As per the last one of these, here’s a summary of interesting things I ate in London in October. Would love to hear anything anyone has to add.
Crystal Rocks Cafe, 49a South End, Croydon, CR0 1BF
I’m a big fan of interesting breakfasts, especially when I get to eat them at actual breakfast time. Crystal Rocks Cafe is open from 7am on weekdays and does a nicely balanced Turkish breakfast (photo) that includes fried eggs with properly runny yolks, Turkish sausage, feta, olives, tomato, cucumber, walnuts, dried apricots, jam, and bread.
Trullo, 300-302 St Paul's Road, Highbury, N1 2LH (website)
This small Italian-influenced (not, I think, Italian-run) restaurant near Highbury & Islington Station got a lot of critic attention when it opened eight years ago. I’ve always thought I didn’t really like pasta or, indeed, Italian food in general, so wanted to test this out by going somewhere that seems to be universally considered good. Trullo changed my mind about pasta via a beautiful tagliarini with crab, chilli, and lemon.
The pasta reminded me more of very good noodles than of, say, spaghetti — thin, flat, narrow — and it was cooked soft enough for my taste (I’ve never got on with “al dente”). The sauce was creamy and well-suited to the pasta. The next day, all I wanted to eat was another plateful of this.
Windsor Castle, 114 Campden Hill Road, Notting Hill, W8 7AR (website)
Scotch egg (photo) was fresh-made, with a nice runny yolk on the egg and plenty of texture and flavour to the sausage coating. Good enough to forgive the presentation, on a slate with microgreens and artistically-drizzled brown sauce.
Sanxia, 221 Bromley High Street, BR1 1NZ (website)
A Sichuan restaurant with other branches in Fitzrovia and Deptford. I’ve been to the Fitzrovia one before, and liked it, though that was seven years ago.
This time, in Bromley, the stirfried shredded potato salad (炝拌土豆丝; photo) had perfect seasoning and texture: cooked much crisper than one would expect for a British preparation, and refreshing rather than starchy. Our other cold dish, sliced pork with crushed garlic (蒜泥白肉; photo) was also good, though perhaps could have done with a bit more garlic.
Sauteed vermicelli with spicy minced pork (“ants climbing a tree”/蚂蚁上树; photo) had a good flavour and a nicely bouncy texture to the noodles. Shredded squid dry pot (干锅鱿鱼须; photo) was disappointingly chewy and not enormously exciting, though I loved the braised celery pieces.
I also went to Roti Joupa, but I’ve already reported on that. And I went back to Santok Maa’s, first described in my August roundup, and can confirm that their garlic mogo (photo) and chatpate makai (photo) are also very good. And I went to Dalchini in Wimbledon, which has been hugely praised on Chowhound, but I think I ordered badly (I wanted a vegetarian lunch but was with a lactose-intolerant friend, so we were somewhat constrained) so will reserve judgement on that one.