[London] January/February 2019 London roundup

As per the last one of these, here’s a summary of interesting things I ate in London in January/February. I was again ill for much of this time, or there would have been a lot more.

While I’m here, a recommendation for Eater London’s “5 restaurants to try this weekend” thread. I find the rest of Eater’s output fairly uninteresting, but this is an exception. They update it once a week by adding to the top of the existing article, which makes it hard to link to any specific installments, but do scroll down for older recommendations. (The contributors, who certainly seem to know their stuff, include our own @ShekhaV.)

Má Là, 37 Monck Street, Westminster, SW1P 2BL (website)

Not everything on the menu here is great, but I did enjoy the black cloud ear fungus (爽口木耳) and spicy pig’s ear (红油耳片), with main ingredients cooked to just the right consistency and well-balanced dressings. Dry wok sliced lotus root (干鍋藕片) is also worth ordering; very nicely savoury. Sliced sea bass fillet with pickled mustard greens and chilli (酸菜鱸魚) was the highlight, with beautifully soft fish, perfectly cooked glass noodles, and a deeply flavoured broth.

Rose & Crown, Church Place, South Ealing, W5 4HN (website)

Wild mushroom and spinach gnocchi (photo) was a much richer dish than I usually enjoy, but very good despite that. The gnocchi were well-handled, the cream sauce was beautifully mushroomy, and the mushrooms were nicely varied, from small enoki to large meaty ones that I don’t know the name of. A sprinkle of parmesan over the top added a nice sharp salty note.

Halwa Poori House, 1033 London Road, Thornton Heath, CR7 6JF (website)

I confess that despite having been here three times, the only thing I’ve ever ordered is the eponymous halwa poori, a traditional Pakistani breakfast consisting of deep-fried flatbreads (poori) served with chickpea curry, potato curry, and halwa (photo from May 2017). The poori are greasier than I prefer — oh how I wish they’d do them like Ram’s in Kenton! — but overall it’s an enjoyable and filling sweet-savoury breakfast. I was here with @ds, who may have more to add.

Repeat performances

I yet again went back to Santok Maa’s (see August 2018, October 2018) — it’s becoming my post-hospital treat, being just a short distance from Croydon University Hospital. I had ragda petis (photo) this time; a thick, chewy potato patty covered with a savoury chickpea-and-dried-pea gravy and topped with sev and chopped onion. I did wish there had been a bit more of the potato patty, and perhaps a bit more onion, to balance out the gravy, but overall it was very tasty.

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Edited this post several times now, and I still can’t get the mentions of Shekha and Dean to come up properly!

Hope you’re now over whatever was ailing you.

Thanks. I don’t think the end is really in sight yet, but I appreciate the thought!

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Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, Yuanyang County, Yunnan
Credit: inkelv1122, Flickr