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Solitary lunch in that there London


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I be goin' up to London from deepest Somerset next week for a morning meeting, and will be in the Liverpool St / Moorgate area. Is there anywhere nearby that anyone could recommend that's:

. pleasant for a solitary diner

. not too dear (say <£30)

I like most kinds of food, but ethnic's thin on the ground in the SW, so I'm leaning that way.

Thanks in anticipation.

- Tony -

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Not a great area for options, to be honest: it's full of City boys and PR girls hammering their expense accounts on tartified school dinners. St John's B&W is indeed a good option for the lone diner, as is Canteen in the soulless new development round Spitalfields, although both are probably the opposite of ethnic.

You could get a tepiyaki table at the excellent Tatsuso in Broadgate Circle. But your £30 budget would have to be ... um ... flexible (say >£100). At the other end of the scale would be the Old Spitalfields Market, where you'll find Bubba's pit barbecue at The Arkansas Cafe. Not high class dining, but damn fine eating.

Edited by naebody (log)
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Not a great area for options, to be honest: it's full of City boys and PR girls hammering their expense accounts on tartified school dinners. St John's B&W is indeed a good option for the lone diner, as is Canteen in the soulless new development round Spitalfields, although both are probably the opposite of ethnic.

You could get a tepiyaki table at the excellent Tatsuso in Broadgate Circle. But your £30 budget would have to be ... um ... flexible (say >£100). At the other end of the scale would be the Old Spitalfields Market, where you'll find Bubba's pit barbecue at The Arkansas Cafe. Not high class dining, but damn fine eating.

I think I could happily have St John's soft roes on toast for breakfast and a Bubba's sandwich for lunch every day for the rest of my life.

I regularly eat at either alone. In fact, on the day, you may well see me. I'll be the bloke in the corner wearing a tinfoil hat and talking to the ketchup.

You are indeed fortunate to be lunching near Liverpool St. :biggrin:

Edited by Tim Hayward (log)

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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There is a fair Japanese restaurant come noodle bar in the arcade directly opposite Liverpool street station. You can get away with a decent bowl of ramen or Vietnamese Pho and a drink and some siu mai or something like that for around £15. It is also a good place for a solo diner. Otherwise I can wholeheartedly reccomend St. John's B&W and Canteen as well.

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

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taxi to new tayyab, though check ramadan openings.

Do not, under any circumstances, take a taxi in the City during work hours. You'll spend all your time and money staring at the back of the driver's head.

A few more suggestions, though none are better than previous recommendations (which I'd out in the following order: St John's B&W, Arkansas, then Canteen, then Ekachai noodle bar in the Arcade if you're really pushed for time).

1> Miyabi, the tiny Japanese Conran-owned place attached to the Great Eastern Hotel, is a lot better than you'd expect, and a good option for travellers in need of a quick de-stress. Not stunning by any means, but the sushi is authentic, acceptably priced and good quality (probably because they share suppliers with the posh but crushingly dull fish restaurant next door).

2> Young Bean, an unlikely Korean place in the Stalinesque concrete wilderness between Moorgate and Barbican. Avoid the random Chinese choices on the menu and you can eat well for almost no cash.

3> Sri Thong, just off Middlesex Street, is the best local option if you have a hankering for Thai. It's decent value rather than being spectacularly cheap, but I'm not sure how the stark room would work for a solo.

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All great options - you'll be wishing you could stay in London for a few days! However, I will add one more. Anakana is a good option, and v local to the city. I find it's better than the Brick Lane bunch, and isn't as far away as Tayyabs.

Anakana is on Moorgate itself, just up from the station near the City Road roundabout. It bills itself as a chai and cocktail bar but has a canteen of long tables out the back of the bar in v pleasant/hip surrounds and a selection of thali's and dosai on the menu. I had an excellent seafood thali for about £12 I think (prawns & scallops) but I definitely had order envy when ogling my friend massive delicate dosa filled with fragrant dry fried shredded lamb.

The chef is australian and not indian, but he definitely has a good grasp of indian cooking/cuisine and has given them a fresh lift in line with modern eating.

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Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to offer your tips. I'm catching the early train tomorrow (Tuesday), and I'll let you know how I got on.

The Japanese places sound interesting but, although I live in Somerset, I was raised in t'North, and hold the firm opinion that there's nowt wrong with sushi that five minutes in a chip fryer wouldn't sort out.

I'm not sure how long I'll have at lunchtime, so I'll have to wing it. St John B&W would be my first choice. And Anakana looks intriguing. Quite fancy some noodles, though...

Again, many thanks.

- Tony -

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