Whoops, I skipped a month again; last one of these was for April/May. Anyway, here’s a summary of notable things I ate in London during June and July 2018. Would love to hear others’ summaries too, or even just descriptions of one or two notable things eaten.
Uyghur Restaurant, 27 Blackstock Road, N4 2JF (website)
The name on the front of this restaurant is “Dilara”, because it shares space with a Turkish grill of that name. On my June visit, Marjan korumisi (photo) was a plate of pleasingly chewy chopped thick noodles stirfried with lamb, chillies, and onions. The meat was cooked rare and had a good lamby flavour, and the onions and spring onions were well fried. There were hints of sweetness and chilli heat in the sauce, but not too much of either, and balanced by plenty of umami. On a later visit (in August, so technically not within the bounds of this roundup), tugur (boiled dumplings) were disappointing, with tough, gristly meat, but Uyghur carrot salad was delicious, a really good blend of sour, spicy, and umami with a hint of sesame.
Cricketers, 107 Addiscombe Road, CR0 6SG
Previously a fairly traditional pub, in September 2017 the Cricketers was taken over by barbecue-smoked meat specialists Miss P’s. Unfortunately their attempt to serve their smoked meats in the pub proved not to work, and they reformulated their menu to consist mainly of burgers. Happily, their delicious Cajun catfish sandwich (photo) survived the cut. The fish was seared on the outside without being at all overcooked in the middle, the Cajun mayo included in the sandwich worked well with the fish, and the brioche bun was soft yet still sufficiently structurally stable. The slaw on the side was great, with fresh, competently-shredded vegetables in a vibrant vinegar dressing.
Kalpa, 5–7 St James’s Road, CR0 2SB (website)
This relatively new addition to West Croydon’s crop of Sri Lankan and South Indian restaurants opened around 2–3 years ago, but I didn’t manage to visit until last month. Gobi 65 (photo) had a thin layer of spices (and cornflour?) instead of the thick batter it usually has, which worked very well. Possibly a touch too salty though. A lovely tomato, onion, and fresh pineapple chutney came with this. Mackerel curry (photo) was another highlight, with fish coming easily off the bone and the mackerel flavour permeating the sauce.