Type of food: Gastropub
St. Bart’s Brewery is a craft beer gastropub located opposite London’s historic Smithfield Market. In addition to serving a selection of lager and beers (including some from the local Camden Town Brewery), they also serve English wine and cider from the Kent based Hush Heath Estate and Winery. The menu changes regularly and the food includes bar nibbles such as Scotch eggs and Welsh rarebit and more bistro style food including steak tartare and salad Niciose (with seared tuna loin). The space is large and there are two floors – the top one is the formal dining area but you can order food to eat on the lower floor. Continue reading
Nusa Kitchen, which has three shops in London, was established in 2004 by Patou Sekhon and her son Mark. The inspiration was one of Patou’s childhood memories of growing up in Singapore – the delicious soup served at her school tuck shop. My memories of the school tuck shop are cheap crisps and sweets, we certainly didn’t have home made soup! Nusa Kitchen originally served Asian inspired soups but has since expanded the menu to include salads, coconut rice boxes, breakfast and desserts. There is also a great choice of vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and dairy free options on the menu. Continue reading
Momo’wich is now called Momo Canteen
There are a number of independent little eating places around the Barbican area in addition to the usual Pret A Mangers, EATs and Subways. Momo’wich is a small modern cafe in Carthusian Street that sells South East Asian street food and aims to deliver ‘authentic Malaysian and Thai flavours.’ You will find amongst other things, Malaysian beef rendang,Thai green chicken curry, soup noodles including curry laksa, steamed sandwich buns, chicken satay and Vietnamese summer rolls on the menu. I’ve noticed bánh mi making an appearance as a special. Vegetarians can order butternut squash Thai red curry, tofu soup noodles, vegetarian spring rolls, tofu summer rolls and vegetarian steamed sandwich buns. Continue reading
I am always on the look out for vegetarian restaurants and I had often walked past Amico Bio, a vegetarian Italian restaurant on Cloth Fair, near the Barbican. The restaurant is owned by an Italian family and uses organic ingredients. There are also plenty of gluten free and vegan options on the menu. There are two restaurants In London – the other is in Holborn. A vegetarian Italian restaurant certainly intrigued me – on my holidays to Italy, I don’t think I came across many exclusively vegetarian restaurants. Continue reading
I have always been intrigued by Leong’s Legend, a Taiwanese restaurant where you’re supposed to knock on the front door before entering. We went to the Leong’s Legends continue… branch (there are two in Chinatown, the other simply called Leong’s Legends) on a very busy Saturday evening and we were lucky to get the last table. The restaurant is decorated simply and is reminiscent of a tea house with wooden tables and chairs and pendant lamp shades. Some of the tables are a little cramped. Continue reading
UPDATE 28th April 2015: This branch of Shiso has closed. The Crouch End shop is still open.
Shiso is a small, independent Japanese cafe tucked away on Long Lane near the Barbican. On the menu, you will find a selection of sashimi and sushi sets, gyoza, chicken katsu, noodles, teriyaki and Japanese tea. Vegetarian options include vegetarian sushi, gyoza and noodles. The style is self service and very much like the chain, Wasabi – the sushi are already pre-packaged and displayed in a fridge for you to take to the counter. The hot dishes are ordered at the counter too and are also already prepared. Shiso is very popular at lunchtime and there is often a queue of people, usually ordering food for takeaway. There are three or four small tables to eat in but they do get nabbed very quickly. The turn over is fairly quick however. The food can sell out quickly too – once it’s gone, it’s gone 🙂 Continue reading
I am partial to a good dumpling, from Italian gnocchi to Czech bread dumplings to good old British dumplings (made with vegetarian suet of course!). I also love east Asian dumplings – Japanese gyoza and, naturally, the lovely little bundles you get in dim sum. London’s Chinatown is full of restaurants that serve dim sum and dumplings – I have been to a few. Jen Café, which is on the corner of Newport Place in Chinatown, however stands out for me because of their signature homemade dumplings. This is not a restaurant as such, more of a Chinese café that feels not dissimilar to a Hong Kong cha chaang teng, the equivalent of a Hong Kong ‘greasy spoon’ cafe.