KKNY In London Part II: Good Eats

By no means did I even come close to scratching the surface of what's on offer in London restaurants these days, but I must say, I ate well. I've long been a defender of British cooking (more on that in a later post), but a city as eclectic as London is going to feature some spectacular grub. Here are my highlights:

Best traditional British: I had an absolutely wonderful meal at the George Inn in Southwark, which dates to the 17th century and is London's last remaining galleried inn. We started with a cheese board from Neal's Yard Dairy (up-and-running when I was there in the early 90s), which featured a nice combination of stinky, blue (probably Stilton), and English cheddar. I moved on to the best steak and ale pie I think I've ever had--if I could teleport myself there regularly for one of these, I would be a very happy camper indeed.

Wildest eat: While revisiting Camden Town and its markets, I took advantage of the unusual wild game offerings at one stand in the Camden Lock Market and ordered a giraffe burger (yes, the long-necked spotted animal from Africa). It really was unlike anything I'd ever had. A little sweet, it seemed to fall somewhere on the scale between dark turkey (it was lean), horse, and antelope (which they also had). The two of us who partook were both happy, so no regrets here!

Chinese surprise: I fondly remember some insane hot and sour soup I had in London's Chinatown back in the day (I swear it made me high...), so deciding to pop in to a random restaurant there for lunch was not a difficult choice. We ended up in Dumplings' Legend...and we had the best soup dumplings I've ever eaten. Go and order the Spicy Pork Siu Loung Bao, and you won't be sorry.

Tasty curry: Of course, food hailing from India and its environs was great when I was living there--one of my main eats back in the day were the giant 90p samosas you could buy just about anywhere. In addition to discovering the Indian community in Southall (one giant grocery store put Patel Brothers in Jackson Heights to shame), we had a wonderful meal on the Bangladeshi and artist-filled Brick Lane neighborhood at Eastern Eye Balti House. Meeting friends who'd enjoyed the place previously, the huge, inexpensive menu was filled with tons of curries I'd never heard of before, and each one was more complex and rich than the next. I'm going to have to do some serious researching to find something similar in NYC...

Market I'd like to revisit: Borough Market in Southwark. I was meeting my friends for dinner at the George Inn right after exploring this market (so I only bought some figs and a Pimm's Cup), but I'd definitely like to go back and pick up some things for a feast. There was a beautiful selection of just about everything, and I think it's the kind of year-round market New York could easily support. C'mon, city planners!

Biggest American surprise: While wandering the Sunday UpMarket off Brick Lane, I happened upon a stall selling Whoopie Pies! Turns out Kookybakes is run by an expat from Colorado, and he's been selling his twist on American fare in London for a few years now. I'm admittedly a Whoopie Pie purist, but I couldn't resist his truly unique takes on the classic, so picked up two--one Maltesers and one pistachio with sour cherry filling--both of which were definitely their own, unique thing, and nicely tasty to boot.

1 comment:

amotherknows said...

So glad you liked Eastern Eye - it's so yummy. And thanks for the dumpling tip. I have never found anywhere here on a par with New York for Chinese food so will try that place!