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carpet bagger

London Secret Restaurants

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I'm planning a trip to London end of March. I would like to find out about restaurants that visitors may not normally find out about. I prefer Chinese, French, New fusion, Indian and fish and chips. Anything else that someone particularly loves.


" Food and Wine Fanatic"

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I'm planning a trip to London end of March. I would like to find out about restaurants that visitors may not normally find out about. I prefer Chinese, French, New fusion, Indian and fish and chips. Anything else that someone particularly loves.

Chinese - Golden Palace, Harrow. Blue Thames, Battersea. Super Star, Lisle Street chinatown.

Indian - brilliant /gifto , southall


"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

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I do wonder if such places exist anymore - the city seems to have been guide-booked and restaurant-criticed to within an inch of its life. I sometimes think I should walk off the street into the first restaurant I've never heard of just to see if its any good, but I get the feeling a hundred pairs of Time Out-funded feet have probably been there before me.

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I have a couple of friends that like to try and find out of the way places that nobody has discovered before and wonder why I tend to go on recommendations. Aside form the difficulty in trying to find an out of the way gem my reply is why would you go to restaurant X with no reviews when Restaurant Y has lots of excellent reviews next door? Restaurants without reviews tend not to have them for a reason.

Anyway my friends continue on their quest, especially in Paris and London, they always think that they have discovered somewhere that nobody else has and come back recommending this place and that. They have never once been able to give me the name of a restaurant that I can't find a review/opinion of within 5 minutes and always look amazed when I can tell them details such as specialities, name of chef etc. What amazes me is how amazed they are! :rolleyes:


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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They're not secrets, but they are my favourite London places. All where you can have lovely tasty food for less than £15 a head and where they like to see you enjoy your food. Coincidentally quite a few of these are places where a tourist to London might find themselves staying or visiting

1. Loong Kee Cafe on 134 Kingsland High Street. Check out the Geffrye Museum while you're there. Delicious spicy Vietnamese food.

2. Taza shawarma grill at 35a Queensway. I would say the best shawarma sandwich in London, and if you want more salad, tomatoes, chilli, tahina, yoghurt its all there for you to add as much as you want. There is what looks like a very nice russian deli next door too. I've been in briefly but got thrown out for wheeling an arancia gelato around in the wheel of the pushchair.

3. Gerards Corner for dim sum in Chinatown. Everyone seems to have their favourite dim sum place. this is mine. I particularly like the octopus ball congee, fish maw dim sum and prawn chueng fun. What is fish maw?

4. The buffet lunch at Diwana Bhel Poori house on Drummond Street near Euston Station is sumptious. I have a rule about never having the buffet in an indian restaurant. I break it for this though The bhel pooris are nice too.

5. Alounak on westbourne grove. Iranian food, really delicious and nice tea. They have a different main dish each day. I really like the lamb with dried lemons. The bread and butter rice are fantastic too. This might be more than £15

6. Cafe Lisboa on Goldborne Road at the top of Portobello, London at its best, have a Galao (coffee in a glass) and a custard tart or rice cake.

7. Gita's on Westbourne Park Road. It's not fantastic but it is my local Indian Restaurant. Authentic dosas and vadai and i love the Fried Meat, I think it is mutton, nice and clovey.

8. Brick Lane Beigel Bakery. I don't think it ever shuts.Get there early on Sunday. There is a market like no other in London. The bagels are chewey sweet and filling. I either get salt beef or lox and cream cheese with cucumber

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I've recently been visiting Tooting on a regular basis and it's packed with excellent, cheap Indian restaurants such as Lahore Karahi, Jaffna House (Sri Lankan caff) and Masaladar (which is not so cheap, but I may be addicted to their Kali Masoor Dall). Not forgetting the superb Kastoori. Plus, there's numerous green grocers offering better quality produce than the average supermarket, and terrific sweetie shops such as Pooja... It's worth an excursion. Travel to Tooting Broadway tube and walk form there back up to Tooting Bec and you will encounter all manner of wonders along the way!

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What is fish maw?

It's the gas bladder (also called the swim bladder) of the fish - no idea what type of fish is normally used though! There is a Thai restaurant here in Chicago that has a Fish Maw salad on the Thai menu that is one of the best things I have ever tasted!

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