As previously, here’s a summary of interesting things I ate in London in September 2019.
These posts don’t seem to be drawing much interest, so this is the last one I’ll be doing, at least in the near future. I was hoping they’d spark interesting discussions, and although they succeeded a few times, it doesn’t seem to have happened recently. I will have a think about whether there’s a better way to achieve that goal.
Familia Cafe, 180 Forest Lane, E7 9BB (website)
A tiny cafe perched on a corner opposite Forest Gate Station (not to be confused with Forest Hill Station). Spanish breakfast consisted of good-quality toasted bread, some properly ripe tomatoes grated up with just the right amount of garlic, and good-quality olive oil on the side. It was simple but very good, with everything in balance and all executed perfectly. This was just £3, with £1 extra for an optional slice of Serrano ham.
Lao Cafe, 60 Chandos Place, WC2N 4HG (website)
Kai khem som tumm (papaya salad with salted eggs) was again simple but good, with fresh ingredients and well-controlled saltiness. “Brown” sticky rice seemed to actually be a mix of white and black, but was cooked just right and had a nutty but not overwhelming flavour.
Black Dog Beer House, 17 Albany Road, Brentford, TW8 0NF (website)
Rice and wakame stuffed cabbage roll with miso-roasted king oyster mushrooms, miso-roasted tofu, avocado, cucumber, and ponzu dressing was bordering on incoherence, but just managed to stay on the right side of the line. The cabbage and rice were both quite soft and soggy, and when I mentioned this to the server, they said the chef did it like that on purpose to give a contrast in textures; I do think they went too far on the soggy side though. The mushrooms were great, with plenty of flavour and a substantial chewy texture. Overall I wouldn’t order it again because of the sogginess factor, but I’d like to try more from this very unusual pub menu.
Communitea, 80 South Norwood High Street, SE25 6EA (website)
I am unable to be objective about this super-lovely little place near Norwood Junction Station — the owners are incredibly nice, always say how pleased they are to see me, and let me host a messy child-filled craft session there at the last Croydon Fun Weekend. I have previously enjoyed their “Good Sandwich”, which lives up to its name, but this time I had the “Fulosophy”, i.e. ful mudames, with perfectly softened beans, distinct spicing, pieces of lightly cooked onion that retained just enough crunch for a good textural contrast, and a drizzle of tahini on top that went really well.
I also had breakfast at Vasanta Bhavan, 206 High Street North, High Street, E6 2JA, but have posted about that in the breakfast thread, and lunch at Warisan, 190 Sussex Gardens, Paddington, W2 1TU, but have posted about that in the Warisan thread. And I had yet another sublime fried-egg sandwich from Golden Chefs Cafe, 18 London Road, Croydon, CR0 2TA, which is 5 minutes’ walk from my house but honestly this sandwich is worth getting off the train for (though you have to have it with brown bread as their white isn’t as good).