Archive | London RSS feed for this section

Nana Fanny’s (Borough Market, London, UK)

Despite the lack of reviews associated with our 20 mile “Death March” itself, don’t be fooled into thinking we weren’t eating. In addition to stopping for German Food, by mid-point of the March we’d also stopped for pork buns, a beer break, another 99 Flake, and even some mini donuts on the Thames. So we weren’t lacking for sustenance. But a bit after the halfway point of our walk, we hit one of our major stops: Borough Market. Long one of London’s major produce and specialty food markets, on the weekends (now expanding into most of the week) it’s a pretty major food destination, with one of the larger outdoor food markets. It was here in Borough Market that I found Nana Fanny’s and stopped for a quick “salt beef bagel”.

Continue Reading ...

German Food Truck (Portobello Road, London, UK)

Despite “eating” being one of the more substantial goals of our annual “Death March” tradition, there aren’t a lot of reviews from the walk along the way, mostly since Death March dining is primarily a matter of “grazing” as we hit various markets, train stations, and other light dining opportunities. However, we did find a few interesting and notable places along the way. The first of these was at London’s Portobello Road market. Portobello Road has long been known for its antique stores and Saturday morning market where people set up shop at various stalls hawking their antiques. But in recent years, it has increasingly become a street food market, with both a few vendors intermixed among the antiques, and a larger dedicate food market along Cambridge Gardens right after Portobello road passes under the A40, and a few of the vendors throughout Portobello Street are actually quite good and notable. One of these that caught our attention was a truck simply named “German Food”.

Continue Reading ...

Breakfast at Dishoom (Kings Cross, London, UK)

Sometimes I really enjoy when cuisine takes some interesting voyages to get from its origins to its current state. A good example of this is the concept of the Irani Bombay café. The Irani café concept dates back to the 19th century, when a large wave of Zoroastrian immigration into India resulted in a large number of cafés opening that were welcoming to a good cross-section of society; Sikh dining next to a Hindus and Zoroastrians, with an interesting Indo-Iranian cuisine focusing on chai, fragrant Biryanis (a dish that actually traces back to Iran), omelets, curries, and naans. It’s also, unfortunately, a culinary heritage that’s dying out, with fewer than 30 classic Irani cafés still remaining in Mumbai, and similar number in Hyderabad. Into this scene comes another migration, with British restaurateurs Shamil and Kavi Thakrar who decided to bring the concept to London. The result was Dishoom, a small chain of “Bombay-Style Cafes” (although the Thakrar cousins sold the chain in mid-2017).

Continue Reading ...

Goddard’s at Greenwich (Greenwich, UK)

Early in our UK trip this year, we got on the train and headed out to far Eastern outskirts of London, to a very odd destination: the Crossness Pumping Station. Now decommissioned, for almost 100 years, the Crossness was a gigantic, steam-powered… sewage pump. It’s more interesting than it sounds, since it’s primarily an example (and possibly one of the best examples) of Victorian-era engineering in all of it’s overly-adorned awesomeness. After a rather long morning of touring gigantic flywheels, steam cylinders, giant brick galleries, and entire more elaborately painted cast iron than anyone thought possible, we were more than ready for some lunch. Taking the train back towards London, it was easiest for us to stop in Greenwich, and since we spent the morning experiencing old-school English engineering, this was a good opportunity to have a good, old-school English lunch of pie and mash, stopping off at Goddard’s at Greenwich.

Continue Reading ...

Sunday Roast at Hawksmoor (Spitalfields, London, UK)

With a gathering of friends all descending upon London for our annual gathering of marchers for our “Death March”, we decided that it would be good to do a handful of traditional British activities, one of which was a traditional Sunday Roast. A good Sunday Roast requires a little bit of research, since it’s one of those traditions that in many ways is best experienced in someone’s home around the family dinner table, but there are still a good number of places (especially higher-end pubs) that do up a respectable Sunday Roast. After reviewing many of the options, my colleague Jeff made arrangements for our large group to go out for a Sunday Roast at Hawksmoor, the well-known London-area steak and cocktail chain.

Continue Reading ...

Mien Tay (Battersea, London, UK)

Well, last Fall was another of my famous “Death Marches” across metropolitan areas, this time focusing on London (specifically, walking from Putney to Greenwich). But before the main even, I spent some time with family exploring some of the more interesting boroughs of London, starting with an outing to Battersea, Clapham, and Brixton. During our outing, we decided that some lunch was in order, so we stopped in for Vietnamese. It wasn’t that long ago that Vietnamese food was a bit of a niche in London, but since I wrote the review of Tay Do back in 2011, Shoreditch has basically become the Phở Mile (including Sông Quê which I visited back in 2013). But more recently, quite a few additional options have been showing up, and establishing themselves in other parts of town. One of the more notable ones is Mien Tay, a chain with locations in Battersea, Fulham, Kingsland Road, and Wood Green. We went to their Battersea location, since it was along our walk.

Continue Reading ...

Ariana II (London, UK)

Our visit to London this time was a short one, so after just a few days we found ourselves looking for one last good ethnic meal before our departure, and my brother decided that it would be good to head over to Kilburn and get some Afghan food. Kilburn has an interesting assortment of ethnic restaurants, with more than a few places serving Afghan food, but Ariana II is one of the best-regarded (for those curious, the original Ariana is in New York City. I’ll have to check it out sometime).

Continue Reading ...

Silk Road (London, UK)

One of the fabulous things about London is that it has has a lot of ethnic foods available that aren’t easy available in the US (on the negative side of things, there are also ethnic foods that still haven’t really arrived there: most Latin American food isn’t really available aside from Mexican, which is still somewhat a developing scene). One of these is Xinjiang cuisine. Xinjiang is a really good example of how China isn’t a monotlithic country; as one of the northwest provinces, much of the population is historically more Turkic than Chinese, much of the population is Muslim Uyghurs, and the resulting culinary tradition is a blend of Turkic and Chinese traditions. Lamb soup and kebabs are standard fare, and there’s even a variation of naan. And, in the London district of Camberwell, there’s actually a well-regarded source for Uyghur cuisine: Silk Road.

Continue Reading ...

Padella (London, UK)

After three days of exploring Edinburgh, we boarded our train and headed down to London to spend a few days with family. One of the things I enjoy about London is that, being one of the world’s largest cities, there is never a shortage of new places to try. So I figured this would be another good opportunity to get together with Krista from Passport Delicious and try out a place that had been on her radar: Padella in Borough Market.

Continue Reading ...

Josẽ (Bermondsey, London, UK)

The last stop of my Bermondsey food and beer tour with Krista from Passport Delicious was a stop just north of the Maltby Street Market at Josẽ on Bermondsey Street. Josẽ is one of the three restaurants of Spanish restaurateur Josè Pizarro, and it’s the least formal: a casual tapas bar/eatery with a fairly nice laid back vibe. Settling in, we got a nice Rioja and started looking over the chalkboard list of tapas items.

Continue Reading ...