As per last month, here’s a summary of notable things I ate in London during March 2018. Would love to hear others’ summaries too, or even just descriptions of one or two notable things eaten.
K’s Spice, 13 Pier Road, Erith, DA8 1TA (website)
This Nigerian restaurant is split into two halves, one more cafe-like and the other more restaurant-style. I had ewa agoyin (mixed beans in a spicy sauce) with fried fish and plantain (photo). The beans were well-handled, with no tough skins or undercooked chalky bits, and had been part-mashed since they were intended to act as the carb portion of the meal (the plantains were an extra). The palm oil was evident, and they clearly hadn’t relied on Maggi alone for flavour. The fish was cooked beyond the point at which a British cook would have stopped, but this is normal for Nigerian food, and it wasn’t overdone as the interior remained soft and flaky.
Spiceland, 212 London Road, Croydon, CR0 2TE (website)
My local Sri Lankan, but I do think my liking for it goes beyond the fact that it’s convenient. Tomato curry featured large chunks of juicy fresh tomato in a beautifully savoury sauce, and crab curry included an entire (medium-sized) crab. Nethali string hoppers consisted of thin vermicelli noodles tangled around crisp-fried dried anchovies and studded with chillies. Egg hopper was nicely sour, crisp round the edges, and with a creamy-yolked egg in the centre.
On previous visits I have also enjoyed their devilled prawns and their prawn pittu kotthu, in which the prawns are long-cooked to an almost meaty texture without becoming dry. Venthaya curry is an interesting and unusual menu option; its main ingredient is whole fenugreek seeds treated almost like lentils, as they swell up in the sauce.
GT Flavazs N Spices, 73-75 Elmers End Road, Anerley, SE20 7UU
This Guyanese bakery and takeaway has just two tiny tables inside, so I got my food to go. When I arrived, the owner was outside tending to his jerk chicken drum, but he was happy to break off and give me a bit of a primer on Guyanese food.
Cassava ball (photo) was a fried cassava-based dumpling stuffed with a whole boiled egg; there was a good balance between amount of dumpling and amount of egg, and the fruit chutney provided to go with it was delicious, nicely fruity without being too sweet. Pepper pot (photo) was too sweet for me, but the meat was nicely tender and the sauce was rich. Black pudding (photo) had interesting spicing, and was based on rice, which I appreciated, but my dining partner felt there was too much rice and not enough blood. Spinach (photo) was quite salty on its own, but eaten with plenty of rice it was delicious and perhaps my favourite part of the meal.