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Local Heroes: Favorite Neighborhood Eateries


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I'm moving to deepest, darkest Leytonstone after half a decade saaaaaarf of da river.  I'm feeling lost at the prospect of no notable restaurants - can any of you allay and prove to me that this area isn't gastronomically void.

Suggestions pls. :smile:  :smile:

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  • 3 months later...

I finally dragged myself the whole 20 minute walk over to Viet Hoa last night (very good catfish, good but slightly overfried Viet spring rolls, tough duck) -- and the very next day Time Out announces that it's far surpassed by Sông Quê, just up the road at no 134G. ('In fact we think that, at this moment, it has the best Vietnamese food in London').

So ... anyone been yet? Better do so quickly, as the 180-dish menu is about to be slimmed down to 70 because its length is apparently putting people off. Last chance to get your pho with tripe.

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talking of brixton....wander down past brixton academy on to stockwell road where you will find a plethora [well two or three] fine portugese diners the finest of which is Cantino Portugal.

best to go on a sunday as the specials are terrific: suckling pig, rabbit, kid etc....

try the clams in wine and butter and any of the salt cod stews, the pork and clams with pickled vegetables is my favourite....absoloutley dirt cheap too...much better than The Gallery at the top of the hill which Matthew Fort eulogises about at length, although the ribs and chicken they chargrill at the front as you go in are worth plumbing for post pub.

also in brixton is the fine portugese deli near the corner of atlantic road...not the culinary desert some think folks...a few diamonds in the rough

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Though I recently pointed out Chapter II & an upcoming Mar I terra in Blackheath where I really like to go is a converted Pub with the dreadful name Gastro!Gastro! which functions as a Brasserie on 78 Blackheath Road (Between Greenwich, Lewisham & Deptford).

Good quality meat, a range of dishes from T-Bone & Bearnaise, Jerk Chicken Brochette, Calves Liver Bacon & exemplary mash to Sea bass with rocket & almond salad.

This is my favourite local place to go either for a drink in a grown-up environment or for a relaxed meal. Service is great & the wine list is good too. If you find yrself in SE10 give it a go.

Wilma squawks no more

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  • 2 weeks later...
... and the very next day Time Out announces that it's far surpassed by Sông Quê, just up the road at no 134G. ('In fact we think that, at this moment, it has the best Vietnamese food in London').

So ... anyone been yet? Better do so quickly, as the 180-dish menu is about to be slimmed down to 70 because its length is apparently putting people off. Last chance to get your pho with tripe.

Did Sông Quê a couple of times last week. Didn't retain enough detailed impressions for a full review, but --

[a] schizophrenic service. Waiters mostly very friendly, but on the first visit, after announcing ourselves and claiming our reserved table, we were approached by a rather hostile chap who seemed to think we'd grabbed the table. Having reassured him we had a reservation, we were then subject to a brief cross-question (what name had we booked under? etc). As we'd already dealt with all this and been seated by a colleague of his, this seemed a bit unnecessary. His subdued hostility continued throughout. His colleagues were lovely.

slooooooow. On first visit, we had an hour to eat in. Rice paper rolls and phos (is that the plural?) came very quickly; green papaya salad so much later (and after several reminders) that we'd already asked for the bill and only downed a couple of mouthfuls before running out to try to make the Barbican in time for the film. On the second visit, we arrived at 9.15 and only half our food had come by 10.45. We weren't out until well after midnight (I think). Oh, and they forgot one dish entirely.

[c] pho was very good. other dishes good but no fireworks. green papaya salad okay, and much less interesting than the rather spiffing version at Busaba Eathai (so shoot me).

[d] no aircon. Last visit could almost have been in Vietnam for real.

[e] seems to be doing very well, which partly accounts for but is no excuse. menu still huge as of Friday, and no sign of it 'putting people off'.

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  • 1 month later...

Mar i Terra is an excellent small chain of Tapas restaurants in London.

Locations are Air Street (near Picadilly), Gambia Street (the hinterland between London Bridge & Waterloo) and now in Blackheath SE3.

I tried the new one in Blackheath last night; good.

Brutally fresh octopus briefly marinated and dusted with salt and paprika, suckered me in with a glass of manzanilla.

The sensation of death on a plate led me to order tortilla (actually less heavily carb laden than some renditions).

Then what was described as 'rillettes of partridge and wild boar'.

One of the best dishes recently - 2 decent chunks of a terrine (mostly boar rillettes) shot through with chunks of partridge breast.

Served on a salad with a healthy quotient of marinated wild mushrooms.

Washed this down with a gamey rioja.

I was full by this time so concluded with a carajillo - and rather than an espresso which had been near a brandy bottle - this was a huge tumbler full of equal measures of coffee and brandy & a hunk of lemon zest.

Back over the heath for a game of chess in a pub.

Wilma squawks no more

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  • 1 month later...

Heading out of London if you, by mischance, stop at Deptford turn left out of the station & down the high street.

You'll soon hit West Lake a BYO Vietnamese cafe.

Leaving my order to the capable and incomprehensible gentleman who oversees the front of house I was treated to half-moon cakes (somewhere between a rice-flour pasty & a samosa) stuffed with prawns and cabbage and garlid and fermented shrimps. He explained the Time Out people had been terribly disappointed at their non-appearance.

Later an enormous platter of vermicelli, vegetables and grilled beef with lemon-grass and chilli appeared. Tender as the night.

This was immaculate food - and almost impossible to spend over a tenner on.

A table of second generation vietnamese girls pondered the cheapest place to buy Gucci in SE Asia and a couple of the 'liberal intelligentsia' drifted in towards the end of my meal.

Then onward - towards the watergate - followed only by my footfall - and a child's singing truncated, provincia deserta

. Swing round the corner into the Dog & Bell for a pint of Pride and the pleasure of an antique local functioning as the Chorus (in a SE London Patois).

He explained the argument at the bar as a faarking Greek Tragedy & went on to meditate upon the failure of Suicide as a moral choice. Making my excuses I headed down Creek road, over the sloe-dark Creek, before hitting St. Alfege's and the backstreets where a glass of whisky tastes of bile & home.

Wilma squawks no more

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Sunday night, wedged in a corner of the Marble Arch at the top of my street.

Having worked through a pint each of N4, Ginger Marble and Old Lag (all organic, and brewed in the onsite micro-brewery), I finish with a bottle of Timmermans peach lambic (one of the campest drinks ever, complete with pink foil).

Sustenance came in the form of Seabrooks pleasantly sickly-sweet crinkle-cut prawn cocktail crisps (the only true pub crisp), and a Tunnocks caramel and marshmallow. The marshmallow is sticky and wet, not like the dusty nodules you get in bags from Woolies, and the wrapper of the Tunnocks caramel makes the aqstounding claim that over 4,000,000 are eaten every week. Where? By who?

The fire is roaring, and the clientele is a pleasing mix of posties and gas workers who have just finished their shifts, slightly earnest beer-bores reading dog eared copies of the local Camra newsletter, Sophie and me.

Eating and Drinking doesn't get much better than this.

I'm only half joking...

Cheers

Thom

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Actually, no one has even managed that yet.

I think the phrase goes 'You can take the boy out of the North, but he'll bring a bag of pork scratchings with him.'

I like the ones with hair on that look like eyelids.

Ah, pub food...

Cheers

Thom

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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  • 1 month later...
my very favourite local restaurant is the hunan in pimlico road, staggering distance from my des res in the local bijoux council estate.

anyone else got a neighborhood fave rave?

Talk about envy?

The nearest two 'restaurants' to me are one laughably calling itself a bistro and the other run down, clapped out hotel. The bistro specialises in Brake Brothers cuisine and they do a very fine job indeed of cooking even that badly. Presentation? Perhaps someone would kindly offer the Chef a dictionary so he can begin to understand what it could mean. A meal for two there cost me £25 and it was perhaps the worst value I've ever had.

My Fiancee had dinner at the Hotel just prior to Christmas and ordered stuffed mushroom to start. Marvellous stuff - four upside down button mushrooms stuffed with lowest grade cheddar cheese, melted under the grill and served with an iceberg leaf and some raw red cabbage. Brilliantly, the mushrooms were entirely raw other than the bit immediately surrounding the cheese.

Ohhhh...the thought that must have gone into that particular culinary disaster...

It's twenty miles to the nearest sizeable town and amongst a dozen places to eat (Brake Brothers can count on at least six of these places to deliver on their behalf) not one is worthy of a penny of my hard earned.

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It's twenty miles to the nearest sizeable town and amongst a dozen places to eat (Brake Brothers can count on at least six of these places to deliver on their behalf) not one is worthy of a penny of my hard earned.

Well it goes back to another e gullet perennial. Why aren't Scottish people, with all the wonderful produce up there, demanding higher quality places to eat?

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Went to Angel Mangal last night. Simon's right on this one.

Oh, and Tony is absolutely, definitely right on New Tayyab.

glad you enjoyed Mangal. It is probably my favourite " oh, fuck it I can't be bothered to cook, let's go to x " place.

The mixed grill is a thing of beauty

Agree on NT as well.

S

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Why aren't Scottish people, with all the wonderful produce up there, demanding higher quality places to eat?

We do demand it, Tony. We don't get it, however. Well, certainly not nearly often enough.

I am pleased to report that many of these places I mention are dying on there feet and change hands regularly. The eternal hope is that some of the new owners realise the opportunity before them. One day, I'll own one of these places.

There is one Hotel here that has hired a chef of good repute and it is this place I have asked to work in free of charge to learn and extend my skills. Glasgow is getting better all the time, and I'm sure Adam could tell you more about what is happening on the east coast.

Edited by A Scottish Chef (log)
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There is one Hotel here that has hired a chef of good repute and it is this place I have asked to work in free of charge to learn and extend my skills. Glasgow is getting better all the time, and I'm sure Adam could tell you more about what is happening on the east coast.

On the east coast we have Glasgow envy.

One place I do like is the Crammon Inn, as it has quite good food, good beer and an interesting setting.

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