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The Best Things We Ate This Week

A running list of the best dishes we’ve had recently.

89 Spots
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89 Spots
Launch Map
Updated February 26th, 2021

London restaurants were back, baby. And then they weren’t. And while the seemingly endless cycle of closing, reopening, and closing again has meant that every week there were more and more things to eat, all the dine-in (when it’s allowed), delivery, and meal kit options can feel pretty overwhelming. That’s why we’re continuing to highlight the best dishes we’ve had recently, to point you in the right direction.

If you’ve eaten something great recently that you want to share with our team, send us an email at london@theinfatuation.com. Now, onto the dishes.



££££ 274 High Rd

The Chop, Chat, Chill DIY Wrap

“I have put a lot of questionable things inside wraps in the past year. Chicken nuggets, hula hoops, Quorn mini sausages dipped in soy sauce, leftover cranberry Wensleydale from Christmas. You name it, if it once lived in the back of my fridge, I’ve put it in a wrap and had the audacity to call it dinner. But nothing about my year of wraps prepared me for Chuku’s ‘Chop, Chat, Chill’ DIY kit. Packed with their signature jollof quinoa, tender beef, and house salad, it’s the honey suya sauce that truly makes this wrap unmissable. Honestly, it’s like nibbling on honeycomb and a chilli at the same time, in perfect harmony. Seeing as they’ve just started delivering nationwide, no matter where you live, I cannot recommend you order one enough.”

- Heidi Lauth Beasley, Staff Writer

Mangal II

££££ 4 Stoke Newington Rd

Lamb’s heart lahmacun

“If you’ve got memories of playing pool at Efes in Dalston than you more than likely have memories of dinner in Mangal II as well. Part of the old school of N16 Turkish restaurants, ever since the Dirik brothers revamped their father’s restaurant last year, I’ve watched (and chewed) with interest. Both close-up, inside, chicken wing in hand. Or from afar, stuffing mackerel pide into my mouth. It can be hard sometimes, reconciling warm and fuzzy feelings of the old with new and bold approaches. At least that’s how I was feeling in the summer. Now, I get the sense that the new Mangal II has settled into its groove, as demonstrated by their drop dead delicious take on a lahmacun. Here, you haven’t got a rolled flatbread with spiced mince and salad, but instead a warm and puffy sourdough pide, delicately topped with chopped, juicy lamb hearts that turn to butter in your mouth. Amongst all this is a cumin-y yolk emulsion - or liquid velvet - and on top, an artful arrangement of flirtatiously pickled cucumbers. This isn’t the best thing I’ve eaten this week. This is the best thing I’ve eaten this year.”

- Jake Missing, Staff Writer

Pasta Evangelists

££££ 95 Lavender Hill

Porcini and wild mushroom lasagne

“A lasagne is one of those meals I just prefer at home. Mostly because I can make it as saucy as I want, as cheesy I want, and can eat as much of it as I want (the whole tray). But the vegetarian lasagne I ordered from the pasta subscription service’s delivery-only kitchen in Clapham has converted me. I’m pretty sure I could enjoy this rich, creamy, porcini and wild mushroom lasagne on the top of an uncovered double decker bus, in a storm. I could eat it, with rain water and thyme béchamel in my hair, and a smile on my face - because it is that good. Mushroom-y, creamy, heaven.”

- Rianne Shlebak, Editorial Assistant

Sourdough Sophia

££££ 24 Middle Lane

Sausage roll

“For some it’s a sound, a smell, or a song. For Proust it was a madeleine dipped in tea. But all I needed for a long-forgotten past to nostalgically unfurl itself from my memory was this sausage roll from Sourdough Sophia in Crouch End. As any of my coworkers will tell you, I’m old. And the straightforward honesty of this sausage roll took me back to a time before massive out-of-town supermarkets were a thing, when every suburban parade had a greengrocer, a butcher, a baker, and when a sausage roll in a grease-stained brown paper bag was an essential and eagerly anticipated treat from any trip to the shops. I won’t go into how this sausage roll begged me to dismantle it like I used to when I was a kid, devouring first the flaky pastry wrapping before slowly, gleefully, nibbling at its innards. Suffice to say, in ten days’ time, when I’m allowed to meet a friend or family member for a park bench picnic, this perfectly formed little thing will be my snack of choice.”

- Oliver Feldman, Senior Editor


With Milk

££££ 124 Philip Lane


“Somewhere inside my skull is a ravenous little French racoon that, every five minutes or so, whispers ‘we need a croissant’. And I’m not going to lie to you, most of the time I listen to the little fella. So there I was with a serious croissant craving, when I decided to finally check out With Milk. Before I continue, please take a glance at these croissants. They are majestic, they glisten, they are the size of my pet rabbit, and honestly, he’s gotten pretty large over lockdown. 10/10 pastry and their butternut squash pasty is a real winner too.” - HLB

Ramo Ramen

££££ 157 Kentish Town Road

Oxtail kare kare

“Over the past year I’ve amazed myself with how little I’ve achieved. With all this free time I’ve done… nothing. Literally nothing. Apart from buy multiple pairs of house clogs, and eat lots of food absolutely anywhere outside. The latest feather to my bow, or noodle to mouth, came in one of those weird square-cum-park things in Kentish Town alongside a bowl of ramen from Ramo. It’s a Filipino-influenced ramen spot and their oxtail kare kare - a championship winner as the menu notes - is an excellent park-not-park bench meal. The peanut-based broth, inspired by Filipino street food, is thick and luscious, and combined with soft oxtail, a fudgy orange egg, shiitake mushrooms, and some chewy wheat noodles, gave me a warm, contented feeling. That feels like an achievement at the moment.” - JM

Tendon (middle), Pumpkin Croquettes (right)


££££ 41 High St

Tendon & pumpkin croquette curry don

“I’m sorry, but I couldn’t pick just one of these bowls as the best thing I ate this week. It wouldn’t be true to myself, to you, or to those cute little pumpkin croquettes at the back. I’d been flirting with the menu at this Japanese restaurant in New Malden for a while now, always adding to basket, but not quite getting there. Until this week. I ordered some sushi rolls, their tendon, and a pumpkin croquette curry don. I couldn’t decide between them when ordering, and trying them hasn’t made it easier. The tendon was a bowl of fluffy rice with prawn and vegetable tempura on top, covered with a kimchi mayo and unagi sauce - a mix I would very much like in a squeezy bottle, always to hand. And the pumpkin curry was the bowl of rice, this time topped with perfectly shaped, and fried, pumpkin croquettes, and a pot of vegetable curry sauce on the side. Both were excellent, the tendon was punchy but light, and the croquette curry was comforting and warm. And I already want them both again.”- RS

Mama Li

££££ 73-74 Vallance Rd

Roast duck

“There was a moment, as I stood crouched over my hob, chopsticks quivering in anticipation, eyes wide at the trio of roast meats I’d ordered from Mama Li, when a not insignificant drop - no, globule - of saliva fell from my mouth onto the floor. I looked down, slightly weak at the knees, and slid a Croc smoothly across it. My mouth was actually watering. And I think it was the roast duck that did it. The deep brown skin was crisp and rustled, like an ASMR soundtrack of autumnal leaves. The meat: just drippingly delicious, with the kind of liquid fat that ruptures on the hint of a bite and goes off grenade-like in your mouth. Briefly dunked in Mama Li’s excellent homemade BBQ sauce, it makes for a sincerely mouth-watering meal. Especially that first, vertical bite. That was something special.”- JM


Jake Missing

All Island Grill

££££ 17 Bradbury St

Jerk chicken

“My granddad is a walker. My dad is a walker. And I, too, am a walker. Not just any walker - a fast walker. The kind who is unable to move effortlessly or comfortably in a group of ambling friends. Friends? Remember them? Anyway, my latest nocturnal wander took me to Dalston and specifically to All Island Grill. There are a few Caribbean spots on Bradbury Street but this, I think, is the one. The jerk chicken had the kind of char that flakes away, and the chicken was impossibly moist even after a gentle blast in my oven. 10/10 for sauce quantity and heat, plus the generous bag of fried plantain. It was a two-person portion that was naturally, after all that walking, effortlessly dispatched by one.”- JM

Heidi Lauth Beasley ft. her bad nail polish


££££ 49 Bedford Street

My Big Fat Greek Sausage

“There is great power in holding a wrap. Cast your mind back to a time when you were walking down a street with a giant wrap in your hand. All those people staring, wishing they too were about to eat that beautiful, glistening carbohydrate vehicle packed full of chicken or beef or falafel. Basically made you feel like you were in this scene from 500 Days Of Summer. But the My Big Fat Greek Sausage pitta wrap by grab-and-go spot Kalamaki is potentially the most envy-inducing wrap I have ever come across. Packed full of skewered wild boar sausage, Aegean slaw, caramelised onion, and chunky chips, it’s a beast of a thing and each bite is packed full of flavour. A proper lunchtime feast, make sure you don’t skip on the feta sauce.”- HLB


££££ 76 Central Rd

Tempura udon

“Recently, whenever I’m thinking about what to order when I’m hungry, something deep inside of me whispers “get the tempura udon”. Maybe it’s the weather, or maybe it’s just my inclination to eat fat noodles. But that pushy little voice led me to try the tempura udon at this Japanese spot in Worcester Park. And it was the best one I’ve had delivered. The tempura prawns and vegetables were crispy until dunked in the rich broth. It was warming, filling, and everything you want from a bowl of udon.” - RS

Song Sushi

££££ Blackstock Road

Chicken katsu uramaki

“I am generally a classicist. I love some simple salmon nigiri, a little soft-shell crab roll done right, and some spicy tuna maki if I’m feeling bold. But then, whilst perusing this little Highbury restaurant’s menu, I saw they did a chicken katsu roll. And I thought to myself, Heidi, live a little. You’re only young once babe. So I ordered it. I was scared it would appear like one of those over-sauced, giant rolls that leave you with a trail of rice down your pyjama top. Yes, pyjama top. But it didn’t. It was perfectly rolled, bite size, and packed full of serious crispy crunch that made an excellent change from my usual order.” - HLB

63 High Street

££££ 63 High Street, New Malden,

Cinnamon roll

“I’ve had a lot of cinnamon rolls in my time, and the ones I tend to prefer need to be covered in cream cheese icing for me to really get excited about them. But the one at this little cafe on the High Street in New Malden was different. It had a hard sugar glaze on top which made it just a little bit sticky, and the outside layer was rolled in cinnamon sugar. It felt like a cross between a soft pretzel and a very light doughnut. The deeper I got inside the layers, the more cinnamon-y it tasted and the softer the roll. I was actually grateful that there was no icing to cover up this perfect thing.” - RS

Heidi Lauth Beasley


££££ 5 Clipstone St

The Full Arrosto

“Arrosto is a new roast chicken delivery service from the people behind Quality Wines. I have met their roast chicken before, tucked inside an excellent bun and smothered in aioli as part of their excellent daily lunchtime offerings in The Great Before Times. To say I was excited to be reunited with their chicken would be an understatement. I basically paced my flat for the majority of the day, channeling my poultry hype into Googling historical chicken facts and declaring ‘me and Richard the Lionheart have so much in common’. Anyway, Arrosto did not disappoint. The handmade chips were fluffy and had that signature whiff of oil and I could have eaten the entire tub of nduja mayonnaise with my bare hands. But the skin, oh the chicken skin. What a treat. Crispy, juicy, with a good hit of rosemary, I spent the evening picking at it long after I’d ‘finished dinner’. Recommended, even though it’s more of a special occasion situation at £40.” - HLB

Maison St Cassien

££££ 71 High St.

Chicken shawarma wrap

“Leaving the house for exercise without eating anything is a rookie mistake. And one that I make more regularly than not. This time it led me to this Lebanese café in Wimbledon Village, which then led to me eating a chicken shawarma wrap in the middle of the street, in running leggings that had never been running. It wasn’t your classic rotating spit shawarma, but the roasted marinated chicken was salty and spicy, with a not too garlic-y garlic sauce and some salad. A great on-the-go running (speed walking) snack.”- RS

Molto bene

Flock & Herd

££££ 155 Bellenden Road

Rib-eye steak

“Although I love to cook, I’ve never been that interested in cooking meat. I’ve always left it to excellent chefs in restaurants, or my dad and his Big Green Egg (n.b. I am open to a #gift here). Anyway - it turns out cravings and mind-numbing boredom can be a productive mixture when my stomach is involved. These days char siu, chicken kiev, and steak are coming out of my kitchen. Yes, I regret to inform the world: I’ve become a steak guy. Which feels a bit jeans and sheux and FHM, but I have no regrets. Especially not when this rib-eye from Flock & Herd is involved. The Peckham butchers know their meat, and I’m not exaggerating when I say it was thicc, with the kind of marbling that would make Michelangelo weep. In fact, I shed a small tear when I gave the other steak to my housemate.” - JM

From The Ashes BBQ

BBQ  in  Hackney Wick
££££ Unit 19

Burnt end beans

“Baked beans are one of those foods that can inspire unadulterated passion in people. If you’ve ever seen someone suggest a full English without baked beans to a pro-beaner, than you’ll know what I’m talking about. Anyway these bean-heads (not the Second Summer Of Love kind) are a funny sort, and I’m one of them. So when I saw burnt end beans on the menu at From The Ashes, a BBQ spot in Hackney Wick, I was truly fizzing in anticipation. Suffice to say, these beans did not disappoint. A chunky mix of haricot and kidney, in a rich whisky-laced sauce with crispy and soft bits of beef brisket, they improved absolutely everything I dolloped them on: a pork bun, a fork of pink beef rib with chimmichurri and crispy potatoes, and my tongue, as I downed the bean sauce from the cup like I would the dregs of an ice-cold can of Coke.”

- JM

Rianne Shlebak


££££ 76-78 Coombe Lane

Chunky chips

“You’re only lying to yourself if you say that chips are just a side. They’re a lot more than that. They can make a meal ten times better, or ten times more disappointing. And they can sometimes, on the rare occasion, steal the whole show. No shade to the halloumi burger these came with, but Babylon’s chips didn’t take just centre stage, they walked in and stole the entire production. Perfectly crunchy on the outside, with a centre that felt like it had been removed, mashed, and surgically placed back inside the delicately salted potato casing. These are the best chips I’ve had in a long time.”

- RS

The Gun

British  in  Hackney
££££ 235 Well St

Crab katsu rice

“Exercising my right to exercise (my jaw) in the vicinity of my home, I DM ordered Satsu, who are popping up at The Gun on Well Street. Everything from the inordinate amount of food I got was good - a deep-fried tofu sandwich with pickled mustard greens and chilli oil, a perfect mess of a double smash patty cheeseburger, and a tub of parmesan and what I think were guanciale chunks did a fine impression of a salad - but the least aesthetically pleasing order of the lot was the most satisfying: the crab katsu rice. A sloppy and sweet curry sauce with flecks of rich crab meat, spring onion, and coconut hints. It’s far from the only thing I’ve eaten alone, on a bench, in a park, but it’s amongst the best.”

- JM

Heidi Lauth Beasley

Charco Charco 炭牛

££££ 83-93 Southampton Row

Wagyu aburi maki (and friends)

“I cannot express how good this sushi is without asking our editor whether I’m allowed to use the term ‘sushicalifragilisticeexpialidocious’. Instead I’ll give you a play-by-play of the events:

Grim Thursday that has the audacity not to be Friday. Evoke ‘I deserve this’ delivery clause I have instituted with myself whenever sad. Begin browsing the folder of apps on my phone entitled ‘Burgies et. al.’. Charco Charco? You’re new here. Hello. Japanese, you say. Okay. Order a rainbow roll, fatty tuna nigiri, and some wagyu aburi maki. It arrives and, my my, they’re quite the lookers. First bite and I say ‘sushi’ outloud to an empty room. I eat it all in one beautiful sitting. There’s soy sauce on my laptop. I am so happy that I put on some Metronomy, because actually, I quite fancy a little dance now. Thursday continues with slight post-dance indigestion and happy sushi mems.

This is the best sushi I’ve had since the pandemic began, but that slightly seared wagyu maki is the best I’ve had. Ever.”


Rianne Shlebak

Atari Ya

££££ 44 Coombe Rd

Inside out rolls

“I’ve lived near this Japanese supermarket for years. Walked past it countless times. And every-time had the same thought of “I should really try their sushi”. And after finally ordering some of their inside out rolls this week, I am giving myself the silent treatment. Because it is my fault, and my fault only, that I have been deprived of these excellent rolls before now. I ordered five rolls: tempura prawn, salmon avocado, yellowtail with spring onion, soft shell crab, and spicy tuna. All of which were great, but my favourite was the tempura prawn, or maybe the yellowtail, but actually the crab was really good too. In conclusion, I will be trying them all.”

- RS

Nanny Bill's

££££ Homerton High Street

The Dalston Dip burger

“Let’s talk gravy. It’s the under-appreciated food spouse of our nation. For all the roast dinners and sausages it’s transformed from alright to seriously tasty, we just don’t appreciate it the way we should. Gravy has lost its sex appeal people, but I have decided that Nanny Bill’s are bringing it back. Their Dalston Dip burger comes with a pot of their thick signature gravy to smother your burger in. It was a mess, just ask my sofa cushions. But it was also such a stellar change from your average double cheeseburger and the soft, seeded buns are officially my favourite in London. Viva la gravy revolution.”


Party Store Pizza

AmericanPizza  in  Brixton
££££ 443 Coldharbour Ln

OG margherita

“My love for deep dish pizza started with the Chicago Town frozen pizzas I ate as a child, followed by one glorious slice in New York that haunts me in my sleep. Fast forward to December 2020 where I finally found my favourite deep dish pizza in London, with this 10x14 inch deep pan margherita. It has two rivers of tomato sauce, spread on top of a lot of mozzarella cheese, a thick and chewy dough, and a crispy cheesy-frico crust that can, and should, be dipped in their OG tomato dip. And yes, 10x14 is huge, but leftover slices make an excellent breakfast the next morning.”

- RS

Heidi Lauth Beasley

Crumbs & Doilies

££££ 1 Kingly Court

Freshly baked New York cookies

“When my Christmas plans got cancelled due to the ongoing alien invasion - kidding, it was the pandemic but I refuse to give ‘the C word’ any more air time - my very cute colleagues sent me these cookies. They were so good that I sat alone in my flat in silence for an hour just nibbling each flavour in succession, like musical chairs but with double chocolate chips and raisins. They’re that rare kind of cookie that really deserve a better title than just ‘cookie’. XXL, with a melted centre, and soft enough that they break off without risking your molars, they are 10/10. Oh, and heat them up in the oven for peak cosiness.”


A one man meal for two


££££ Unit 9 Market Row

Beef ayamase

“A background hum of uncertainty has been one of the unsettling soundtracks of my year, so there was something quite comforting in the numbered, IKEA-like instructions from the meal kit I got from Chishuru. I moved around my kitchen like an obedient dog with better than average shallow frying abilities, making goat’s cheese pastries and warming through attasi rice, but it was the bosh-it-in-the-oven beef ayamase that really got me going. It had a wham of tingly pepper, the beef broke up into tender pink flecks, and there was a background hum that’s much more welcome: the scotch bonnet kind.”

- JM

Justin De Souza

East London Liquor Company

££££ 221 Grove Road

Royale’s rotisserie chicken

“At some point chicken got a so-so reputation. Not in a James Dean way - although yes, I would pay good money to see a couple of Levis-clad drumsticks in a high-speed motorbike chase - but in that it started being everywhere. Well, stand proud my fellow chicken lovers, here’s another one that stands out from the crowds. Proper, well-cooked rotisserie chicken from Royale. Not only is it tender, but it’s simply doing what chicken does best, being delicious. From the team behind Leroy, you can currently find Royale in the kitchen at very nice dates-and-mates spot, The East London Liquor Company. Poultry fans, please also know that the potatoes are 10/10 too.”


Eyes right

Dom’s Subs

££££ 262 Hackney Road

The Feliz Mala-Dad

“People debate their favourite cuisines but mine is pretty straightforward. It’s sandwiches. And yes, that is a cuisine. A sandwich is a liminal space for food. Its boundaries are non-existent, its potential fillings endless. I knew that Dom’s knew this the first time I ate one of their subs, but it went to a whole new level when I ate The Feliz Mama-Dad. It’s a vegan brussels sprout Christmas sub. Which reads like the kind of thing that sets some people’s alarm bells ringing. And it should do, for all the right reasons. The hot and numbing sprouts, seasoned with Sichuan pepper, dance along your tongue. The Xinxiang seasoned crisps are the best crisps in a sandwich I’ve ever had (and that’s a busy podium), while the vegan Chinkiang mayo delicately cuts through everything. Christmas or not, this is just an amazing sandwich.”

- JM

Rianne Shlebak

Jin Go Gae

££££ 272 Burlington Rd

Vegetable bokkeum udon

“For me, thick, chewy noodles make for one of the most comforting meals ever. And this week was one of those weeks. Luckily, the vegetable bokkeum udon that I had delivered from New Malden, was like a hug for the soul. It was a hefty portion stir fried in a vegetable sauce, and it was excellent.”

- RS

Maison François

££££ 34 Duke Street

Poulet rôti, fines herbes

“The quarter of poulet rôti I devoured at Maison Francois on Wednesday night was just about as pristinely presented a piece of chicken I’ve ever seen. I felt underdressed with it in front of me. It was almost like it had got all spruced up for a wedding unaware that it would be on the menu. Anyway, the dribbles of herby sauce on top and the puddle of richness below made the whole ensemble sing. It’s the kind of thing I might have slowly nodded my approval of in the direction of a dining companion except I was following the reopening restrictions to the letter and was eating all alone. Honestly, it felt kind of perfect.”


Dumpling Shack

££££ Old Spitalfields Market

Spring onion pancake

“It’s no secret that Dumpling Shack’s sheng jian bao are London’s most reliably tasty soup dumplings. Pan-fried for a crisp bite, packed with pork, and with a slurp of delicious broth - they tick all the boxes. (n.b. I personally prefer a soupier dumpling, like a xiao long bao, but that’s for another time). Anyway, they aren’t the best thing I ate this week. Nor the best thing I ate at Dumpling Shack. That, goes to their spring onion pancake. It’s a fantastic and flaky circle of textures and onion that, looks-wise, resembles something that’s been formed and fried to exacting standards before, at the very last minute, being viciously battered with the ugly stick. All of my favourite burgers ever have the same trait and this fried pancake has just joined the club. It marries your softest and flakiest sweet pastry memories into something deliciously savoury that should absolutely be dunked in DS’s chilli oil.”

- JM

Rianne Shlebak

Cue Point

££££ 195 Wood Ln

Lamb and brisket naco kit

“Don’t judge this meal off my shaky mid-bite photography, base it off the fact that this smelled so good that I couldn’t help taking a bite before I got a decent picture. And even though I would like some credit for the fact that these smoked lamb and beef brisket nacos (naan tacos) tasted so good, I was merely the heater/assembler. This meal kit was incredible, and it wasn’t just the best thing I ate this week, it’s one of the best things I’ve eaten this whole year.”

- RS

Napoli Gang


‘The One and Only Lasagne’

“There I was, suffering from the kind of hangover that feels like God is tapping at your temples, saying ‘Tuesday margaritas? You idiot’. But in my pit of despair and entirely self-inflicted suffering I made what might be the best decision of my young life. I ordered from Napoli Gang - the Italian delivery service from the people behind feelgood spots Circolo Popolare and Gloria. Now, this might look like a lasagne, but it was actually my very own bechamel-packed redemption. I was alive once more. Creamy, meaty, and warming from the inside out - it’s officially the best thing I’ve eaten in months. It even came with a party playlist (for my mood) and silly, fun stickers (for my soul). A hero for hangovers everywhere.”


Big Jo Bakery

££££ 318-326 Hornsey Rd

Cheese, salad, and pickle sandwich

“I’m an absolute sucker for a well wrapped piece of bread. Maybe it’s because I lived in Paris for over a decade where food purchases often look and feel far more beautiful and luxurious than they probably need to be. Maybe it’s because it’s coming up on Christmas and having something to unwrap feels festive. Either way, the perfect little parcels Big Jo make of their take-out sandwiches make me very, very happy. And the contents aren’t a let down either. This one tasted like it had a dollop of Heinz Sandwich Spread in it amongst the salad, pickle, and cheese shards. Just what I needed on a dreary Thursday afternoon.”


Heidi Lauth Beasley

Wine N Rind

££££ Holcombe Market

Cacio e pepe toastie

“I have come to realise - and I’ve given this a lot of thought - that eating cacio e pepe might be my calling. I’m really, really good at it and each time I go toe to toe with a plate of cheese and pepper, I feel the kind of fulfilment that other people reference when talking about being a painter or, like, pilates. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that Tottenham cheese shop, Wine N Rind are doing cacio e pepe toasties. My beloved, in bread form. It did not disappoint. In fact, the sheer hit of pepper and melted cheese between sourdough was the highlight of my week. You need to try this. I repeat, you need to try this.”


Rianne Shlebak

Trap Kitchen

Seafood  in  Balham
££££ 76 Bedford Hill


“This second lockdown has taught me a lot about myself. It’s taught me I like going for walks. I can rewatch the same video of sizzling prawns 200 times in a row. And I am willing to drive further than I used to be willing to drive for some good-looking food. The bucket I got from this Balham spot was definitely worth the journey. It came with two lobster tails, bang bang prawns, mac and cheese, buttered corn, and a hard boiled egg. The lobster tails were buttery and slipped right off the shell, the prawns - coated in a tasty batter - were full of flavour, the mac and cheese was spicy - and when mixed with the buttery sauce from the lobster, tasted even better. After trying it I would even consider doing the journey by foot just to taste this bucket again.”

- RS

Heidi Lauth Beasley


££££ 2 Crucifix Lane

Coconut cake

“Forgive me readers, for I have sinned. For the past several years I’ve been walking around, making terrible statements like, ‘dunno, just not that into coconut’ and ‘what is the point of Bounty’. I realise now, that I was wrong. This epiphany came to me in the form of Kin and Deum’s coconut cake. As you can see the poor thing got a bit squished in transit, but this isn’t a beauty competition, it’s about the fluffy vanilla sponge and extra creamy coconut fondant. J’adore.”


Peppers and Spice

££££ 40 Balls Pond Rd

Jerk chicken and macaroni pie

“I am a man of few talents, but one I do have is passing, filling, and absolutely massacring time. Give me an entire free day and I will assassinate it, hour by hour, podcast by podcast, meal by meal. This ‘talent’, combined with my earnest passion for aimless walking, has come into its own in 2020, and the other day it led me towards Pepper & Spice. I’ve had many a patty from this Caribbean takeaway spot but this was my first time eating their jerk chicken, and it was on point. Probably the best I’ve eaten around Hackney and Dalston. The skin was charred, the leg bone blackened, and the meat soft. I got extra sauce on the side (this isn’t my first rodeo) to pour over the macaroni pie and let me tell you, the combination of fruity and fiery over a cheesy brick bangs. Needless to say, I’ll be spending some more time with the rest of the menu.”

- JM

The Bluecoats

££££ 614 High Rd

Umami chicken wings

“Tell me there’s a national lockdown and I’ll have a tender three minute cry. Tell me that my favourite local takeaway will be closed for the length of said lockdown and I will produce the kind of magnitude seven tantrum that few have witnessed since Nikki Grahame graced our screens. Alas, I have finally found a new local love for lockdown 2.0 in the form of The Bluecoats’ umami chicken wings. They arrived in a glorious little bath of homemade soya, white sesame, and sweet demerara, all of which are a big yes from me.”


The Best Broasted

££££ 18-F The High Road

Chicken broasted

Bedtime is the time for big philosophical questions. Years ago, I was wishing my nephew sweet dreams when he asked me “What makes the night so quiet? And why is water clear?“. Similarly, early this week, I was tucking myself in and wondered, “if broasting is like frying, then why is the chicken from The Best Broasted not even remotely greasy?“. And, “how can it be so juicy, so crunchy, and so sweet?“. Thinking about it now, the only question that really needs addressing is this: why don’t I live closer to this Syrian spot in Willesden Green so I can eat their incredible £10 portion of broasted chicken, potatoes, pickles, and creamy toum several times a week?”


'A breakfast'

Bake Street

££££ 58 Evering Rd

Chicken bun, lamb birria tacos, birria consommé

“My consumption in the past week has been pretty hideous. And by hideous I mean absolutely fantastic. Like a lot of people I was packing it in whilst restaurants were still open. The ‘it’ being meals, and the ‘in’ being every hour of the day, and my stomach. So there was competition. Those garlic porcini mushrooms from Quality Wines. A farewell grilled cheese (and side sausage sandwich) from Towpath Café. Big plate chicken from Karamay Uyghur. But in the interest of both decisiveness and dipping consommé, it’s the lamb birria taco and fried chicken bun from Bake Street that gets the nod. For a start, I ate both of these things at 10am and they went down a treat. Soz, granola. Secondly, they were both brilliant. The burger is from McDz lineage but made better from curtido slaw, sriracha mayo, and oh-so crispy chicken. It’s a four to five biter, with no breaths in between. While the tacos - so rich, so soft, and just a little cheesy - taste like they’ve been slow cooked to Jeremih. Throw in a pot of meaty birria consommé for dipping on the side, and you’ve got yourself the perfect pre-brunch snack.”

- JM


££££ 21 Berners St

Miyan taushe with lobster

“I work better under time pressure, so alongside second lunches, pre-dinners, and midnight snacks, I also managed to fit in some fine dining this week. Akoko was my final meal out pre-lockdown season two and though it is a fancy restaurant, my finger was very much makeshift cleaning my bowl by the second course. The bowl in question was filled with a take on miyan taushe, a West African soup that, here, was made with silky Nigerian pumpkin and tingled from uda and calabash nutmeg. I knew from the first polite spoon it was going to be one of those rationing, savouring situations. The kind where you eat every mouthful on 0.5x speed. But after the second impolite spoon, filled with chunks of lobster, crispy shallots, and fried puffed rice, I had to drop down to 0.25x speed. Restaurants wouldn’t be open for a while and food this good shouldn’t be rushed.”

- JM

La Fromagerie

££££ 52 Lamb’s Conduit Street

Fondue savoyarde

“I discovered a few things at La Fromagerie on Tuesday night. Beaufort chalet d’alpage, emmental, comte d’estive, and a candle are the only party guests you need for a ‘last supper’ meal. Crispy baguette will always help you to crack a smile. And that the salt of your pre-lockdown tears really makes those cornichons pop. But seriously, this is the best fondue I’ve ever had. Did that have something to do with the knowledge that I knew it would be my last meal out for a while? Maybe. But I’m pretty sure it also had a lot to do with all that melted high-class cheese too.”


Raw Deli


Carrot cake

“This cute little deli opened down the road from me a few months ago (or was it years? days? Who knows?). I mostly just ran past on my way to catch the train, but then I saw a very good-looking little carrot cake staring at me through the window. And it had the personality to match. It was soft, moist, cinnamon-y, and had a very decent cake to cream cheese ratio. Big yes from me.”

- RS


££££ 27-29 Fortune Green Rd

Haddock and chips (plus a fish cake and mushy peas)

“I have developed a commitment to click and collect. For me it strikes the perfect balance between spontaneity and forward planning. Also, it gets me out of the house every now and again, something the latest lockdown rules do not entirely forbid. This week I drove over to West Hampstead for a piece of haddock and bag of chips from Nautilus, a legendary northwest London chippie. All the fish up here on Fortune Green, is fried in matzo meal, and I’m here to tell you it’s good. Very good. Perhaps not quite as good as the delicate, golden fish my grandma used to fry in this precise same style every week, but good enough to remind me of all the things that make me cosy, happy, and safe. Also, fish fried in matzo meal retains it’s fresh, crisp deliciousness when cool - so if you ever make it to NW6 to get some, do what I did and get a piece for tomorrow’s lunch too.”



££££ 40 Blackfriars Road, 14th Floor, South Bank, Southwark

Louët Feisser oysters

“Much like their scandalous ‘down-it’ cousin, the tequila shot, oysters have a lot of high-life associations, but I like them for the ritual of eating them. A sprinkling of Tabasco. The squeeze of the lemon. All topped off by necking something that merrily lived in the ocean not so long ago. But it’s only when you come across an oyster like the Louët Feisser oysters at Seabird that take a moment to remember how truly fantastic they can taste. Leaning closer to creamy with a side of surf spray, rather than full-on salt show, it’s perfect for people that aren’t 100% sold on the whole molluscs thing just yet. Pair with fizz if you’re feeling peak bougie.”


She is beauty, she is great

Trullo Shop

££££ 304 St. Pauls Road

Carbonara swirl

“An admission: Trullo is one of my favourite restaurants in the world. So when they opened a deli a few months back, I was always leaning towards loving what came out of it. But biases from memories of glorious ragus gone by aside, this pastry is the nuts. For a start, it’s so flaky and so buttery. I could’ve happily enjoyed the pastry on its own. Could’ve. Instead I enjoyed it with a quite beautiful confit egg yolk, a handful of grated parmesan, and little chunky bits of pancetta hidden inside the pastry. In a year that feels a little wasted, this pastry feels, or rather tastes, like progress to me.”

- JM

Oi oi

Lucky Dog

££££ 81 East Street

Salt and pepper chips

“On a day where I ate three portions of chips, technically for work, but mainly for pleasure, it’s the ones from Lucky Dog that I’ve found myself having hazy, chilli oil-laden daydreams about. They’re salt and pepper chips. Salt and pepper chips are, like the parmo, a gastronomic gift from the north of England that decreases your life expectancy but increases your enjoyment of life exponentially. They’re chips, deep-fried, then pan-fried with chilli oil, dried Sichuan chillis, white onion, pepper, shredded carrot, and MSG. Best enjoyed on a Brick Lane doorstep, but just as good inhaled whilst walking, on the bus, or at home.”

- JM

Rianne Shlebak

Chicken Kitchen

££££ 120 Goldhawk Rd

Jerk chicken dumpling burger

“This isn’t random. I didn’t just happen to pass this spot on Goldhawk Road and decide to walk in. Because you don’t just try a jerk chicken dumpling burger by chance. I heard about it, stared at Google images for a week in advance, and left my house on a grey Tuesday to get this. It’s basically jerk chicken strips served inside a fluffy fried dumpling. The jerk chicken was saucy and smoky and if I could replace all burger buns with dumplings, I would. You can choose to add things like cheese, which I did because, cheese. And it made an already excellent dish, even better.”

- RS

It banged


££££ 1 Westgate Street

Cheeseburger with curly fries

“It was my birthday on Monday and I hate birthdays. So to counteract that I took Tuesday off to eat a burger and be on my own, because I like doing that. The burger was from Bright who had Rosita’s Deluxe in the kitchen. It’s a pop-up run by Jeff Claudio, a guy who cooked at a load of restaurants that get put on lists sponsored by Veuve Clicquot, before deciding that he wanted to flip burgers instead. Which I guess is like training at NASA to fly to Mars, only to decide you prefer things down here on Earth. Anyway, this burger was buff. No lettuce or tomatoes or any of that crap. Just a pink patty, shitload of gherkins, caramelised onion and raw white onion so fine it was transparent, melted American cheddar, and deluxe (AKA burger) sauce. Woi. And on the side: curly fries. Homemade, mother fucking, curly fries. Along with a glass of sparkling rosé, ’cos it was a ‘celebration’ after all.”

- JM

Heidi Lauth Beasley


££££ Unit 9 Market Row

Groundnut soup with chargrilled cauliflower

“If you’re against licking plates clean in public, then this groundnut soup might be one to skip. A spiced peanut butter sauce situation that has honestly not left my brain since trying it at Brixton Village’s Chishuru, I could merrily eat this every single day. Every. Single. Day. And I’m not even a massive fan of cauliflower. FYI: the caramelised baobab dessert at this West African restaurant is also definite plate-licking territory too.”


Rianne Shlebak

Flesh & Buns

££££ 41 Earlham St

Japanese fried chicken bao bun

“I’ve come across many sad, deflated bao in my time. And let me tell you something, it gets better. I’m not going to say this is the best bao in London, but this Japanese fried chicken bao is very very good. It’s a DIY situation here, which basically means you order the buns and fillings separately and assemble them yourself. The buttermilk fried chicken was crispy, and the BBQ mayonnaise and red chilli sauce was excellent. And I know it looks professional, but yes, I did assemble it myself.”

- RS

Noodle & Beer

££££ 31 Bell Ln

Tian-shui mian

“The chips or the noodles? Chips, or noodles? Those crispy but soggy chilli-soaked chips… or those fat, dockline-worthy, noodles? Hilariously, depressingly, and ridiculously that has been my big question this week. And the noodles have won out. The ones in question are tian-shu mian - thick, square, cold udon that sit in a pool of sauce featuring soy, peanut, Sichuan pepper and sesame - from Noodle & Beer, a Chongqing noodle and Sichuan spot in Spitalfields. You could describe them as chewy, but I like to think of them as more than that. They possess more clout than your standard udon. In an alternative (and better) reality, people at Barry’s Bootcamp wouldn’t train using those weird massive ropes, they’d pick up this chunky udon, and go about mixing it in a sauce that’s equal parts sweet, salty, and tingly. Coincidentally, there’s plenty of sauce at the bottom of the bowl. So much so that we had some left over. And you know what goes well with leftover sauce? Lang-ya tu dou. AKA, the chips.”

- JM


££££ 450 Finchley Road

Cauliflower starter

“I’ve become a regular at Balady. Since sometime this summer I’ve been going most Thursday nights, and while I tend to try something different each time, the one constant in my order is this cauliflower. Part of me has been worried about telling anyone about it. If word gets out about how good this thing is - I catastrophised - maybe it’ll prompt some kind of London-wide cauliflower shortage and then what will I do on Thursday nights? The reason I’ve written about it now is that the London team have talked me down. Since at least half of London bought at least one Ottolenghi book, they argued, the cauliflower supply chain has been shored up and can easily keep pace with any temporary surge in demand. Here it is then. Balady’s cauliflower starter. It’s relatively simple. Just a puddle of tahini, a shower of amba, lemon juice, salt, sumac, parsley, and a couple of handfuls of deep-fried cauliflower. I promise you though, even if cauliflower is your go-to veg, this will still have enough crunch and zing to surprise you every time you eat it.”



££££ 228 Merton Road

Shrimp tempura maki

“I’m a planner. And so when people say things about last-minute, unplanned, spontaneous things being the best, I think they’re lying. Until I had the equivalent in the form of food, with this meal from Takahashi. My dinner was already made, and sushi wasn’t part of the plan, but after staring at their Instagram for about an hour, I decided to head down and collect some maki rolls. They have a great takeaway service going on where you can call and collect so it couldn’t have been easier. I got four maki rolls: spicy tuna, salmon avocado, shrimp tempura, and crab and avocado. They were all very good, but the one that really stood out was the tempura. It had perfect sticky rice to shrimp ratio, and it’s not only one of the best things I ate this week, but one of the best tempura rolls I’ve had. Ever.”

- RS

An ill-timed photograph

Noble Rot Soho

££££ 2 Greek St

Chocolate mousse, brandy prune & hazelnut biscuit

“Like all first-rate new media food writers - sorry, bloggers - I judge how good the food I’ve eaten is by the pictures I’ve taken, rather than by my tongue. Only in most cases, it’s not the images like a perfectly captured tarte tatin, so glistening, so bronzed, that a teenager might blu-tac it to their wall. It’s the ones where there’s a blur of hands. Or a clean plate in memorandum. It’s the ones like above, where I’ve had to shoddily zoom in on another picture of dessert to look for evidence. It’s Gregg Wallace presents Watchdog. The scene of this criminally crap photo was the new Noble Rot on Greek Street. A place that you should ideally be sitting in right now. The victim: their chocolate mousse. It was described to us as a mousse and ganache hybrid, but a better description would be ‘a non-sharer’. The mousse is sweet and not too rich - a milk and dark mashup - and the texture is temptingly spreadable. Yes, I have been thinking about it on toast. Alongside there’s a shot of brandy masquerading as a prune, plus some cream and a perfectly crisp biscuit. The details are unimportant though. What’s important is that you’re holding a spoon, not your phone, when it’s put on the table”.

- JM


££££ 27 Blackstock Road

Large plate chicken

“The magnificent, glistening plate of food you see before you has left a strange imprint on me. It’s all I can think of. And it’s all I talk about. I’ve caught myself whispering to people about it in secretive tones, as if I’m inviting them to join me in some kind of a conspiracy. “Have you ever had the large plate chicken at Dilara?” I ask, “It’s only on Blackstock Road. Shall we go get it now?”. All you really need to know is that this huge stew of braised chicken, pepper, velvety sauce-sodden potatoes, ever-so-slightly-mouth-numbing dry chilli, and flat chewy noodles is an absolute must order.”


Rianne Shlebak

Seoul Bird


Kimchi mac & cheese

“My pun-filled mind would probably call this mac and kimcheese, but this Korean street food spot in Westfield shouldn’t change anything about this dish. The kimchi is mixed into the four cheese sauce, so it’s cheesy, with a hint of spice, and the breadcrumbs add a nice crispy texture. The Korean fried chicken was also great, but this side, that we’d easily eat as a main, needed a spot on the list because it was one of the best mac and cheeses I’ve had in a while.”

- RS


££££ 31 Beauchamp Pl

Horenso salad

“Would I usually order a salad at a restaurant? No. And it’s not because there’s anything wrong with salads, but because more often than not, there are obstacles in the form of fried things on the menu. But this baby spinach salad with spicy prawns is tangy, spicy, refreshing, and has given me a newfound love for yuzu dressing and perfectly plated leaves.”

- RS

Nic Crilly-Hargrave

Kibou Japanese Kitchen and Bar

££££ 175-177 Northcote Road

Steamed bao bun

“I had an excellent sushi platter at Kibou, but my employment contract states that when bao is on the menu I am obliged to order it. Now, before I tell you about it, look at it. Stare it directly in the eye. Show it the respect it deserves, because it’s very, very tasty. I went for the karaage filling, so although I can’t vouch for the soft shell crab tempura option, I can tell you this is a great bao. On the seriously hefty side of huge, it’s got the perfect combination of softness, crunch, and their signature mayo.”




The Definitive Ranking Of London’s Best Bao

Jake Missing


££££ 250 Seven Sisters Rd

Bariis iskukaris

“Lunch at Zamzam was my first time eating bariis iskukaris and it will not be the last. The plates of rice coming from the kitchen of this Somali restaurant on the Seven Sisters Road are so deep with flavour that every spoon of rice mixed the sweetness of raisins with salty, turmeric and cinnamon-tasting flecks of onion, carrot and potato, along with what tasted like a million other things. All of which caused me to write a seductive sounding note in my phone that reads ‘fragrant, bit sensual’. Make of that what you will. On top of the mountain of rice was a load of chopped beef and goat some bits slightly caramelised, some bits not, and all of it going together so deliciously that I only came up for air to sip on the almost-as-moreish soup I had on the side.”

- JM


££££ 60 Grand Parade

The fluffy pancakes

“If you’ve ever known me, loved me, or simply been within two miles of me on Shrove Tuesday, then you’ll know that I’m really into pancakes. Like, really into pancakes. As you can see from the picture, I ate this sweet pancake stack in bed, and they passed both the toppings and fluffiness test with flying colours. The mascarpone is always a nice touch too.”


Rianne Shlebak


££££ 103 Westbourne Grove

Full English breakfast

“You might think that it’s impossible to go wrong with a full English breakfast, but my ghosts of greasy-English-breakfasts-past would suggest otherwise. The full English at this new cafe on Westbourne grove, however, is great. It comes with a single egg, bacon (that I swapped for bubble and squeak), a sausage, portobello mushrooms, hash browns, and a very generous portion of beans. Just an all-round great breakfast.”

- RS


££££ 488 West Green Rd

Mix of traditional pierogies

“I do not take the change of seasons well. In summer I am Malibu Barbie, all free-love and carpe diem. Come Autumn, I am Wednesday Addams bitterly whispering “where is my stupid, stupid umbrella?’. But rejoice my fellow sunshine-grievers because I have found the cure. Autograf’s assorted traditional pierogies, that are basically slippers for the soul in XL dumpling form. Topped with caramelised onion, the chicken was my personal favourite, but the potato and cottage cheese deserve a special shout out too. They’re super comforting and an excellent way to spend six quid.”



££££ 756 Finchley Road

Merguez lafa

Back in March, my co-workers (for reasons I won’t go into here, but mainly because they’re awesome) sent me a huge package of falafel, salad, and sauces from Balady, a kosher falafel spot in Temple Fortune. Ever since lockdown eased I’ve been meaning to stop by to try their sabich, which I’d heard great things about. However, when I finally got there late on Wednesday, I impulsively changed my plan. You see, there’s just no way I can walk past merguez without eating merguez, and so I ended up to their sister restaurant a couple of doors down. I got the merguez in lafa, stuffed with hummus, salad, aubergine, pickles, beets, carrots, cauliflower, fiery chilli sauce (both red and green), tahina and amba, and ate the entire huge, pillowy wrap in about ten minutes flat, stopping just now and then to lick the oily, flame red meat juice from back of my hand, shake my head at the gloriousness of the thing, and gasp for air.



££££ 11 Henrietta St

Kani Korokke

There are fish cakes. There are croquettes. There are clouds. And then there’s the Kani Korokke at this Covent Garden spot. Creamy, light, and unbelievably smooth - these cute little crab croquettes are a must order. And even though they come as a starter you’re going to want to end on them.

- RS

Jake Missing

La Barra

££££ 147, Eagle Yard Arch, Walworth

Dominican fried chicken

“The fried chicken at La Barra comes in three sizes, the smallest of which caused O Fortuna from Carmina Burana to play, max volume, in my head as I saw it approaching my table. What the largest would do, I do not know. What I do know is that this is the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten. The batter is otherworldly-looking, swirled, jagged, golden brown crunch that’s come from another dimension, while the chicken inside remains improbably and perfectly moist. A squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of homemade chilli sauce is preferable, but you don’t even need that. The fact it comes with green plantain chips and a pile of chicharrones and bofes bigger than every portion at every London small plates restaurant put together is almost laughable. Almost. But laughter is a filling activity. And you want to save all the room you can for chicken”.

- JM

Rianne Shlebak

Beit El Zaytoun

££££ 15 Barretts Green Rd

Lamb and cheese mana’esh

“Some food is so good that you crave it whilst you’re still asleep. You know what I’m talking about. You wake up planning and calculating your route. All so you can get your fix. Yes it might be an hour travel, and yes you will do it anyway. Why? Because the lamb and cheese mana’esh at this Lebanese restaurant in Acton are just that good. They’re the perfect brunch for a lazy day. Doughy, meaty, cheesy. Some might say it’s too much so early on in the day. And to those people I say: (in the nicest way possible): grow up.”

- RS

il Pampero

££££ 20 Chesham Pl

The complimentary bread

“Free bread is like Jonathan Rhys Meyers, dangerous and irresistible. I will consume almost any free food item that you put down in front of me, but when the complimentary bread from Italian spot Il Pampero was especially good. It was soft on the inside, crisp and flaky on the outside, with just the right amount of dough bounce. Thank you for lining my stomach in style.”


Jake Missing

St Mawes Bakery

££££ 9 Marine Parade

Steak pasty

“Like any true abrasive Londoner, I spent the bank holiday weekend in another county, eating local food, drinking local ales, being given the stink eye. The lucky destination this time was St. Mawes, a Sylvanian Families-sized village with a pasty shop right on the harbour, conveniently opposite the pub. I’ve had the steak pasty from the St. Mawes Bakery quite a few times over quite a few years, and it’s an always welcome paperweight for my stomach. The pastry sweats butter, the steak is chunky and pink, and the heavily peppered mix of mushy potatoes and onions (along with occasional rogue carrot) is the ideal partner to a pint of Tribute”.

- JM

Heidi Lauth Beasley

One Love Kitchen

££££ 9A Crouch Hill

Jerk chicken wrap

“Lockdown has been an absolute dream for snacking. Lunch? Not so much. There’s minimal incentive to leave the office (your bed) and in the WFH time warp, 12pm quickly becomes 4pm. But this wrap is the best lunch I’ve had since March. You get a serious portion of tender jerk chicken, but the real revelation here is the wrap itself. Despite being packed full of salad, hot jerk chicken, and garlic mayo, it wasn’t soggy in the slightest. A serious winner that will keep you full until dinner. Or your next snack.”


Heidi Lauth Beasley


PastaItalian  in  Soho
££££ 19 Ganton St

Watermelon, yellow tomato, feta, chilli, and mint salad

“People might tell you that watermelon is a fruit. I’m no pomologist - yes, that’s a real job - but I disagree. Primarily, watermelon is a state of mind. I’m talking flip-flops and sangria and shamefully napping on lilos. And despite being smack bang in the centre of Soho, Pastaio’s watermelon, feta, and chilli dish put me straight into that pass-me-another-cocktail state of mind. Combine with the prosecco slushie for peak vacation feels.”


Rianne Shlebak

Hoppers - St. Christopher's Place

££££ 77 Wigmore Street

Lamb kothu roti

“I’ve always known that I have a weakness for carb-y dishes. Specifically carbs from the bread side of the family. So it’s no surprise that I love roti. And it’s even less of a surprise that I’m still thinking about this lamb kothu roti I had on Tuesday. It’s cooked in some sort of delicious gravy, and mixed with pieces of lamb and onions, and after a single taste the mood changed very quickly from: “sure everyone, take a spoonful, sharing is caring”, to me caring only about how much of it I can fit in my mouth. All worth it.”

- RS

Heidi Lauth Beasley

Tavolino Bar & Kitchen

££££ 2 More London Riverside

Bucatini ‘cacio e pepe’’

“Those three little words that every human longs to hear. Cacio e Pepe. The people behind handmade pasta spot Bancone have just opened a new all-day Italian restaurant called Tavolino. Or as I like to call it, My New Home. The sauce was super thick, just the way I like it, and there was a proper al dente bite to the bucatini. My breath stank of pepper and it was glorious.”


Heidi Lauth Beasley

Tavolino Bar & Kitchen

££££ 2 More London Riverside

Tagliatelle, spicy nduja, and pork ragu

“If you think I went to Tavolino and just had one pasta, you are sadly mistaken. I have two hands and easy access to two forks. The result: Shoveling this tagliatelle in my mouth between bites of bucatini. The spicy nduja in the pork ragu sneaks up on you and then shouts ‘SURPRISE, I AM BETTER THAN 99% OF LONDON’S OTHER RAGU PASTAS’. Honestly, some of the best multi-tasking I’ve ever done.”


Oliver Feldman

The Queen of Sheba

££££ 12 Fortess Rd

Awaze ti’bs

“The awaze ti’bs at Queen of Sheba isn’t just one of the best things I’ve eaten this week, it’s immediately become a go-to in my personal repertoire of favourite things to eat in London. Full stop. In the years to come, I won’t sit around, joylessly wondering where to go to satisfy one of my indistinct cravings for spice and flavour. I’ll just head directly to this friendly neighbourhood Ethiopian restaurant in Kentish Town. Once there, I’ll slowly, deliberately, scoop away at this gloriously generous portion of rich and tangy pan-fried lamb, onions, and peppers with spongy injera until I can’t eat any more. Then I’ll eat a little more. And then, finally, I’ll accept their offer to pack it all up for later.”


Jake Missing

The Drapers Arms

££££ 44 Barnsbury St

Tea smoked salmon, pickled cucumber, dill, crème fraiche & soda bread

“I come from a family of sharers. More food than feelings, but often both around the dinner table. Entrées with a side of empathy. When we go out to eat it’s a bite for a bite. Each course is treated like a Strictly Come Dancing contestant awaiting its score from the judges, and the other night, at The Drapers Arms, it was my Mum’s salmon that did the sexiest dance. As a natural-born martyr, she made everyone up a bite before having one herself - a rip of soda bread, a dollop of crème fraiche, a wedge of silky smoked salmon, and a dilly pickle for good measure. It waltzed into my mouth. The judges were unanimous: a perfect 10 for the tea smoked salmon.”

- JM

Oliver Feldman


££££ 1 Westgate Street

Mortadella sandwich

“As of 11am on the morning of Friday, 14 August, there are no official FCO advisories that prohibit going to Italy. However I don’t feel all that great about unnecessary travel this year. Maybe that’s why the mortadella sandwich at Bright was such a revelation. Paired with an Americano or two, this springy, ham-filled focaccia is a wholly transportive experience. If I’d closed my eyes, I could easily have been in Bologna. Probably. Either way, along with the rest of Bright’s bar menu, it makes their London Fields terrace one of the best spots in town for an aperitivo.”


Oliver Feldman

Kiss The Koala

££££ priory

Friarielli hash

“A pile of bite-sized potato chunks, mixed with sautéed friarielli, and topped off with a fried duck egg. It’s something I could probably - on a very, very good day - muster a passable version of at home. However, this was the first proper plate of food I’ve had in (or just outside) a restaurant since early March. And it was glorious. Don’t let that sound like I’m downplaying it though. Kiss The Koala is a newish café and brunch spot near Alexandra Palace and they hit the sweet-spot of salty, soft, and crunchy Sunday morning eating for me with this. (n.b. the portion of buttermilk fried chicken in the picture above is totally optional, though also advisable.)”


Jake Missing

Quo Vadis

British  in  Soho
££££ 26-29 Dean St

Tomato salad

“The phrase ‘too hot to eat’ isn’t one I really understand. Nobody is ever too hot to eat, you’re just too hot to eat certain things. Maybe it’s because of our climate. We know the cold months better than the hot. So when a 30-odd degree-er comes around, everyone panics. What do we eat? Chilled baked beans? An ice cube dipped in gravy? Sod it, let’s just drink instead. Or, alternatively, eat and drink. Outside. On Frith Street. At Quo Vadis. With a cold beer or a glass of something crispy. All you need then is a plate of sweet tomatoes bathing in oil, topped with finely chopped red onion, and a healthy turn of salt and pepper. It, with bread, is all I want this summer.”

- JM

Heidi Lauth Beasley

Madame Pigg

££££ 480 Kingsland Road

Tempura courgette flower, ricotta, and blackberries

“What you have here is what I, a seasoned professional, like to call a shit tonne of textures. Am I this generation’s AA Gill? Definitely. But in all seriousness, this dish is summer on a plate. There’s plenty of crunch and creaminess, and the sharpness from the blackberries will remind you that, yes, you absolutely should have another glass of wine.”


MAP Maison

££££ 321 Kingsland Road

Quetzacoalt cocktail

We ran (walked) in from the rain (it wasn’t raining), desperately in search of sanctuary, safety and maybe, like, a cosmo or something. In a classic game of ‘guess where might still be open’ I came across Map Maison on the Kingsland Road and had a series of excellent cocktails. The gin-heavy Columbia Road cocktail is super fresh, but this tequila number was my favourite. Newsflash: fig liqueur is excellent with fresh lemon and pomegranate.”


Monmouth Coffee The Borough

££££ 2 Park Street, London SE1 9AB, Southwark

Iced filter coffee

“I’m an aspiring coffee nerd. There. I’ve said it. And I really don’t care if you’re not okay with it. I’ve got all the gear: a grinder, scales, one of those gooseneck kettles, elaborate glassware that I spend half my life trying to keep clean… and I have all of this because last autumn I got hooked on the iced coffee at Walden Woods in Kyoto. It was an instant top five* and I’ve been trying to recreate it ever since. Sadly, even the life-changing ice-making technique of Infatuation NYC Senior Staff Writer and resident cocktail expert, Bryan Kim, plus the unusual abundance of time 2020 has offered up hasn’t helped me get it right. Monmouth’s iced filter coffee however nails it. It might just be the best tasting, most nuanced cup of coffee I’ve ever had in London, and I’m not just saying that because Thursday was my first coffee outing since early March.”


*”in case you’re interested, the others include an iced almond-macadamia milk latte from Go Get ’Em Tiger in LA, a very hot petrol station coffee somewhere in Oregon on a very cold morning in October 2016, and, a little closer to home, the nitro at Climpson’s.”

Jake Missing

Pollo Feliz

££££ 13-23 Westgate St


“The other day I was feeling a bit blue, and that tends to lead me to eating something beige. Walking home and maybe subconsciously, but probably not, my brain took me to Pollo Feliz in Netil Market. Having just eaten a bagel (note: beige), I wasn’t that hungry but also, I can always eat. Their quesadillas are just beans and cheese. Gooey and soft, packed between handmade wheat-flour, pork-fat tortillas. They’re simultaneously rich and light, and I’d eaten both before I crossed the road”.

- JM

Mac And Wild

British  in  City
££££ 9A Devonshire Square

Deep-fried Mars Bar sundae

“I have a confession - I don’t know why Hot Priest never magically appears when I say this - I had never eaten a deep-fried Mars bar before my recent trip to Mac and Wild. There, I said it. But happily for me, but not my arteries, I am going to be eating a lot more if they all taste this good. I have a suspicion the sheer glory of this dessert was also down to the ice cream and whisky-infused toffee sauce. All in all, a sweet treat for the ages.”


Rianne Shlebak

Coya London

Peruvian  in  Mayfair
££££ 118 Piccadilly

Crab, tuna, and salmon tacos

“London is home to a lot of things: double-decker buses, overly confident pigeons, and people who pretend they don’t watch Love Island. But decent tacos isn’t one of them, which is why I was so excited about the tacos at Peruvian spot Coya. I had the tuna, crab, and salmon. The crab tacos are the tell-you-I-love-you-on-the-first-date kind of good, but the tuna and salmon are also pretty great. Just get them all.”

- RS

Jake Missing

The Good Egg

££££ 93 Church St

Lox & cream cheese bagel

“A few years ago, I tried to get takeaway from The Good Egg. They didn’t offer this, so I was rejected, but a stranger in the queue told me I smelled nice. Location aside, this story isn’t at all related to the lox and cream cheese Montreal bagel I had the other day. Less a slice of pastrami-smoked trout so much as a wedge hacked off, the bagel had some solid schmear going on, and a very welcome handful of capers. The sesame Montreal bagel, said to be denser, was the perfect vehicle.”

- JM

Heidi Lauth Beasley


££££ 1 Vyner St

The park picnic for two

“Look, I rarely picnic. If I’ve learnt anything from the picnics of my youth it’s that grass stains suck and the only creature on planet Earth that has the same determination and inner strength as Beyoncé is the common ant. Well, rejoice my fellow picnic pessimists, because Ombra’s park picnic for two has made the whole thing pretty lovely. For 25 quid, you get focaccia, salami, burrata, and more - but the DIY sandwich situation is the real winner of the lot.”


Rianne Shlebak


££££ 32 Newport Court

The bilog

“Hi my name is Rianne, and I’m an ice-cream addict. So much so that I decided the perfect time to try this Filipino spot, that I’d been wanting to visit for months, was on a rainy Sunday. I ordered a bilog (a milk bun filled with ice-cream) and went with the Milo flavour (yes, the chocolate powder). It was basically like eating a pancake filled with ice-cream, what’s not to like?”

- RS

Heidi Lauth Beasley

Xi'an Impression

Chinese  in  Highbury
££££ 117 Benwell Rd

Beef biang biang noodles

“If I was playing a game of word association and someone said ‘soulmate’, my instant, brain-snap reaction would be shouting ‘liangpi noodles’. You see, we are very much an item, me and Xi’an’s traditional coldskin. But this week I went rogue and ordered the hand-pulled biang biang noodles instead. They travelled well, the noodles were just the right amount of chewy, and the beef smelled so good that my flatmate pulled the old meerkat air-sniff move when they arrived. Officially my mistress.”


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