London, lunch for one

A couple of times a week I find I am in and around London looking for an interesting bite for lunch. Many of my destinations have been culled from Chowhound in the past. My list is below (only the really outstanding) but I will be grateful for any more suggestions.

Brixton
Mama Lan - good dumplings and on my last visit a stand-out spicy beef and noodle soup
Franco Manca pizza
Case Morita - excellent tacos and quesadillas

Clerkenwell
Foxlow - Chicken Salsa sandwich (was off menu but I imagine it will get there one day)

Balham
Brick wood Cafe - the absolutely best toasted cheese sandwich and a very fine flat white - becoming a bad habit

Is the bar at St. John too obvious a choice?

Palomar at the bar is always fun. Or Copita for tapas? Mao tai for a giant bowl of spicy crispy pork guzhou noodle soup?

St John bar is a great idea, I tend to only think of it for long lunches and dinners.

Thanks for Copita, and Palomar - I don’t know either and, Mao Tai Inn is a favorite I haven’t been to for a while.

Around the areas you mention:

Brixton/Clapham/Camberwell
Roti Joupa (takeaway) - doubles and pumpkin roti
Silk road (lunch only at weekends) - special noodles are good for one person
FM Mangal
angels and gypsies (haven’t been for a little while)
naughty piglets (a little pricer)

Clerkenwell
Morito - pretty much anything is good
Exmouth Market food stalls - the moro and the ghanaian stalls are my favourites
Quality Chop House often does some good takeaway from their deli/butchery

Balham
Head down one more tube stop to Tooting Bec -
Chennai Dosa (indian roti, super cheap) and Namak Mandi (afghani, huge portions) are great if you like that sort of thing.

For central London I’ve enjoyed sitting at the bar at Donostia in Marylebone and Iberica on Great Portland St.( Basque and Spanish)

Also good for sitting at the bar is Ittenbari in Soho, I really like the shoyu ramen. The beef flank curry in cafe TPT on Wardour St is also worth seeking out.

For South London, the arepas and empanadas at Mi Cocina Es Tuya , a Venezuelan place and the pizzas and good beer list at 400 Rabbits are good. Both on Westow St. , Crystal Palace.

Arepas! I didn’t know you could get those in London, I’ve only seen them in NY. Will definitely pop in soon.

Thanks again, I have some happy discoveries to explore, particularly arepas which I do not know.

I would add Dragon Castle in Elephant. Has anyone been to the new Mamuska?

Also, of Chennai Dosa, I do know it but prefer Spice Village - really good roti.

You can also get arepas from the several Colombian places around Elephant and Castle. However they’ve always been pale and quite hard. They’re not a patch on the ones at MI Cocina. They’re lovely and golden outside and soft almost cake like inside.

A short walk from Clerkenwell is Whitecross Road food market - large numbers of take out food stall on weekdays at lunchtime.

In Clerkenwell Road, is Timberyard, great coffee and really good sandwiches.

Yes, yes… go to Palomar. I love that place… food is wonderful, but it’s a bit pricy if one orders
a lot of dishes. The pork belly tagine is terrific.

It sounds as though you’re sometimes in south London. Soif on Battersea Rise is excellent. They do a nice £10 lunch including a glass of decent wine and good coffee. It’s a sister to Terroirs but without the crowds.

So much for exploring lunch venues twice a week.

I have been distracted by travel and work and my good intentions blown off course. I did try to get Mi Cocina Es Tuya but it is closed on Mondays. I will not give up and I will give feed-back when I do.

Thanks for Soif, sounds promising.

I made it to Mi Cocina Es Tuya a week or so ago. Solid arepas, really enjoyed my meal.

I’m not such a huge fan of soif, but will leave you to form your own views. :slight_smile:

Mi Cocina Es Tuya - I made it there and I am very glad I did; it is exactly the sort of lunch option I was seeking.

I didn’t know arepas so have know idea what is normal or correct. The one I had was not so much bready as like a moist polenta that had been fried until crisp on the outside. It is split and the inside was soft with a good toasted corn flavour.

I took advice and had the shredded beef that is served generously, overflowing the bun sized arepa. It came with two sauces one vinegary chilli and deeply interesting and the other green and garlicky.

Delicious, probably addictive, and I will be returning to try some of the other flavours along with the empanadas.

Thank you Chris.

Glad you enjoyed it. The empanadas are really good. I always have 2 beef empanadas, black beans, 2 fried eggs and white cheese as the owner calls it.

Rote Joupa. An excellent lunch from there yesterday, this is my sort of food but completely new to me. While I have eaten in Antigua (excellent French and Italian food) and in Jamaica (jerk pork like nowhere else) this was new and, I understand Trinidadian.

Hot doubles, a soft flat bread filled with a liquid curry and Goat roti which was a large flat bread rolled and fried in the kitchen and then filled with goat curry and wrapped. It handles like a hot water bottle was challenging to eat as a takeaway but I am prepared to practise. Asked how spicy I liked it he marked me down as an M but next time I will be happy to go hotter.

There is nothing from the outside that would have enticed me in but it is a great discovery. Thank you again Chris.

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Glad you liked roti joupa, I’m fortunate to have it as a local.

Just to keep my earlier post up to date, angels and gypsies is now closed. Sad times, especially as I had my first dinner-date with my wife there!

Donostia. Since Fino closed, I have been looking to find a Tapas venue that I can walk into and Donostia passed the first test comfortably at 12.45 on A Friday. Tables were offered butt I sat at the bar which was comfortable and twice took the recommendation of a glass of the excellent Colosia Fino. On the food front: one lonely but good soft shell crab, a mountain of fried anchovies (whitebait), crisply fried croquettas and, only because I was having too much fun, a plate of cold octopus, heavily dusted in paprika. Friendly service, great food, a wine list I would like to explore and a separate list of Vega Sicilia that awaits a lottery winner. Not quite the passion in the kitchen that I enjoyed at Fino but very serviceable and no queue. I will return.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold