Paradise

Sri Lankan food seems to be enjoying a resurgence in London at the moment.  Following the launch of Hoppers and Kolamba (on which see my reviews here and here), the most recent addition to this eclectic party is contemporary Sri Lankan restaurant Paradise.  I say eclectic as all look to celebrate the country’s truly vibrant … Continue reading Paradise

Cinder

Long-on my List has been Mediterranean Cinder.  This Belsize Park restaurant had largely drawn me in thanks to its Josper cooking.  As their website exclaims, they’re “passionate about cooking over fire”, with “best quality ingredient…kissed by flames”.  Heavy romance.  As a lover of smokey flavours, I had cloud-high expectations – think unadulterated, bold and barbecued … Continue reading Cinder

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen

The best restaurants have a story behind them and Imad’s Syrian Kitchen is all about the narrative.  And a gripping one it is.  Imad Alarnab was once (and continues to be!) a successful chef and restaurateur but in Damascus, where he ran three restaurants alongside cafés and juice bars.  All that was destroyed in just … Continue reading Imad’s Syrian Kitchen

Stoney Street

As an admirer of the beautiful 26 Grains, owner Alex Hely-Hutchinson’s Borough venture, Stoney Street – eponymous with its location – had long been on my List.  Though both are famed for haute (or oat – pun intended) porridge, bircher bowls, pastries and foccacias, by night – on Wednesdays through to Saturdays – Stoney Street … Continue reading Stoney Street

Mike’s

From the team behind Camberwell Arms and Frank’s Café arrives Mike’s, bringing Roman- (or London- – more on that later) -style pizza to Peckham, specifically Copeland Park.  Found in a former grain storage space, like previous tenants Forza Win they’ve kept things totally stripped-down and simple inside. Covid-proof, seating is available both inside, if you’re … Continue reading Mike’s

Garden Museum Café

Enjoying lunch in a museum café – what’s more, on a weekday – feels like a double treat post-lockdown.  As the last year has shown, what seem like standard activities for a London staycation should no longer be taken for granted.  The Garden Museum – a somewhat under-the-radar yet iconic spot in Lambeth – feels … Continue reading Garden Museum Café

Maya

A rooftop dinner seems absolutely called for at the moment to welcome in the easing of lockdown, post-Covid life and to support the hospitality industry.  Queue Maya: a Mexican restaurant on the 7th-floor rooftop space of the Hoxton Hotel’s Shoreditch outpost.  Recently opened in collaboration with Soho House, the restaurant is a travelling story: it … Continue reading Maya

Scully’s

Scully’s, chef Ramuel Scully’s debut restaurant, is tucked behind Piccadilly in St James’s Market, in one of those glossy new developments.  But don’t let its corporate-looking exterior put you off.  Scully himself is a chef who is a citizen of everywhere.  Born in Malaysia to a mother of Chinese and Indian heritage and an Irish-Balinese … Continue reading Scully’s

Elliot’s

You might discount Elliot’s given its location on the fringes of the (pre-Covid) touristy Borough Market.  But this seasonal and small-plates led restaurant has been one of the best in the market for a while now, not least over the last few months when it seems to have had a renaissance and a surge of … Continue reading Elliot’s

Rochelle Canteen

Rochelle Canteen comes with a stellar reputation.  Described as a “hidden sanctuary” and “magic” inside a “walled kingdom” – you do have to be buzzed in to be able to enter – it now has a cult following.  Post-lockdown, even securing a booking is a challenge, with a month-long lead time.  Set up by St … Continue reading Rochelle Canteen

Good Neighbour

Following the Camberwell original and its Tooting sibling, wine bar/restaurant Good Neighbour have opened a third site on what has become a foodie hotspot, Peckham Rye.  Taking the site of what was formerly the lovely Pedler who are relocating eastwards, it has big boots to fill.  But from my visit on its opening evening, Good … Continue reading Good Neighbour

123V

For my first indoor dining treat post-lockdown, back to Mayfair but this time just off Bond Street.  Department store Fenwick has launched a new “wellness” concept space in their basement – the buzzword of the day (or the past year or so it seems) – featuring a sustainable food market, beauty and of course activewear … Continue reading 123V

Fallow

Dinner in Mayfair feels like an aptly luxurious postcode to welcome in the gradual easing out of lockdown and the arrival of Spring/Summer 2021.  Though securing an al fresco booking in London right now is close to impossible – think a month-long lead in time, on top of limited choice and finding spots with heated … Continue reading Fallow

Coal Office

A collaboration between designer Tom Dixon and chef/entrepreneur Assaf Granit, who in London co-owns (with siblings Zoë and Layo Paskin) The Palomar and one of my favourite haunts, The Barbary, Coal Office’s roots are of critical acclaim.  In Jerusalem, he’s behind the equally successful hotspots Machneyuda and Yudale.  Having visited the former (with some difficulty … Continue reading Coal Office

Chuku’s

At the time of this review’s jaunt, eating out in the then new normal (with its 10pm curfew) meant 6pm reservations (even on a Sunday evening), travelling to Seven Sisters to #supportsmall and cubicle dining.  Though an unpromising combination, I was willing to bite the bullet and commute up to the ends of the Victoria … Continue reading Chuku’s

Siam Niyom

Finding authentically delicious Thai food in London is (surprisingly) difficult but Siam Niyom confirms that the best are the local, family-run, no-fuss no-frill kind’a haunts.  At the top of that list should be this gem of a restaurant – Siam Niyom.  Whilst Rosa’s is an obvious option, I’ve been underwhelmed with it in the past … Continue reading Siam Niyom

Nue Ground

Trying out “Nue Ground” in what has become the “new normal” seems apt.  Particularly given the ethos of this place, located on Clapham Old Town’s neighbourhood street of Abbeville Road.  Appropriate for the “new normal” (whatever that is), at its core is sustainability, ethical sourcing and healthy, fresh produce, without compromising on taste and at … Continue reading Nue Ground

Brother Marcus

In performance of my Eat Out To Help Out civic duty back in August, my companion and I made it to Balham’s (Little) Brother Marcus.  Though a big name on the brunch scene, offering the hipster holy trinity of Caravan coffee, cocktails and avocado on toast, by night it serves Middle Eastern mezze: think kebab … Continue reading Brother Marcus

Don Luigi

Looking for a slice (or a few) of authentic Neapolitan pizza in a traditional Italian trattoria, my choice for this week’s Eat Out To Help Out dinner was Don Luigi.  Originally a pop-up serving Italian street food in Pop Brixton, Don Luigi found a permanent home in Streatham Hill in what was previously the site … Continue reading Don Luigi

Bubala

3 August 2020 was probably the first day when most of the country stood behind the government, or at least Rishi Sunak – Covid’s answer to Santa.  The date marked the launch of the nationwide August “Eat Out To Help Out” campaign.  In spite of its slightly cringe-worthy collective name, the initiative is an outstanding … Continue reading Bubala

Sri Lanka: a whistlestop guide to a paradise island

Having visited Sri Lanka in February 2020, I can confirm that Sri Lanka is totally deserving of its title as “pearl of the Indian Ocean”.  But as the victim of a 20-year civil war, a tsunami, terrorist attacks and now, of course, the coronavirus pandemic, the island has suffered from a drop in tourism.  Since … Continue reading Sri Lanka: a whistlestop guide to a paradise island

kin + deum

London Bridge seems to be a hidden corner of Thailand.  One of its most well-known Thai haunts is Suchard on Tooley Street, founded by Suchard Inngern.  He arrived in London in 1975 with £20 in his pocket.  Having grown up in an orphanage in Bangkok, he enrolled in a restaurant kitchen, before opening his popular … Continue reading kin + deum

Wild by Tart

From the fantastic duo behind the beautiful Tart column in the Evening Standard comes Wild by Tart, a restaurant set in the attractive Eccleston Yard.  Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison’s recipes are always seasonal, produce-led and full of wonderful spices – an eclectic interplay of Middle Eastern, South American and European flavours – and now … Continue reading Wild by Tart

Kolamba

Finally, London seems to have clocked on to the joys of Sri Lankan cooking. Though rustled up in restaurants across Tooting, Wembley and Ealing for decades, “trendy” spots have now sprung up across the capital: Weligama supper clubs @ Italo, Paradise on Rupert Street, Hoppers (of course) and Kolamba on Kingly Street.  Named after the … Continue reading Kolamba

Athens: a modern guide to an ancient capital

The classical capital of Athens has been undergoing a Renaissance of late, which makes it perfect for a city break.  Although subject to turmoil – treated as a stopover en route to Greece’s glamorous islands, momentarily transformed into a modern metropolis for the Olympics, only to become wounded by the recession – a dynamic revival … Continue reading Athens: a modern guide to an ancient capital

Madrid: The Essentials

Madrid offers something for everyone: it’s steeped in history yet impressively innovative; it’s incredibly laid-back yet there’s a lot going on; it’s layered with grandeur, Baroque boulevards and manicured parks, yet has benefited from regeneration of late.  That metamorphosis has been fuelled by the economic crisis and led by a new generation of Madrileños, determined … Continue reading Madrid: The Essentials

Bellilo

Meaning “cute” in Italian, "Bellilo" is certainly deserving of its name. A Neapolitan pizzeria sitting on a street corner on Munster Road, Fulham, their moto is “from our lands to your hands”.  And their chewy, Neapolitan pizzas are definitely ideal for hand-holding: their pizzas must be eaten by the hand. With branches in Barcelona and … Continue reading Bellilo