(Image courtesy of Kin Cafe.) Dinner Green Papaya: Great Vietnamese. Vegan options. (E, Hackney & Hoxton.) Salvation in Noodles
With all the doom, gloom, drama and chaos that is sweeping the country following Brexit, there couldn't be a better time to remind ourselves of what makes Britain, and in particular London, so great. One of the best indications of London's spectacular diversity and ability to draw on such a wide range of cultures is the incredible range of restaurants in the city. Here are the top five I would high recommend checking out when in town.
They came in all shapes and sizes ... and in a variety of less than typical situations (cargo container? driving range?) from fancy schmancy to stripped down and plain - but in every circumstance the food was the star.
We had a good lunch recently at L'Escargot in Greek Street. Those assembled comprised my two pals both called Oliver, Anna and Robert the Suave. Also Mohammad Zahoor, the plucky owner of the Kyiv Post. It was a quiet Monday and we sat at the back, discussing the tribulations in Ukraine, the seamless staff of L'Escargot did their quiet, noble work
As much as "social enterprise" is a buzzword these days, there are people who reject this label entirely. 'Reluctant social entrepreneur,' Iqbal Wahhab is one such person. Sitting in Roast Restaurant in Borough Market, London, enjoying a delicious macchiato and the exceptional service of their highly-rated staff, I questioned Iqbal's hesitation to embrace this categorisation of his long-standing work supporting the community.
No Korean meal is complete without Kimchi, either as an appetizer, a pre-appetizer, in your soup or your rice... See what I mean? You can't go through a Korean meal without picking or being forced to pick Kimchi somewhere in there.
We are now trending into the bizarre. Are you really expecting us to eat a full breakfast and then order a rack of lamb or a beef fillet after that, we wonder... Never mind the fuss anymore, we just decided to go with what was available and order off the breakfast menu.
I'm an emotional wreck. My boat of foodie criticism, of which I am both captain and cabin boy, has this week been buffeted by heartless winds and raging seas, before unexpected waters of calm are again suddenly whipped into cruel storms...
The London restaurant scene is on fire at the moment, and without doubt one of the best places in the world for the quality of its restaurants. 2015 looks set to continue this trend if these restaurants are anything to go by. Read on for my top picks of the best new restaurants opening in London in 2015.
The first is Rabbit and the second is John Doe. Sod Michelin, with its mincing implore that a place is 'worth a detour'. These restaurants are a worth car crash. I'd pinch Chris Eubank's stupid big truck and drive it through several houses if that was the most direct route to Rabbit or John Doe.