Malaysian curry, Hawaiian sushi and French patisserie are in this months roundup. The November’s London Food Finds are in! Which one will you add to your list?
Balans is a bit of an institution in Soho and over the last few years has had a bit of a facelift into the trendy cafe/restaurant it is today. The breakfast was good then and it still is now. They have a casual cafe style menu of all the brunch classics (both healthy and not!) and all done to a very high standard. It’s one of those places to go if you’re not looking for anything fussy or too out there but still somewhere nice. In my experience service has always come with a smile and the atmosphere is ever welcoming. Great central location too and the pancakes are to die for!!
60-62 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 4UG. http://www.balans.com
Aux Merveilleux de Fred bakeries have travelled over the water from Paris to London in recent months. They specialise in two amazing French sweet treats called the cramique and the merveilleux. The first brings a soft, warm brioche bun that comes in either chocolate, fruit or sugar. The latter merveilleux is a flavoured meringue bite filled with cream and rolled in more meringue pieces. They are south of the river at the moment in Kensington and Clapham and when you go inside look up at the chandelier! House goals right there.
88 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington, London SW7 3LQ, http://www.auxmerveilleux.com
A no fuss, no frills restaurant that rough around the edges and big on flavour. Quite unassuming, Roti King is hidden underground in a small basement and the only reason you’ll probably notice it is because of the of the queue that is ALWAYS outside. Their menus made up of traditional Malaysian food like curries, laksa, and handmade rotis and nothing comes in at over a tenner. Don’t go there expecting silver service or a long lazy lunch though. Their attitude is a more get them in, get them out style with an efficiency which maybe could come across as rude but is all part of their charm. One if you’re looking for a good cheap eat with personality!
40 Doric Way, Kings Cross, London NW1 1LH http://rotiking.info
No one ever says let’s go get some Hawaiian for lunch, do they? Usually, it falls to a cheese sandwich or a chicken salad. Honi poke is a casual Hawaiian eatery that does healthy sushi bowls of either fresh tuna, salmon or octopus. All served with rice and a huge choice of colourful toppings you can customise as you please. Right in the heart of Soho, it’s the perfect place for a very substantial lunch or quickish dinner. No, they haven’t forgotten about the vegetarians either and there’s a tofu version to keep everyone happy! Hawaiian’s the new thing in London and it’s one to try!
82 Dean St, Soho, London W1D 3SP http://honipoke.com
I mentioned Hawkmoor’s sticky toffee in August’s London Food Finds and now I’m back their again but this time for their roast. For £20 you can a Yorkshire the size of your head, a piece of melt in your mouth beef, as well as all the trimmings including a whole bulb of garlic and extra crisp roast potatoes. Not forgetting bone marrow gravy to drench it all in! Yes, that might seem a lot of money for a roast dinner but considering the average in London is around £15, that extra fiver gives you bags of quality you won’t find elsewhere. One to get a load of mates involved in.
157A Commercial St, London E1 6BJ http://thehawksmoor.com
London’s not short of pizza places and here’s a good one to add to the list. Four Hundred Rabbits ethos is a love for all things pizza and beer. Love it already? If you’re wondering where the name comes from legend says that the Aztecs worshipped the gods of alcohol and fermentation, got sexy one night and created 400 offspring hence the name. Didn’t see that coming did you? Pizzas are wood fired and made fresh right there. Beers are craft and come from small brewers around the world. It’s got a lovely local vibe, minimalist decor and inside you’ll find everyone from families with the kids to groups with cocktails. Get the Gelupo fig, walnut and honey ice cream for dessert too. DELISH!
30-32 Westow St, London SE19 3AH http://www.400rabbits.co.uk