Owing to unforseen circumstances and my allergy to time management, this week’s lunch was actually dinner. I hope you can forgive me.
Believe it or not, this is pub grub. Granted it’s a pub in Highgate, but regardless of that fact, all this food tasted as good as it looks. I’m starting to question the Red Lion & Sun‘s status as a boozer. The menu is too good and it is well below its quota of belligerent drunken arseholes. I thought there were laws about this kind of thing?
Possibly the most damning indictment of all, is that as tasty as it all is, it’s reasonably priced to boot. Everything I thought I knew was wrong.
Oh yeah, and they do lunch too, so technically this isn’t even cheating.
Foo D follows his nose to check out the street food fare at the best thing to happen in the history of Kings Cross: Eat St
Kings Cross has been a bit of a culinary wasteland since, well always, as far as I know, but times are a-changing.
Just behind the station and on the way to the newly relocated St Martin’s art College for the outlandishly dressed is Kings Boulevard, aka Eat St. I’d been hearing rumors of this place pon internet and since I’d blagged half a day off work, I figured I’d jump on the Victoria line and make face-stuffing plans. And stuff my face I did.
What’s on the plate of le cool‘s cheap eats guru...
One of the best things to do with a vegetarian pizza, is to add pork to it. This is actually a fiorentina with added spicy salami from Pappagone in Stroud Green. It has been by far the best thing about this Monday.
Despite the backlash against coffee snobbery, the battle to serve London’s best cup rages on. In this round-up of the very top five coffee stalls across the capital, our brew king, Derek Lamberton, author of London’s Best Coffee app, leaves no wheeled cafe unturned
Daydreams of quitting my day job and running a coffee stall always seem to disappear about this time year. Even in my dreams I don’t have the guts to spend a damp London winter on my feet pulling shots. So with this in mind, I’ve put together a short list of London’s finest stalls – serving locally roasted coffee all winter long.
Address: Strutton Ground, SW1P 2HR
Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-4:30pm
Beans: Square Mile
Flat Cap has spawned one of London’s best coffee shops, Notes Music Coffee, along with a stellar sister stall on Fleet Street, Coffee by the Clock. Co-owned by Brazilian barista champion, Fabio Ferreira, Flat Cap serves some of London’s most loyal customers. Rumour has it that employees of a local business cited their daily pilgrimage to Flat Cap as their primary reason against applying for voluntary severance. Priorities, people.
From the le cool ‘le other’ archives… gelato, tangy sorbet and mouthwatering granita at Soho’s Gelupo
The fratelli behind Bocca Di Lupo over the road run this snazzy and rather stylish little enterprise. There’s an excellent coffee bar serving your everyday espresso and macchiato, alongside some lush speciality numbers such as the truly nutty affogato alla nocciola; at the back you’ll find a well-stocked and top quality deli. However, the main draw is the wide selection of gelato, tangy sorbet and mouthwatering granita. I demolished a fair-sized £4.50 portion of blackcurrant sorbet, with both hazelnut and pistacchio ice cream – the culinary equivalent of a saucy, soapy bath with Cleopatra. Though a huge fan of traditional Italian flavours, their slightly more creative take on the theme will – in this world of uncertainties – certainly have me right back here ready to launch into the sour cherry granita, if nothing else. Another W1 winner.
Words: Eamon Downes
Last month, we brought you a selection of recommendations from le cool’s expert on getting more for less, Mr Foo D. This time round, some of our selections take us back in time beyond the dawn of the le cool website as we know it, hence the lacking links. Lucky for us, Foo D remembers
Theobalds (McKanna Meats)
I hope you appreciate that after every recommendation that I make for le cool, I lose another friend. They haven’t taken kindly to me dispensing their accumulated food-related wisdom, and after this, I expect to be left desolate and alone.
Theobalds might actually be the best thing that has ever existed/will ever exist. Ever. Unless you’re a vegetarian. If you’re a vegetarian this will of no use to you and you should skip this one.
However, for an enthusiastic opportunivore, McKanna Meats, informally known as Theobalds, is the most (insert a hyperbolicly positive adjective here) butcher’s. Whatever you want, they have it, or they can get it. And it’ll be good. No, excellent. No AWESOME. And reasonable, which, compounded, is why my acquaintances will take this as nothing less than a betrayal.
I will stop there. I feel that if I big it up any more my ex-friends will cross the line from excommunication to proactive malevolence. I’m not sure I could deal with death threats.
Where: 21 Theobalds Rd, WC1X 8SL
When: Mon-Fri, 8am-5:30pm, Sat 8am-2:30pm
How much: Variable, but less than you’d expect
This week, le cool’s publishing editor, Chloe McCloskey meets up with retired food blogger Helen Yuet Ling Pang – the brains and tastebuds behind World Foodie Guide.
I love World Foodie Guide. The main reason being that I love dim sum and Helen, the author of this excellently executed food blog, is a connoisseur of the Cantonese brunch custom. Her guide to dim sum in London is a great resource for anyone interested in exploring the Capital’s offering of this very special fare. But if dim sum ain’t your chicken wing (or foot), there is plenty of great stuff to read through from restaurants in London to recipes and travelogues.
Helen suggests we meet at Dishoom in St Martin’s Lane and we catch up over lamb chops, pau bhaji and the Bombay cafe’s heavenly black dahl. She quit the blog in December 2009 because it had kinda taken over her life. Since giving it up, she has stopped cooking meat at home; in fact, her vegetarian husband does all the cooking. She’s self-published a book on eating in Japan and is happily continuing her career as a film examiner for the BBFC.
To our absolute pleasure, Helen has put together her top ten London activities, complete with matching meals. Check it after the jump.
Been to Amigo’s on Holloway Road yet? When Foo D conceded to check out the Mexican down the road, this was the result. We thought we’d take a look back at some of his favourite places to eat well and cheap. In the first installment, Foo D puts all he can in a wrap, gets sentimental over fish and wishes he were a lamb destined for Delhi Grill
Sometimes you just want food. Know what I mean? Sometimes you don’t want to seek out some hidden treasure, or wait for a table, or call up your mate who knows every restaurant in the Northern hemisphere. Sometimes you just want to walk into a place and say “FOOD” and they hook you up. Don’t get it twisted, there’s a time and place for all of the above, but if you just want to be fed (well and quick) and you’re in Soho, then hit up Jumbo Eats. Normally it goes like this: I walk in and say “I’m hungry”, and the guy says “Oh-Kay.. Do you like..”, and I say “Yes. All of it.” Then he makes a HUMONgous wrap with two chicken fillets, peppers, tomatoes, luxury humus and stuff. Then I hand over about £5-£6 and sit down to stuff my greedy, greedy face. You could eat and walk, but it’s not really a good idea, unless you want to wear most of it. There is NO neat way to eat a Jumbo Wrap.
Naz, aka Funny Bunny, picks her favourite places to eat Turkish for le cool
To those who think Turkish food is something you buy after a heavy night out, put away that poor excuse of a kebab. This article lists some of my favourite places that I have discovered to eat in London. Dishes from Turkey are widespread, ranging from the east to west, changing to accommodate the region’s traditions and tastes. In its origins, Turkish food is a family affair, not primed for a candlelit dinner. It is comfort food designed to bring people and conversations together. Or to re-quote a restaurant owner: “Other London restaurants feed the eyes, we feed the stomach.”
Antepliler: Follow the smell of appetising grill that will lead you straight to Antepliler. Greeting you will be a massive wood-fired oven cooking dinners from deep inside its belly. Make the most of it by ordering lahmacun for starters but, above all, choose from one of their pides. As their speciality, it comes straight from the oven extra hot. Gooey melted cheese blankets the fillings inside, surrounded by crispy, crunchy buttery dough. With low tables packed close together, Anteplier is bursting at the seams with customers. On your way out grab some Baklava from their shop next door. 46C Grand Parade, N4 1AG
It’s all going off in Chinatown to mark the year of the rabbit. It’s all about the food, says le cool‘s Maria Iu. Here are her recommendations for where to head
Instead of hangovers, diets and resolutions, Chinese New Year is all about family, red pockets (which contain money for good luck) and – as is the Chinese tradition – a lot of food. Beginning on the 3 February this year, it is the most important event in the lunar calendar. In London, the best place to soak up the festive atmosphere is, unsurprisingly, Chinatown, with the annual dragon dance slinking its way through Trafalgar Square on Sunday.
With so many eateries – many staffed with over-friendly women standing at the front luring you inside – finding somewhere to eat in Chinatown can be a daunting affair. To be fair, the overall quality is pretty good because of the competition on offer; but choose wisely and you will be rewarded with authenticity and reasonable prices. Here are some of my favourites. Don’t all rush on Thursday evening or Sunday, as you won’t all fit. Pick a more unusual hour of the day over the weekend (and be prepared for a queue).
Dim sum: New World
New World, 1 Gerrard Place, W1D 5PA
Dim sum consists of a variety of small dishes generally served from early morning to afternoon – a kind of daytime Chinese tapas, if you will. While New World’s is not the best around, dim sum is all about quality friends-and-family time, and this place feels much closer to the establishments normal folk would frequent in the old days long before the more sophisticated joints serving dim sum à la carte took over. It is loud and crammed, with ladies serving dim sum straight from little trolleys. Try the steamed tripe with ginger for a truly old-school taste.