As per last month, here’s a summary of notable things I ate in London during February 2018. Would love to hear others’ summaries too, or even just descriptions of one or two notable things eaten.
Affogato, 1457 London Road, Norbury, SW16 4AQ (website)
Although located in a distinctly non-upmarket area of London, this cafe is on the upmarket side, and like many of its neighbours is halal. On this visit I had a somewhat deconstructed breakfast muffin which included a fried egg, a slice of cheese, some turkey bacon, and a hash brown (photo). Once I’d put it all back together, it had a good combination of textures and flavours. The egg yolk was creamy with a runny centre, which worked very well. I have previously enjoyed their shakshuka too (photo).
Nakhon Thai, Dock Road, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1AH (website)
This is not in any sense one of London’s new wave of Thai restaurants featuring punchy flavours, craft beers, hipster staff, and dim lighting. It’s firmly old-school, yet worth a mention for the perfectly-cooked vegetables in the ped kheemao (photo). The long beans were the best I’d had in quite some time, with a lovely snap of freshness. Aubergine (of the large purple type, not the small pea-like type) was also al dente, which I normally hate as it ends up all spongy, but here it worked really well. The duck and sauce were fine, but it was the vegetables that stood out.
Taste of Kerala, 305 London Road, Croydon, CR0 3PA (website)
JFores praised this on Chowhound several years ago, but even though it’s very close to my house it’s taken me all this time to try it due to being convinced it wasn’t open at lunchtimes (it is, just not on Wednesdays). I’ve only had the “express meal” (photo) and fish thali (photo) so far, and on both the standout dish was the fish. A small, whole fish in the “express meal” was throughly deep-fried to the point where the head and bones were edible, but they’d managed to avoid making it too dry. Mackerel curry in the fish thali was again cooked to just the right texture, and the sauce was rich and savoury. I intend further exploration of the menu, with more of a focus on their fish dishes.
Roti Masters, 26a St George’s Walk, Croydon, CR0 1YG (website)
This small casual cafe in a neglected open-air shopping parade has seats for just 8 people at regular tables and half a dozen more on high stools. I had a takeaway kingfish roti (photo), made with dhal puri style bread (two layers with a thin filling of seasoned split peas sealed in between). The fish was cooked just right, and I also liked the lightly pickled carrots and onions. A well-flavoured curry shrimp gravy was added in at no extra cost.