As previously, here’s a roundup of interesting things I ate in London in June 2019. Anyone else had anything out of the ordinary?
Cork & Bottle, 154-156 Fleet Road, Hampstead, NW3 2QX (website)
An offshoot of the famous Cork & Bottle wine bar in Leicester Square. This one is located in an ex-pub, with some interesting patterned tiling and a central bar which still has handpumps for real ale.
Gnocchi with spring vegetables, cauliflower puree, and pickled enoki (photo) was both well-designed and well-executed — my server told me the chef had put a lot of work into getting it right, and I could certainly believe it. Courgettes retained just the right amount of bite, and cauliflower florets were properly soft without falling apart. Underneath it all was a perfectly seasoned, loosely-textured cauliflower puree. I didn’t love the style of gnocchi (too dense for me) but this is a personal preference rather than a criticism.
Roxy’s (New Asian Tandoori Centre), 114–118 The Green, Southall, UB2 4BQ
Breakfast here is limited to various parathas or chole bhatura; I went for the latter (photo). The bhatura was rich but not overly greasy, the chickpeas were in a thick and nicely savoury sauce enlivened with fresh coriander, and onion-mint chutney and carrot pickles on the side were both very good.
Mestizo, 103 Hampstead Road, Euston, NW1 3EL (website)
A simple lunch with a friend at this long-standing Mexican restaurant and bar. Vegetarian quesadilla (photo) was simple but good; the vegetables were only lightly cooked to retain the freshness and bite, and they didn’t go overboard on the cheese. The tortilla was fine but nothing special; I much preferred the ones at Casa Morita I reported on last month. Guacamole on the side was topped with a huge heap of pico de gallo which made it nicely refreshing.
Cafe Faith, Delta Point, 35 Wellesley Road, Croydon, CR0 2GU
A small place at the base of an office block converted to flats, serving South East Asian food as well as British lunch staples like sandwiches and jacket potatoes. It’s all cooked in advance and heated to order, but they take care to choose dishes that won’t suffer from this, and they somehow manage to produce decent steamed vegetables with the same system.
This time I had falafel in a sweet-and-sour tomato sauce with steamed mixed veg and basmati rice doled out from a rice cooker (photo). I’ve never had falafel done like that before, treated like meatballs, but it worked really well. I’ve previously also enjoyed their aubergine and belly pork dishes (photo).
(I also ate at the Enterprise in Chalk Farm, Le Tran in South Bermondsey, and Kin + Deum at London Bridge. Only the Enterprise was actively bad; the others were just a bit underwhelming.)