure to get the right one.
Nearest Tube Stations: Aldgate East, WhiteChapel
That's it for now, but the hunt for mouth-watering nosh continues....