As threatened in my Bristol thread, here’s a summary of notable things I ate in and near London in November.
Lagos Island, 41 St George’s Walk, Croydon, CR0 1YL
A newly-opened family-run Nigerian restaurant in one of Croydon’s less salubrious shopping parades. Gizzard with fried plantain (photo) was flavourful, and a good combination of textures. Pepper soup with assorted meat (photo) had a beautifully rich stock and nicely-handled tripe. Scrambled egg with boiled yam (photo) was simple but good. Efo riro with assorted meat (photo) perhaps overdid the ground crayfish a touch. Overall, it all felt very home-style, but in a good way.
Polish Kitchen, 108 Turners Hill, Cheshunt, EN8 9BN (website)
Pierogi with cabbage and mushrooms (photo) had a well-flavoured, finely shredded filling, and there was still some bite to the wrappers. Pork fat on top included little crispy bits of deep-fried meat, a good contrast to the other textures in the dish.
Rail House Cafe, 8 Sir Simon Milton Square, Victoria, SW1E 5DJ (website)
Avocado and chard eggs florentine (photo) was a nice variation on the usual presentation with spinach. The chard held up a bit better than spinach, and they’d sprinkled toasted buckwheat and pumpkin seeds on top for a bit more texture. I wished they’d served it on a warmed plate, because it got cold very quickly.
St Gabriel Ethiopian Delicatessen, 12 Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park, N4 2DW
Vegetarian selection (photo), served on injera, included three lentil/split pea dishes, two cooked vegetable dishes, and a nicely refreshing chopped salad. The flavours of the different stews were all distinct, and I’d say overall among the best I’ve had in London. I had this for lunch, and the leftovers were enough for my dinner later on. It’s very casual here, and they seemed a bit surprised to have someone eating in on their own.
Snake & Mongoose, 36 London Road, Croydon, CR0 2TA
This newish juice bar also serves bagels and that sort of thing plus a separate menu of vegan Caribbean hot dishes. A takeaway of callaloo and ackee (photo) had good flavour and an interesting texture; I’ve had both callaloo and ackee before, but not together, and it worked very well.
Sunrise Jacket Potato And Oriental Food, Unit 103, Romford Shopping Hall, 43 Market Place, RM1 3AB
Arroz caldo (photo) is the Filipino version of congee. This was a little salty for my taste, but had a nicely deep flavour and a good texture. The chicken in it was unnecessary, and rather dry (next time I’ll just ask for it to be left out). A huge boiled egg in the centre may have been a duck egg. Fried tofu and pork belly on the side, with a vinegar-based dip. This is quite a surprising place to find interesting Filipino food — it’s just a serving counter and some seating in an old-school shopping mall — but the rest of the menu also looks interesting, and I’ll be back.
Lutong Pinoy, 10 Kenway Road, Earl’s Court, SW5 0RR (website)
I was focusing more on the company than on the food, but thought it worth a mention that you can get kamayan (photo) here — a feast of meat dishes served on top of rice laid out on a banana leaf, with salad, fried plantain, and spring rolls arranged around the edges.
Mohsen, 152 Warwick Road, Kensington, W14 8PS
This was an old favourite on the Chowhound boards. It’s still good. Go for the fesenjan (photo).