London lunches February 2020

We had family visiting a couple weeks back, which was a good excuse to dine out more than usual. Here are a couple highlights:

Terroirs was conveniently close to Churchill’s War Rooms and Charing Cross tube. This was way better than expected for an area with lots of chains, some touristy drivel, and a few expensive account places close to Whitehall. The lunch special is meat of the day and a side plus a glass of wine for £12.5. My mom had roast chicken with pureed vegetables and mash as the special. I had a fantastic tartiflette main, very rich and paired with the bitter salad of my dreams. The starters were outstanding (fried jerusalem artichokes with leek and goat’s curd; sweet and sour pumpkin with currants and hazelnuts). They specialize in natural/organic wines.

Yatri near Euston/King’s X is a relatively new casual North/Northwest Indian restaurant that is more polished than the places I’ve been on nearby Drummond St. Lunch special is ten quid for a curry, rice or naan and hot drink. Portion sizes were pretty small with the special but the food was so rich I didn’t mind. Favorites were the “Railway chicken curry” with tamarind and a boiled egg, samosa chaat and biscuit chaat.

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Could hardly be less.

Gosh, it’s ten years since I’ve been to Terroirs. I should do something about that.

Thanks for the recommendation of Yatri — I’m at the British Library quite a lot at the moment, and Chalton Street is v. handy.

That’s also where I’m working hence my few contributions are KGX or Euston based. The French cheese shop on Chalton, Cheezelo, also does lunch. Their raclette was pretty good and they do several grilled cheese sandwiches. For takeaway, the Reuben sandwich at Kiosk at Kings Cross station is worthwhile.

However, Yatri’s lunch menu is by far my local favorite.

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Cheezelo is on my list! My main issue with eating around there is that it feels like such a faff to have to go via the lockers in the basement each time. I don’t like to get home too late so it feels like I’m taking unnecessary time away from research if I take a long lunch hour. (Though I’ve now worked out a much more efficient way of getting home, so maybe I should just suck it up.)

Have you seen the British Library catering resisters Twitter thread? You probably already know about most of the places mentioned there, but I found it interesting to read anyway. The prices in the BL cafe are ridiculous, but their tuna sandwich is acceptable, and it does mean I can have lunch over and done with in about 15 minutes.

I hadn’t seen that, thanks for the link. The catering was more expensive but better quality before they retendered. I don’t know why the catering seems geared at the museum-type crowd when everyone I see eating there looks like a student, academic or writer who can’t spend £15 on salmon for lunch.

For exactly the reasons you mention, I go to the members room on days I am writing but don’t need the collection. You can eat and drink there (they serve coffee, drinks and food inside) and there is a quiet area.

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

― Jonathan Gold