[London] June/July 2018 London roundup

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.

Thanks, kake.

I’ve only had catfish once - (Harvey’s in Tupelo - yes, we were doing the Elvis thing). They served it “blackened” which was nice and spicy. Came with cheddar & jalapeno grits. Or cheddar & jalapeno slop as I prefer to think of the Southern mainstay.

I’ve had catfish a few other times, in Nigerian and Vietnamese restaurants among others. At the much-hyped Viet Grill on Kingsland Road, it was quite muddy-tasting, though this was a decade ago and so they may have improved.

Never had grits, but would like to! I had hominy for the first time earlier this year at a Caribbean cafe round the corner from my house — my tentative verdict is “interesting, would try again”.

Kake, really interesting about the Cricketers. Thanks for sharing. I thought the Miss P people had packed up and left rather than just rebuilding the menu.

Is it still a pub where you go to get a drink or more of a dining room? If still a pub did you get an idea what the beer list was like?

I can’t find a website for them or anything remotely current on other sites.

Dean

Definitely still a pub. When I was there, I was the only person eating; everyone else just had drinks. No real ale, and the keg stuff is Meantime. There’s a full writeup on RGL.

Thanks Kake! I should have known to check out RGL.

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