This is England

Cuisines of London: around the World in 52 meals

Have you ever wondered how many different cuisines you can try in London? This is a journey I took in 2017 with one simple goal: try as many cuisines you can find within the borders of the incredible city I still call home. A different one every week.

All started when, talking to a friend I was complaining about always going to the same places in the same parts of my beloved London. I needed to find a reason to explore the city I’ve been living in for the previous 7 years… What’s better than doing it while doing something I love? Eating!

So this has became my New Year Resolution: to explore London through 52 Cuisines in 52 weeks to enjoy the incredible multicultural diversity of that city!

I started back in January 2017 with Italian and I’ve finished with British the last week of the year. I had 49 dinners and 3 lunches together with 44 guests from 14 different countries: mission accomplished!

Here the 52 international cuisines I’ve tried in London

Week 1 – Italian Cuisine

Italian Cuisine Little Sardegna London

Cuisine: Italian
Restaurant : Little Sardegna
Address: 170 Blackstock Rd, London N5 1HA

Guest: Oscar.

– Linguine Marcello with crab meat, chili garlic and bottarga
– Paccheri with octopus ragù & smoked ricotta mustia

Water, Limoncello and Montenegro liqueur

Bill: £38

Notes: very tiny, restaurant located between Arsenal Station and Finsbury Park, with friendly vibes, great service, serving authentic Italian food in a lovely setting.
Skip the menu altogether and focus on the special dishes listed on the big blackboard: both Linguine with crab meat and bottarga, and paccheri with octopus and ricotta are fresh and delicious, better if tasted with some house white wine.
Engage with the owners and you’ll get a complimentary shot of Limoncello or liquor at the end of dinner. As you do in Italy.

Week 2 – Ecuadorian Cuisine

Ecuadorian Cuisine in London: El Rincon Quiteno

Cuisine: Ecuadorian‬
‪Restaurant : El Rincon Quiteño‬
‪Address: 235 Holloway Road, London N7 8HG‬

‪Guest: Oscar.

‪- Saltena Boliviana (2)‬
‪- Yucca Frita con Aji‬
‪- Ceviche de Ecuador‬
‪- Planchita (2)‬

‪Drinks: ‬
Cusqueña, Aguardiente

‪Bill: £66‬

‪Notes: a corner of Latin America in Holloway Road. ‬Smiley enthusiastic staff, not too loud Latin ‪music, g pretty much all Latin American customers and honest, tasty, generous dishes make this a place you wanna come back. The Salteñas a kind of empanada borrowed from Bolivia were tasty, the Yuca fritas sort of potato fries, perfect when dipped in the spicy aji‬, the ceviche fresh and the planchita (a feast of different type of meats and veggies) massive and so filling that finishing dinner with a shot of aguardiente is a requirement.

Week 3 – Thai Cuisine

Thai Cuisine in London: The Churchill Arms

Cuisine: Thai
‪Restaurant: The Churchill Arms
‪Address: 119 Kensington Church Street, Kensington, London W8 7LN

‪Guest: Sabina.‬

‪- Kaeng Kiew Waan (2)

‪Drinks: ‬
– Pinot red.

‪Bill: £32.80

‪Notes: a (not so) best kept secret a stone’s throw away from Notting Hill Gate, located in the back of one of the most beautiful pub in London. Perfect if you fancy eating traditional Thai food in a fairy tale garden with plants, (framed) butterflies and Christmas light hanging from every possible corner, inside and outside. The Kaeng Kiew Waan (green curry) was a blend of spicy, sweet, salty flavors blending beautifully in a coconut milk-based sauce. Might not be the best Thai in London but it is so unique that I would go back here anytime. Weird and wonderful.

Week 4 – Georgian Cuisine

Georgian Cuisine in London: Little Georgia

Cuisine: Georgian
‪Restaurant: Little Georgia
‪Address: 14 Barnsbury Rd, London, N1 0HB

‪Guest: Oscar

‪- Russian salad
– Blini
– Khachapuri
– Chashushuli (x2)

‪Drinks: ‬
– Mukuzani

‪Bill: £79.20

‪Notes: Old vintage telephones, soviet-style graphic posters, old black and white portraits and traditional music set the scene for a full immersion in a Caucasian dining experience.
From the unmissable stuffed cheese-bread baked on order to the spicy beef stew matched with tasty dry aromatic Georgian wine everything brings you straight to Tbilisi.

A little Islington gem.

Week 5 – Russian Cuisine

Russian Cuisine in London: Mari Vanna

Cuisine: Russian
‪Restaurant : Mari Vanna
‪Address: 116 Knightsbridge London SW1X 7PJ

‪Guest: Edyta, Roxana, Holly

‪- Olivier Salad
‪- Pirogi w cabbage
‪- Pirogi w potatoes
‪- Pirogi w mushrooms
‪- Borsh (3x)
‪- Siberian Pelmeni
‪- Blinis w salmon
‪- Vareniki w mushrooms
‪- Honey cake (2x)
‪- Napoleon Pastry
‪- Smetannik

‪- 1 prosecco
‪- Cherry vodka
‪- Honey vodka (2x)
‪- Plum vodka

Bill: £257.63

Notes: leave your coat at the entrance and step in what could be your 90 years old wealthy Russian grandma’s living room. Quirky and elegant, you may easily be satisfied just with the starters: pirogi are filling and tasty, both borsh and dumplings come in generous big portions. Save some room for the mouthwatering desserts. To be washed down with some homemade vodka infusions of course.

Leaving to the strains of “Felicità” by Albano and Romina. Priceless

Week 6 – Austrian ‬Cuisine

Austrian ‬Cuisine in London: Fischer’s‬

Cuisine: Austrian ‬
‪Restaurant: Fischer’s‬
‪Address: 50 Marylebone High St, London, W1U 5HN‬

‪Guest: Oscar‬

‪- Kasespatzle‬
‪- Brötchen selection (chicken liver, cucumber and dill. Herring roe caviar and paprika egg. Artichoke and fried cappers) ‬
‪- Würstchen‬
‪- Wiener schnitzel ‬
‪- Potato salad‬
‪- Topfenstrudel‬

‪- Stiegl‬
‪- Gruner Lois‬
‪- Wiener kaffee‬
‪- Marillenbrand‬
‪- Quitten Trauben‬

‪Bill: £119.25

Notes: elegant 1920s look-alike Viennese café restaurant with mittel-European attention to details, impeccable service, impressive wine list and outstanding food.
Get your tummy ready with a ‪brötchen‬ selection followed by Austria’s favourite dish: a gigantic Wiener veal schnitzel‪ served with potato salad. Take your time, sip a schnapps or two chatting the night away: no one is gonna ask you to leave.‬

And do not even think to go before having a proper wiener coffee with whipped cream

Week 7 – French Cuisine

French Cuisine in London: Chez Elles Bistroquet

Cuisine: French
‪Restaurant: Chez Elles Bistroquet
‪Address: 45 Brick Ln, Poplar, London E1 6PU, UK

‪Guests: Charlotte and Kader

‪- Assiette de trois fromages
‪- Escargots de Bourgogne au beurre persillé
‪- Moules Marinières et frites maison
‪- Confit de Canard, gratin dauphinois au Reblochon et ratatouille maison
‪- Joue de boeuf confite au vin rouge, carottes multicolores caramélisées et puree maison
‪- Crème brulée vanille-pistache
‪- Moelleux au chocolat, boule vanille et caramel au beurre salé
‪- Crêpe Normande flambé e au calvados

‪- Cuvee Bérengère Cabernet Sauvignon
‪- Coffe

‪Bill: £135.34

Notes: tucked away at the very far end of Brick Lane, you get to this little French bistro only after a never ending parade through the most famous Bangladeshi restaurant-lined street in the country. Step in and in no time you’ll forget the scent of curry: from the garlic and parsley flavoured nails to the bizarre-without-being-kitsch décor, via the generous cheese platter everything “smells” French here.

Even the red wine, shockingly coming from an Italian I know, is actually pretty good.

Week 8 – Pakistani Cuisine

Pakistani Cuisine in London: Tayyabs

Cuisine: Pakistani
‪Restaurant: Tayyabs
‪Address: 83-89 Fieldgate St, Whitechapel, London E1 1JU

‪Guest: Neha and Oscar

‪- Tandoori Chicken
‪- Lamb chops
‪- Karahi Keema
‪- Karahi Prawn
‪- Garlic Naan
– Peshwari Nan
– Tandoori Roti
– Malai Kulfi
– Pista Kulfi

‪- Salty Lassi.

‪Bill: £68.50

Hidden away in an unfashionable Whitechapel back street you can easily spot this Pakistani institution from the hoards of people queuing both outside and inside.
Boasting colour-changing-neon-lights and (aside for the Punjabi music playing in the background), an overall pretty dark atmosphere, you don’t go to Tayyabs looking for interior design tips or for their customer service skills but to experience one of the finest Punjabi cuisines in London.
Start with the marinated spicy lamb chops followed by any of their very generous mains. Whatever you choose, make sure it is accompanied by a couple of their flavored naan breads.

Wash it down with a salty lassi but remember: even the dense and cold traditional ice cream you may have for dessert won’t stop the spicy flavors to last in your senses until the next day.

Week 9 – Palestinian Cuisine

Palestinian Cuisine in London: Maramia‬

Cuisine: Palestinian
‪Restaurant: Maramia‬
‪Address: 48 Golbourne Rd, London, W10 5PR‬

‪Guest: Neha‬

‪- ‬Hummus
‪- ‬Moutabel
‪- ‬Sambusek
‪- ‬Arayes
‪- ‬Sujuk
– Chicken Mousakhan
– Palestinian Mousakk
– Basboussa

‪- ‬Jeune red – Chateau Musar 2012
– Maramia Tea

Bill: £80

Ever got that sweet feeling to go to a place you have never been before and instantly feel home and welcome?
Maramia, a small Palestinian cafe not too far from the worldwide famous Portobello Road with its simple interiors brighten up by candle lights and its fascinating Arabic music playing in the background, may easily be that place.

Even tho the cold or hot delicious mezze served with homemade bread could be enough to satisfy your appetite, you should give a try to what is deservingly labelled “the star of the menu”: a traditional grilled chicken breast cooked with caramelised onion, pine nuts and sumac complemented by fresh salad and yogurt dipping.

Save some room for the superb coconut and honey cake accompanied by a homemade brewed cup of sage tea.

Week 10 – Romanian Cuisine

Romanian Cuisine in London: Acasa
Romanian cuisine in London: A Casa

Cuisine: Romanian
‪Restaurant: Acasa‬
‪Address: ‬270 High Rd Leytonstone, London, E11 3HS

Guests: Dario, Jenan

‪- ‬Salata de vinete
‪- Platou cald (Mici, snitel pui, cascaval pane)‬
‪- ‬Mici cu cartofi prajiti
‪- ‬Sarmale cu mamaliguta
‪- ‬Tochitura ca Acasa cu mamaliguta
– Papanasi cu dulceata si smantana

‪- ‬Palincă
– Merlot Zestrea

Bill: £58

Notes: Walking down High Rd Leytonstone is a succession of restaurants and corner shops proudly displaying east European flags and products.
Like entering a time machine, from the very first moment you step into this little traditional Romanian restaurant, you feel like being transported 30 years back in time: red carpet, white tablecloth, decent and honest decor and a friendly, attentive service. Classic Romanian 80s tunes to complete the picture.
A variety of simple, generous portions of traditional dishes from sausages and breadcrumbed cheese to polenta and stuffed cabbages, from stew and potatoes to the super rich cream and jam covered doughnuts, are big enough to satisfy every appetite.

Expect a free shot of Palincă, religiously before dinner.

Week 11 – Taiwanese Cuisine

Taiwanese Cuisine in London: BAO

Cuisine: Taiwanese
Restaurant: BAO
Address: 31 Windmill St, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 2JNS

Guest: Luca

– BAO Beef
– BAO Confit Pork
– BAO Black Cod
– BAO Beef Shortrib
– BAO Daikon
– Sha Cha Squid Steak
– Soy Pork Loin, Ginger, Chives
– Fried Chicken Chop, Soy Cured Egg
– Beef Cheek & Tendon Nuggets

– Taiwan Beer Classic

Bill: £67.22

Notes: Prepare to queue, I guess it is part of the experience, then sit at the U-shaped wooden dining bar, make yourself comfortable and order pretty much everything you see on the menu.
Serving BAOs (steamed, filled buns) and a range of Taiwanese dishes, BAO lives up to its reputation of being one of the most popular food spot in town.
Order as many BAOs as you like but remember to follow up with a portion of Fried Chicken Chop with Soy Cured Egg and the Sha Cha Squid Steak: the sauces in which these dishes are tossed are to die for.

Ps: I challenge you to order a couple of BAOs, probably the tiniest cutest-looking food ever made, and not smile. Impossible.

Week 12 – Ghanaian Cuisine

Ghanaian Cuisine in London: Sweet Handz

Cuisine: Ghanaian
Restaurant: Sweet Handz
Address: 217 Holloway Rd, London N7 8DL

Guest: Oscar

– Medium Tsofi and Kelewele (2x)
– Fufu Palm Nut soup with assorted meat
– Beans stew with meat

– Large Club Ghanaian beer
– Large Star Ghanaian beer
– Large Nigerian Guinness

Bill: £58

Notes: Sweet Handz, serving a vaste range of West African food and drinks brings a touch of Ghana in the heart of North London.
Start with a portion of traditional fried plantains seasoned with spices, to be dipped in a couple of killer hot sauces. The sweet/hot burning collateral feeling is best to be alleviated with a couple of sip of a light Ghanaian beer.
Ready for something completely different? Try Fufu, a white, sticky and chewy cassava flour big ball served alongside a tasty palm nut soup meant to be eaten with your bare hands (hence the name of the restaurant?), the unmissable Ghanaian national dish that will leave you (in this order): excited, puzzled, very satisfied.

Note to self: African Guinness is way stronger than what normally comes out the British Isles…

Week 13 – Tibetan Cuisine

Tibetan Cuisine in London: Kailash Momo

Cuisine: Tibetan
Restaurant: Kailash Momo
Address: 79 Woolwich New Road, London SE18 6ED

Guest: Alessandra

– Golgappa
– Chilli Vegetarian Momo
– Mutton Momo
– Vegetarian Momo
– Mixed Thenthuk
– Plain Bhaley
– Tingmo
– Gulab Jamun

– Tibetan Butter Tea (2x)
– Nepali Beer

Bill: £36

Notes: the line of Tibetan flags hanging at the entrance won’t fail in making you in the right mood after a long journey to get to this little gem set in the eastern part of London.
Skip the starters and go straight to the king of the menu: Momo, the quintessential Tibetan dish. Steamed, fried or served in a hot sauce
these sort of dumplings filled with veggie or different kind of meat come in a big army of 10 each portion, but they are delicious, go down like butter and you’ll want to order more and more.
If you can, leave some room for a Tingmo, momos’ big brother, a white round shaped steamed bread, and a mixed or veg Thenthuky noodle soup.
End your dinner with nothing but three balls of Gulab Jamun, easily the sweetest thing on Earth.

Week 14 – Japanese Cuisine

Japanese Cuisine in London: Eat Tokyo

Cuisine: Japanese
‪Restaurant: Eat Tokyo
‪Address: ‬14 North End Rd, Golders Green, Greater London, NW11 7PH

Guest: Holly, Carlotta

‪- ‬Miso soup (3x)
‪- ‬Yumcha Mori
‪- ‬Tempura Moriawase
‪- ‬Sashimi Boat
‪- ‬Tokyo Dragon
‪- ‬King Dragon
‪- ‬Hyper Roll
‪- ‬Salmon Tataki
‪- ‬Takoyaki

‪- ‬Kirin hichiban beer
– Ashai beer
– Dewazakura Izumi Jundan sake
– Masumi Okuden Kantsukuri sake

Bill: £136

Notes: Busy and authentic Japanese restaurant, with a overwhelming selection of sushi, sashimi and a reassuring Japanese customers presence.

Start with a refreshing miso soup to stimulate your appetite, follow with a couple of their awards winning rolls to be eaten before and after their signature dish: the sashimi boat, a spectacular composition made of a variety of different fishes (squid, salmon, tuna, sea bass… you name it) that can easily feed 3 people alone.
Never, ever leave without a portion of octopus balls served with bonito flakes, red ginger and mayonnaise in a Teriyaki sauce.

End with a flask of two of dry sake to wash everything down

Week 15 – Portuguese Cuisine

Portuguese Cuisine in London: A Toca

Cuisine: Portuguese
‪Restaurant: A Toca‬
‪Address: ‬343 Wandsworth Rd, London, Greater London, SW8 2JH

Guest: Oscar

‪- ‬Pao, Manteiga, Azeitonas & Pate
‪- Gambas a Toca‬
‪- Barriga de Porco Grelhada‬
‪- ‬Sardinhas Grelhadas
– Moelas a chef
– Grelhada Mixta de Peixe
– Bachalau a Lagareiro

‪- Sagres (2x)‬
– Muralhas de Monção Vinho Verde
– Ginjinha
– Aguardente 1920 (2x)

Bill: £99.90

Notes: Portuguese flags, Benfica football shirts and a friendly, lively family atmosphere set the scene for this Portuguese restaurant preparing traditional food for a crowd of nostalgic Lusitanians.

Easy with bread and olives: tapas and starters are big, so big (and good) they could easily replace your main course.
Follow with one of the several types of Bachalau or, if you are very hungry, with a giant pot of arroz de marisco. Whatever you get, a bottle of refreshing, fruity Vinho Verde will help you get through dinner.

Before even realising you have been sitting at the dining table chatting and eating for almost 3 hours, treat yourself with a shot of Port, Ginjinha and/or Aguardente 1920.

A compulsory Pastel de Nata to end.

Week 16 – Argentinian Cuisine

Argentinian Cuisine in London: Buen Aire

Cuisine: Argentinian
‪Restaurant: Buen Ayre ‪
Address: 50 Broadway Market, Dalston ‪Greater London, E8 4QJ

Guest: Oscar ‪

Dishes: ‪
– Lengua a la Vinagreta ‪
– Empanadas (Carne Suave, Carne Picante)
‪- Berenjena al Eschabece
– Bife de Lomo con Guarnición
– Bife de Chorizo con Guarnición
– Papas Fritas
– Criolla
– Flan Casero con Dulce de Leche
– Panqueque de Dulce de Leche con Helado de Vainilla

Drinks: ‪
– Passo Doble, Malbec 2014
– Malamado, Malbec 2003 (x2)

Bill: £157.50

Tucked away in London Fields’ Broadway Market, Buen Ayre has the same simple set up you are likely to find in the best Asadores in Argentina: a small rustic dining room looking into an open wood-fired grill where an expert cocinero heats up huge pieces of meat under the sympathetic supervision of revolutionary heroes, dancers and iconic footballers watching from a few posters hanging from the white and yellow walls.
Starters are great, melt-in-the-mouth steaks exceptional: order it medium rear, dip it in the parsley-rich chimichurri sauce, and wash it down with some velvety Malbec. Simple and delicious.
Dulce de Leche is the perfect end of your dinner, especially when accompanied with a couple of glasses of 19.9% Malamado.

Week 17 – Spanish Cuisine

Spanish Cuisine in London: Pizarro

Cuisine: Spanish
‪Restaurant: Pizarro ‪
Address: 194-204 Bermondsey St, London, SE1 3TQ

Guests: Alicia, Edyta, Jillien, Krutik, Lucio

Dishes: ‪
– Octopus (2x)
– Croquetas caseras
‪- Padron peppers
– Chorizo Ibérico
– Pan con tomate (2x)
– Pork fillet
– Castilian leg of suckling lamb
– Jámon Ibérico
– Monkfish fillet
– Rosted aubergine
– Mixed beetroot
– Cream cheese ice cream
– Torrija

Drinks: ‪
– Petit Verdo Juan Gil (4x)
– Torres 30 Jaime I

Bill: £351.00

Set a block away from its little brother the original tapas bar “Jose”, Pizarro contributes to make this part of Bermondsey a little corner of Extremadura away from Spain.

The menu is relatively small, simple but filled with flavours: go with as many friends as you can, sit at one of the large wooden tables and indulge over the pica pica, larger than normal tapas-style starters, before even thinking of ordering mains. Everything is good and perfect to be shared but make sure you are not missing out both octopus, jámon Ibérico and the delicious croquetas.

The Spanish-only wine list is not for all pockets but it’s admittedly pretty good and even the cheapest options, such as the intense, perfumed Petit Verdo Juan Gil, go perfectly well with the food.

Ending your perfect Spanish night with a sip of Torres 30 Jaime I brandy should be compulsory.

Week 18 – Indian Cuisine

Indian Cuisine in London: Rasa W1‬

Cuisine: Indian
‪Restaurant: Rasa W1‬
‪Address: 6 Dering St., London, Greater London, W1S 1AD‬

Guest: Neha, Prathika

‪- ‬Rasa Veg. Feast (Banana Boli, Mysore Bonda, Kathrikka, Medhu Vadai, Parippu, Cheera Parippu Curry, Sambar, Savoy cabbage, Pal Payasam)
‪- ‬Kappayum Meenum
‪- Kerala fish fry‬
‪- Lemon rice‬
– Paratha
– Appam (2x)

‪- Salt Lassi‬
– Mango Lassi (2x)

Bill: £64.55

Notes: all three Rasa’s restaurant (one of which is exclusively vegetarian) will make you in a good mood already a few feet before entering the premises thanks to their typical bright and vibrant pink front windows and the mouthwatering inviting smells spreading all around.
If you are unsure what to choose, think no further and get the feast meal choice (veg or not) and stuff your face with a variety of small colourful dishes that going from starters all the way to the dessert will give you a pretty authentic and satisfying Keralan cuisine experience. Forks and spoon are not necessary (but provided): use your bare hands and make good use of the flatbread paratha and the spongy appam.

Be brave and eat one or two of the green hot chilli, easing the pain with a good refreshing mango or salt lassi.

Week 19 – Turkish Cuisine

Turkish Cuisine in London: Gökyüzü‬

Cuisine: Turkish ‪
Restaurant: Gökyüzü‬
‪Address: 26-27 Grand Parade, Green Lanes, Harringay, Greater London, N4 1LG‬

Guest: Riccardo, Charlotte, Tim

‪- ‬Lahmacun (2x)
‪- ‬Sucuk
‪- Iskender Kebap‬
‪- Yogurtlu Adana (2X)‬
– Mixed Shish

‪- Ayran (jug)‬
– Turkish Tea

Bill: £79.75

Notes: Located in the heart of Harringay, the undisputed Mecca for Turkish food enthusiasts in London, ‪Gökyüzü far from being the small kebab shop it used to be, after going through a massive renovation has dramatically changed its interiors: more classy, less romantically rustic maybe, but its legendary food maintain the same excellent quality (and quantity) at the same very affordable price.‬
Complimentary focaccia bread, salad and tzatziki will land on your table before you can say anything. Indulge for a minute dipping the bread in the tzatziki but don’t fill your stomach up (trust me: you’ll need space) and go straight to the unmissable starter: the lamb ‬Lahmacun, a thin piece of dough topped with minced meat, best eaten wrapt and filled with salad.
The large share platters are seriously impressive but don’t give in to temptation and choose either a lamb mixed (half shish half Adana) or one of the yoghurt rich classic dishes. All to die for.

End your dinner with a complimentary Turkish tea and, if you still have room (but probably you won’t) a sweet locally produced baklava.

Week 20 – Ethiopian Cuisine

Ethiopian Cuisine in London: Lalibela‬

Cuisine: Ethiopian
‪Restaurant: Lalibela‬
‪Address: 137 Fortress Rd., Tufnell Park, Greater London, NW5 2HR‬

Guest: Oscar

‪- ‬Qategna beh Aubergine
‪- ‬Lentil Samosas
‪- ‬Lamb Beyaynetu
‪- ‬Papaye Sorbet

‪- Ye Emete Ethiopian Tej‬
‪- ‬Traditional Ethiopian Coffee

Bill: £60.61

Notes: if you believe sharing is caring then East African food is your kind of thing.

Set your expectations with a couple of starters then dive into the main dish: a slightly spicy collection of lamb wot (a sort of stew) and veggies placed over a flat layer of injera bread, the Ethiopian national pride, a sourdough-risen flatbread with a unique spongy texture you will use to mop up the food. An almost playful experience and a joy for your senses.

A couple of glasses of taj, strongly tasting sparkling homemade wine flavoured with leaves and twigs of gesho, an African shrub, and honey, will make your dinner even more exotic.

Ending with a strong black traditional Ethiopian coffee is nothing but recommended.

Week 21 – Cambodian Cuisine

Cambodian Cuisine in London: Lemongrass

Cuisine: Cambodian
‪Restaurant: Lemongrass
‪Address: 243 Royal College St. Camden Town Greater London NW1

Guest: Oscar

‪- Scallop Toasties
‪- Mini Spring Rolls
‪- Golden Triangles
‪- Kings Prawns
‪- Crispy Aromatic Duck
‪- Lok Luk Steak
‪- Fresh Asparagus
– Steamed Rice

‪- Tiger Beer (6x)

Bill: £67

Notes: Very little family run restaurant with a tiny dining area that won’t fit more than 25 people, a stone’s throw away from the madness of Camden Town offering simple and fresh food prepared the way you could expect it to be cooked in a Cambodian home.

The starters are intriguing but the Lok Luk Steak is the real star of the menu: tender pieces of marinated steak covered with a generous sprinkle of crushed black pepper, better accompanied with the fresh and crunchy stir fried asparagus drizzled with fresh lemon juice.

Smiley friendly service and simple, welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel home to complete the picture.

Week 22 – German Cuisine

German Cuisine in London: Stein’s Bavarian Restaurant

Cuisine: German
Restaurant: Stein’s Bavarian Restaurant
Address: 52 Petersham Rd, Richmond, Greater London TW10 6UW

Guest: Monika, Matthias, Ben

– Bayerische Schlachtplatte
– Münchner Leberkäs mit Bratkartoffeln
– Grossen Germknödel mit Powidlpflaumenfülle an vanillesaucen
– Hausgemachter Käsekuchen

– Erdinger Weissbier (6x)
– Erdinger Dunkles Weissbier (2x)

Bill: £96

Notes: a few benches, large wooden tables in an open converted ex ice cream parlour by the river and lots of blonde German customers and staff speaking in their beautifully incomprehensible lingo all around: close your eyes and you could easily believe you have been teletransported to Munich.
Food comes out super-fast (I guess you can call it German efficiency), and it looks and taste exactly what you expect: honest, tasty and filling. Pick the Bayerische Schlachtplatte a selection of grilled sausages (Nürnberg, Bratwurst and Polish), bacon and meatloaf, served on a bed of sauerkraut and mash potato ‘cause to use their motto: “It’s all about Sausages”, right?
Save some room for a Riesen-Germknödel a sort of giant dumpling filled with plums jam, sprinkled with poppy seeds and icing sugar, floating in a lake of vanilla cream and wash everything down with a compulsory couple of Weiss beer, classic or dark, or a big Maß of Paulaner. Prost.

Week 23 – Dutch Cuisine

Dutch Cuisine in London: De Hems

Cuisine: Dutch
‪Restaurant: De Hems
Address: 11 Macclesfield St, Soho, Greater London, W1D 5BW

Guest: Tim, Charlotte, Oscar ‪

‪- Bitterballen 2xl
‪- Broodje kroket
– Frikandellen speciaal
– Patatje oorlog
– Patatje special

– De Koninck APA
– La Trappe Tripel
– La Trappe Dubbel
– Lindeboom
– Vedette wit (2x)
– Jupiler
– Jenever (2x)

Bill: £84

Tucked away down a Soho side street, on the corner of Chinatown, De Hems is well known to be London’s only Dutch pub and a paradise for Trappist beers lovers. A menu of selected traditional Dutch finger food specialties is the only acceptable accompaniment for the impressive selection of Beneluxian beers. Ask the bartender for some recommendation but keep an eye at the ABV to avoid surprises.
Pretty much everything you can eat is deep fried, from the Frikandellen a long skinless sausage topped with onions and curried ketchup, to the Bitterballen a sort of round shaped croquette. It may sounds heavy but these savory snacks perfectly mix with the strong beers and… everything is better when fried, agreed?

Oh, did I mention they have great beers?

Week 24 – Hungarian Cuisine

Hungarian Cuisine in London: The Rosemary

Cuisine: Hungarian
‪‪‪Restaurant: The Rosemary
Address: 178 New Cross Rd, New Cross, Greater London, SE14 5AA

‪Guest: Oscar ‪

‪- Beefsteak Tartare
‪- Hungarian Goulash soup
– Beed stew in red wine with home-made dumplings
– Chicken paprikash with home-made dumplings
– Hungarian trifle with home-made ice cream,
– Chestnut puree with cream

– Soproni lager
– Thummerer Egri Bikavér
– Tokai Furmint

Bill: £71.90

Notes: Friendly staff, good food and warm atmosphere and service will welcome you this lovely restaurant serving traditional Hungarian cuisine.

As a starter the beef tartare is pretty good but the Goulash soup is exceptional: adjust the spiciness with as much Erős Pista (coarsely minced hot paprika) as you like and don’t be shy to mop up your plate with bread till there is nothing left. A glass of dry, rich Thummerer Egri Bikavér (literally translated: “bull’s Blood”) makes it even better. ‪
Whatever main course you get make sure to have some galuskával (little home-made kind of dumplings) on side and end your dinner with a big rich filling dessert. You may want to complement the latter with a glass of sweet Tokai followed by a shot of Palinka.

(We couldn’t have the shot cause as the waiter pointed out “there was a massive Hungarian party last weekend: we drank every single drop of palinka we had…”. Respect!)

Week 25 – Vietnamese Cuisine

Vietnamese Cuisine in London: Sông Quê

Cuisine: Vietnamese ‪
Restaurant: Sông Quê
Address: 134 Kingsland Rd, Hoxton, Greater London, E2 8DY

Guest: Riccardo ‪

‪– Assorted appetisers (Spring rolls, sesame prawn toast, spicy squid, crispy seaweed, spare ribs)
‪– Gỏi cuốn (Vietnamese spring roll)
– Lươn Xúc Bánh Da (minced eels with lemongrass and chilli)
– Phở Xào Thịt Bò (stir fried mixed seafood with noodle
– Mì Xào Dòn Dồ Biển (crispy fried noodles with seafood)

– Saigon Special
– Saigon Export

Bill: £55

Notes: among the several Vietnamese restaurants that stretching along Kingsland Road contribute to make this corner of Shoreditch a little Hanoi, Sông Quê is probably not the prettiest but definitely one of the more authentic as the constantly high number of Vietnamese customers seems to confirm.

The assorted appetisers platter is a good start to set your mood and the fresh rice paper rolls with prawns will fill you more than you expect, but the more adventurous and pleasantly surprising option is probably the hot and spiced minced eels with lemongrass and chilli.

For main one of the several variations of their famous pho is a must: delicious, big, well presented and one of the only way to eat seafood in London without breaking the bank.

Asked what was the difference between a Saigon Special and a Saigon Export the waiter’ smiling answer was: “The label: aside from that they are absolutely the same”. Same, same. But different.


Week 26 – Persian Cuisine

Persian Cuisine in London: Colbeh

Cuisine: Persian
Restaurant: Colbeh
Address: 6 Porchester Pl., Paddington, Greater London, W2 2BS

Guest: Riccardo ‪

‪- Naan (4x)
‪- Mix Starter (Kashk-e-bademjan, Mirza Ghasemi, Hummus, Salad Shirazi, Salad Olivieh, Naazkhatoon)
– Chelo Kabab Chenjeh & Koobideh
– Ghouzi
– Persian Ice Cream

– Doogh (2x)
– Special tea (3x)

Bill: £70

From the moment you step in Colbeh waiting for your table, you feel like you have been catapulted to the Middle East. Simple furniture, straightforward service and every single customer around you is Iranian. Sit down facing the inside of the premises and you can easily forget about being in the UK.

While waiting for a mix starter platter, ask for a couple of naan bread: crunchier than the Indian version, the bread is prepared on the spot right in front of you in a traditional tandoor oven.
The kebabs are amazing, the Ghouzi is incredible: an impressive lamb shank, cooked in a special tomato sauce served with rice, raisins, onions and spices, which literally melts in your mouth. The saffron sprinkled over the rice makes the experience even richer.
Whatever you get, wash everything down with a yogurt-based doogh, a traditional Persian buttermilk drink, ticker and spicer than a Turkish Ayran and save some space for a taste of homemade ice cream made with fresh cream, rose water, saffron and pistachio nuts.

Ending dinner with a special infusion made with three different kind of tea is nothing but highly recommended. Amazing.

Week 27 – Cypriot Cuisine

Cypriot Cuisine in London: Aphrodite Taverna

Cuisine: Cypriot
Restaurant: Aphrodite Taverna
Address: 15 Hereford Rd, London W2 4AB

Guests: Mum and Dad ‪

‪- Halloumi
‪- Tzatziki
– Greek salad
– Kleftiko
– Souvla
– Mousakka

– Hatzimichalis Atlantis Reserve
– Metaxa
– Mint tea

Bill: £115

A Greek-Cypriot family run restaurant between Notting Hill and Bayswater with a helpful, attentive, homely service that starts from the exact moment you step on the little patio in front of the premises.

Even if a few complimentary starters (beans, radish, chili pepper, black and green olives) lands on your table before the menu, don’t shy away from ordering some more appetisers such as the grilled halloumi cheese and the home made tzatziki, perfect to be scooped up with some pitta bread.

Saying that the mains are big is an understatement: the Kleftiko (slow oven baked tender lamb with bay leaves) is incredibly tender and literally fells off the bone, the Greek salad is rich and refreshing, the mousakka could feed two people alone.

End dinner with a complimentary portion of rose and lemon flavoured loukoúmi perfect to be accompanied with a glass of Metaxa brandy.

Week 28 – Afghan Cuisine

Afghan Cuisine in London: Afghan Kitchen

Cuisine: Afghan
Restaurant: Afghan Kitchen
Address: 35 Islington Green, Greater London, N1 8DU

Guests: Mum and Dad

‪- Lavand-e-Murgh (chicken with yoghurt)‬
‪- Qurma-e-Gosht (lamb with potatoes)‬
– ‪Qurma Suhzi Gosht (lamb with spinach)‬
– Banjon Borani (aubergines with yoghurt)
– Borani Kado (pumpkin with yoghurt)
– Moong Dall (lentil dall)
– Rice
– Fresh bread
– Afghan Chutney
– Afghan Mixed Pickles
– Baghlava

– Dogh

Bill: £67

Overlooking Islington Green this little beautiful (not so hidden anymore) gem proudly offers “traditional Afghan home cooking” in a small premises, fitting a total of four/five large tables shared among the customers, that really makes you feel like you are the special guest dining in someone else kitchen.

Four meat dishes and four vegetarian dishes are all you can choose from: the best possible advice is to book in advance, come with a group of friends, and get absolutely everything you see on the menu.
All dishes are surprising, colourful, generous in size and delicious but both the lamb options deserve a special mention: the Qurma Suhzi Gosht, a dark-green stew of tender, slow-cooked pieces of lamb and spinach and the Qurma-e-Gosht, a tasty stew with pieces of tender lamb coming with perfectly cooked potatoes, both set a very high bar.

The slightly spiced dogh to drink and the home-made triangularly shaped bread will help getting towards the end of dinner that gotta be concluded with a few Baghlava, afghan style baklava.

Week 29 – Peruvian Cuisine

Peruvian Cuisine in London: Ceviche

Cuisine: Peruvian
Restaurant: Ceviche
Address: 17 Frith St., London, Greater London, W1D 4RG

Guests: Susana

‪- Cancha‬
‪- Chifa wings‬
– Don Cheviche (sea bass ceviche)
– Tiradito Rochoso (tuna ceviche)
– Anticucho de Corazon
– Camarones Picaros
– Yucas
– Polpo al Olivo

– Pisco Sour (6x)

Bill: £127.69

in the heart of Soho surrounded by iconic jazz clubs, pubs and bars is Ceviche a Peruvian pisco bar / restaurant.
Sit at the bar or, only if you have made a reservation, one of the high tables in the main room and while looking at the menu order some cancha (toasted corn) and a fresh pisco sour. They both will end just before the rest of the food arrives on your table so be quick and order a second pisco, perfect to be sipped while having an unmissable Peruvian classic: ceviche. Pick at least a couple of them: tuna, sea bass, prawn, you name it. They are all fresh, well presented, tasty and easy to share.
Grab another pisco sour and make some space for something a bit different such as the Anticucho De Corazón (tender beef heart marinated in panca chilli), with some Yucas (fried cassava) to be dipped in a cheesy huancaína sauce as a side.

Did I mention the Pisco Sour is damn good here?

Week 30 – Sri Lankan Cuisine

Sri Lankan Cuisine in London: Hoppers

Cuisine: Sri Lankan
Restaurant: Hoppers
Address: 49 Frith St, London, Greater London, W1D 4SG

Guests: Yolanda, Jason

‪- Bonemarrow Varuval‬
‪- Mutton Rolls‬
– Chicken Wing Chukka
– Calamari Fry
– Lamb Hopper
– Black Pork Hopper
– Okra + Plantain Kari Hopper
– Lamb Kothu Roti
– Shortrib Buriani
– Sambols + Chutneys
– Yoghurt
– Brinjal Moju

– Lion Sri Lankan Lager
– Passion Fruit Pale Ale

Bill: £111.38

A small, stylish no-bookings joint in Soho, serving traditional Sri Lankan street food. Leave your number and go get a drink in some bar close by. It will take a couple of hours or more before you get your craved spot at Hoppers but the wait is totally worth.
Place your order and your table will quickly be filled with a plethora of small dishes: the bone marrow, covered by an exceptional spiced sauce is definitely worth giving a try, the Calamari are not to be missed and the Short Rib Buriani is excellent, but the star of the menu is the dish from which the restaurant takes its name: the hopper, a crispy bowl-shaped pancake made from rice flour and coconut milk, traditionally served with a whole egg baked into the base. You can choose several curries to go with it, the black pork deserving a special mention, all surprising and delicious.

Careful with the green chilli. They. Are. Hot.

Week 31 – Korean Cuisine

Korean Cuisine in London: Dotori

Cuisine: Korean
Restaurant: Dotori
Address: 3 Stroud Green Road, London, Greater London, N4 2DQ

Guests: Noemi

‪- Kimchi‬
‪- Gim‬
– Ojingeo Twigim
– Buchu Jeon
– Mapa Tofu Deopbap
– Yukhoe Bibimbap
– Chocopie & Ice Cream

– Cass beer
– Hite beer
– Soju

Bill: £63.90

Notes: A tiny, little gem, a stone thrown away from Finsbury Park station offering on two completely separate menus, Japanese and traditional Korean dishes. Choose to stay on the high stools at the bar by the window, admittedly not the best view but it will add some character to your dinner.

Ojingeo Twigim (deep fried sticky squid in a sweet sauce) and a generous portion of Kimchi, Korean national side dish made from salted and fermented napa cabbage, make good starters.
The main is a tough choice: the vegetarian options are few but great, Bulgogi (Korean BBQ) tempting, Bibimbap, Korea’s worldwide famous rice dish, not to be missed.

Finish your dinner sharing a Choco-pie with Black Sesame Ice Cream while sipping a few shots of Soju, a distilled, strong, colourless, rice liquor, Korea’s best answer to sake.

Week 32 – Colombian Cuisine

Colombian Cuisine in London: Leños y Carbon

Cuisine: Colombian
Restaurant: Leños y Carbón
Address: 113 Elephant Road, SE17 1 London, Greater London

Guests: Oscar

‪- Empanadas‬
‪- ‬Platano maduro con queso
– Churrasco
– Bandeja paisa
– Brevas con queso y arequipe

– Club Colombia Dorada lager (4x)
– Antioqueño aguardiente de Medellin (2x)
– Coffee

Bill: £68

A down to earth, unpretentious Colombian restaurant aiming to redefine the meaning of “large portions”.
The Empanadas are bigger than expected considering they are a starter but the real surprise comes with the mains: the churrasco steak could easily feed 3 people, and I challenge everyone finishing the Colombia’s own national dish: Bandeja paisa, a generous, to say the least, amount and variety of food (red kidney beans, rice, minced beef, chorizo, fried egg, fried ripe plantain, pork belly, avocado and corn bread) served on a platter.

The Colombian coffee is as good as you can expect and a shot of aguardiente to end dinner is absolutely vital to digest all that food.

Week 33 – Mauritian Cuisine

Mauritian Cuisine in London: Le Chamarel

Cuisine: Mauritian
Restaurant: Le Chamarel
Address: 27 Turnpike Lane, London, Greater London, N8 0EPn

Guests: Oscar

‪- Dholl Puri‬
‪- Roti‬
– Crab Bouillabaisse (2x)
– Rice
– Octopus Curry
– Octopus Vindaille
– Bol Renversé

– Alouda (4x)

Bill: £59.35

Notes: simple and friendly family run restaurant preparing authentic Mauritian food, a blend of Chinese, European and Indian, cooked in traditional ways.

Start with a couple of snacks: roti, homemade Mauritian flat-bread with curry, rougaille and chilli sauce, and dholl puri arguably the most popular street food in Mauritius.
Follow with a tasty, rich, Crab Bouillabaisse, a French influenced crab soup boiled with tomatoes, ginger and coriander. Technically a starter although pretty large and satisfying.

The Octopus Vindaille a classic Mauritian fish pickle cooked in mustard and onions garnished with fresh chillies and the Bol Renversé, layered with one fried egg, stir fried vegetables, topped with chicken and prawns, both make great main courses.

Wash everything down with a couple or Alouda, home-made flavored milk based traditional drinks.

Week 34 – Iraqi Cuisine

Iraqi cuisine in London: juma kitchen

Cuisine: Iraqi
Restaurant: Juma Kitchen
Address: pop up, various locations

Guests: Jenan, Dario

– ‬Kubba Haleb‬
‪– Basturma Scotch Eggs
– Falafel
– Bacon dates
– Humous
– Baba Ganoush
– Lebna
– Kubba Hammouth
– Saffron Chicken
– Lamb Cutlets & Dolma
– Fattoush
– Iraqi bread
– Knafa
– Pistachio & Rose doughnuts

– Juma beer (3x)

Bill: £96

Contemporary Iraqi food experience brought to London by chef Philip Juma.

Take as many starters as you can making sure not to miss the ‪Kubba Haleb, lamb croquettes fried to perfection and‬ some of the delicious dips: Baba Ganoush, aubergine mixed with tahina topped with pomegranate, Lebna, creamy cheese with pickled beetroot, caraway and pistachio. All to be scooped up with traditional Iraqi bread.

Follow with a taste of Kubba Hammouth, little lamb dumplings in a tomato soup sprinkled with mint, and the flavour-packed chicken breast, served with potatoes in a rich saffron sauce and garnished with crispy onions.

Knafa, a cheese pastry soaked in sweet syrup covered with pistachios and rose petals, and the little doughnuts are a great way to end dinner.

A joy for all your senses.

Week 35 – Algerian Cuisine

Algerian Cuisine in London: Azou

Cuisine: Algerian
Restaurant: Azou
Address: 375 King St., London, Greater London, W6 9NJ

Guests: Camille, Kader

‪- Brik‬
‪- Briouat‬
– Bourek
– Chakchouka
– Constantine Tajine
– Tajine el Ain (2x)
– Couscous (side)
– North African baklava (3x)

– Lemonade
– Medaillon (Moroccan wine 2x)
– Mint tea

Bill: £128.64

A family-run North African restaurant off Ravenscourt Park decorated with traditional artefacts, colourful tablecloth and drapes across the ceiling, providing an atmospheric dining environment.

Start with a Chakchouka, grilled peppers and tomatoes, onions, chilli and spices with the addition of merguez (spiced lamb sausage) and a selection of crisp pastry filled in different ways: with marinated minced lamb, herbs and spices (Bourek), brie and goat’s cheese (Briouat) potato, egg and tuna (Brik).
Your main got to be either a couscous or a tajine with a preference for the latter: choose between the spicy lamb with potatoes option (Constantine tajine) or the intensely flavoured sweet tender lamb shank with prunes, apricots, & almonds (Tajine el Ain).

The North African baklavas are bigger and of a different consistency from the more famous Middle East version and they go perfectly well with the mint tea, a compulsory treat to end your dinner.

Week 36 – Armenian Cuisine

Armenian Cuisine in London: Erebuni Restaurant

Cuisine: Armenian
Restaurant: Erebuni Restaurant
Address: 2-5 Carthusian St, London, Greater London, EC1M 6EB

Guests: Oscar

– Karmir Bibar
– Lahmajoun
– Armenian lavash
– Armenian dolma
– Ker u Sus
– Khash
– Spas
– Armenian Baklava (2x)

– Kilikia (2x)
– Armenian Vodka (2x)
– Armenian coffee with brandy

Bill: £133.09

Located a stone thrown away from the Barbican, Erebuni is perhaps the only restaurant in London serving authentic Armenian food in a lounge-like setting, with the sort of music you expect to hear in the next Eurovision contest.

A Lamadjo, (Armenian Pizza, similar to the Turkish Lahmacun), a thin circular piece of dough topped with lamb, tomato sauce and herbs and a Karmir Bibar roasted red peppers, are a good way to stimulate your appetite while you are waiting for a compulsory traditional soup: choose between a Khash, garlic rich broth made from slow-cooked beef calves or a Spas, creamy, filling thick soup made with yoghurt, wheat & coriander.

Follow with a Caucasian classic: either “Ker U Sus” literally “Eat & Be Quiet” made with beef fillet strips, tomatoes, peppers, peas, gherkins and coriander or a portion of Armenian Dolma, vine leaves stuffed with minced lamb, rice, & herbs served with a garlic-flavoured yoghurt.

A shot of Armenian vodka will help making some room for a portion of mildly spiced Baklava and will mitigate the effect of the very strong Armenian coffee.

Week 37 – Jamaican Cuisine

Jamaican Cuisine in London: Negril

Cuisine: Jamaican
Restaurant: Negril
Address: 132 Brixton Hill, Brixton, Greater London, SW2 1RS

Guests: Laura, Dario

– Saltfish Fritters
– Jerk wings
– Plantains
– Jerky Chicken 1/2
– Festivals
– Rice and Peas
– Curry goat
– Jerky Chicken 1/4
– Chocolate cake

– Red Stripe (6x)
– Appleton Rare Blend 12yo
– Koko Kanu
– Coffee

Bill: £118.13

Notes: Simple, unfussy laid-back Caribbean restaurant serving traditional Jamaican comfort food in Brixton.

Saltfish fritters – fried cod, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and deep fried Plantains, a variety of banana, both make a good starter.

Jerk chicken marinated in hot spice mixture should be the compulsory main and so should be a portion of Festivals a sort of long Caribbean dumpling. A good alternative could be the boneless tender curry goat.
A couple of Red Stripe cans will help bearing with the spiciness and a rum cocktail followed by a Jamaican coffee will make the perfect ending to your dinner.

…and I hope you like jammin’ too…

Week 38 – Cuban Cuisine

Cuban cuisine in London: Escudo de Cuba

Cuisine: Cuban
Restaurant: Escudo de Cuba
Address: 20 Stoke Newington Rd, Dalston, London N16 7XN

Guests: Oscar

– Roasted sweet potatoes
– Fried Ripe Plantain
– Palomilla
– Ropa Vieja Cubana
– Banana al Campo con Ron
– Torta tres leches

– Mojito (4x)
– Daiquiri (2x)

Bill: £76.25

a Cuban bar / restaurant in the heart of Dalston playing Latin tunes and serving great cocktails. Take your time and before even starting looking at the menu order a mojito.

Portions are generous so you may choose to skip the starters and go straight to the main course: both Ropa Vieja (literally “old clothes”) a classic Cuban made with shredded braised beef in a sauce of herbs, fresh tomatoes, onions and sweet peppers and Palomilla, chargrilled marinated sirloin steak, would satisfy the bigger appetites as they come with rice, black beans, cassava, vegetables and tostones (fried plantains).

Make your way to the dessert and ask for a Banana al Campo, cooked in orange, cinnamon and rum. A great company for a last, essential, unmissable daiquiri.

Week 39 – Brazilian Cuisine

Brazilian cuisine in London: Made in Brasil

Cuisine: Brazilian
Restaurant: Made in Brasil
Address: 12 Inverness St, London NW1 7HJ

Guests: Ana

– Brazilian snacks platter
– Moqueca
– Picanha
– Pudim de Leite

– Japanese caipirinha (3x)
– Brahma
– Cachaça Selecta

Bill: £96.47

Notes: Located a few meters away from the worldwide famous Camden Market, Made in Brasil is a colourful beach shack-style restaurant with live music serving Brazilian dishes and drinks.
Start ordering a Japanese Caipirinha prepared with sake, white sugar, and fresh lime, perfect to go with the large sharing platter, featuring traditional Brazilian street food such as Coxinha (Chicken pastry), Bolinhos de bacalhau (Fishcakes), Pastel (Cheese Pastry), Cassava & Cheese Bread.
Follow with one of the Brazilian classic mains such as Feijoada (slow cooked black bean and pork meat stew), Picanha na chapa (special cut of rump steak served sizzling with onions, crispy garlic and rice) or the Bahia’special: Moqueca mixed seafood and fish stew made with sweet peppers and coconut milk served with steamed rice & farofa.

End dinner with a portion of Pudim de Leite (Brazilian crème caramel) to be tasted together with a shot of Cachaça.


Week 40 – Danish Cuisine

Danish Cuisine in London: Snaps and Rye

Cuisine: Danish
Restaurant: Snaps & Rye
Address: 93 Golborne Road, London W10 5NL

Guests: David

– Smoked Mackerel Smørrebrød
– Snaps cured Salmon Smørrebrød
– Great Dane Dog
– Frikadeller
– Pickles

– Flat White
– Rye Snaps Espresso
– Tuborg
– Smoked Rye snaps
– Elderflower snaps

Bill: £80.78

A Corner of Denmark in London recreating a little of Copenhagen’s culinary culture in a small cafe just off the northern side of Portobello road.

The spiced pork hotdog prepared the danish way, with malt rarebit, scorched gamle ole cheese, viking ketchup and crisp onions, is delicious and so are the Smørrebrød, open sandwiches served over rye bread: the snaps cured Var Salmon with beetroot and horseradish is fresh and delicate, the smoked mackerel with homemade tomato sauce, crispy onions and pickled kale spicy and rich.
If you still have appetite get some Frikadeller (pork and veal meatballs with blue cheese potatoes) accompanied by a selection of pickles to share.

A few sip of homemade flavoured snaps (Akvavit) will be needed to help you get to the end of your meal.

Week 41 – American Cuisine

American Cuisine in London: Blues Kitchen

Cuisine: American
Restaurant: Blues Kitchen
Address: 111-113 Camden High Street, London, NW1 7JN

Guests: Oscar

– Shrimp Taco Salad
– St Louis style pork ribs & smoked beef ribs
– Southern Fried Buttermilk Chicken
– New Orleans Gumbo

– Big Wave Golden Ale (3x)
– Crazy Mountain Pale Ale
– Johnny Drum Private Stock

Bill: £88.88

Notes: one of the most famous blues venues in London with a dining area providing authentic Southern Soul American food to a crowd of meat (and music) lovers.

You’ll find all the classics but be sure: the melt in the mouth ribs are the real thing here. Slow smoked for over 10 hours they are big, succulent, juicy and arguably the best you can get in town.

The New Orleans Gumbo (smoked sausage, chicken, okra, peppers served with a side of white rice and sweet corn bread), is spicy and generous in size as it is the double boneless leg Southern Fried Buttermilk Chicken that could easily feed two people.

A couple of American Pale will be the very minimum to wash everything down and a bourbon (make it double) to be chosen among a large available selection will be needed to help you crawling home.

Week 42 – Mexican Cuisine

Mexican Cuisine in London: Mestizo

Cuisine: Mexican
Restaurant: Mestizo
Address: 103 Hampstead Rd., London, Greater London, NW1 3EL

Guests: Carlos, Mati, Gaby

– Mole Poblano
– Chiles Rellenos de Flor de Calabaza
– Tamales with Rajas
– Ensalada de Nopales
– Taco tray (Cuitlacoche, Carnitas, Cochinita Pibil, Pastor, Mole poblano, Chiles Rellemos)
– Pastel de Elote – Flan Casero

– Modelo Especial (2x)
– Pacifico (2x)
– Pacifico as Levanta Muertos
– Corona as Michelada
– Don Julio tequila tasting menu (3x)
– Mezcal Alipús tasting menu (4x)

Bill: £165.71

Notes: A Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar serving classic Mexican dishes and drinks in an authentic atmosphere.

Make yourself comfortable with the menu while drinking a refreshing Modelo Especial or, if you are keen to try the real thing, a Levanta Muertos (literally Raise the Dead) your choice of beer plus a spicy, concentrate, flavoured tomato and lime juice.

Mole Poblano, boneless chicken breast served with a traditional spicy mole sauce, Ensalada de Nopales, grilled tender cactus leaf topped with queso fresco ranchero, Tamales with Rajas, corn husks filled with corn maize and Oaxacan cheese, and Chiles Rellenos, peppers stuffed with squash blossom flowers in tomato sauce, all make great “plato fuertes” but the real star of the meal got to be another one: the tacos.

Pour as many filling as you like over your corn or wheat tortillas, add flavour choosing among the selection of more or less spicy Mexican dips, wrap your creation up: preparing your DYI tacos is a joyful, creative way to enjoy new tastes.

A portion of Pastel de Elote (corn cake) or Flan Casero (a rich Mexican version of cream caramel) will be a sweet way to take you to the end of your meal that will be compulsory closed by a few shots of tequilas or mescal. Or both.

¡Que Viva Mexico!

Week 43 – Greek Cuisine

Greek Cuisine in London: Lemonia

Cuisine: Greek
Restaurant: Lemonia
Address: 89 Regent’s Park Rd, London NW1 8UY

Guests: Oscar

– Hummus
– Tahini
– Tzatziki
– Kalamari
– Horiatiki salad
– Stifado
– Moussaka

– Retsina Kourtaki
– Ouzo
– Raki

Bill: £101.82

Notes: historical family run Greek restaurant situated in Primrose Hill with a friendly service and a number of Greek specialties.

Start with a Horiatiki salad and a few traditional dips (Hummus, Tahini, Tzatziki, all to be scooped up with some warm pitta bread), best eaten while sipping a few glasses of fresh and crispy Retsina Kourtaki.

Follow with the national Hellenic dish, the Moussaka: made of layers of aubergine, courgettes, potatoes, fresh tomatoes and minced meet baked in a creamy white sauce it is an extremely rich, tasty and filling dish.

Save the complimentary Loukoumi (Turkish delights) to balance the compulsory shots of dry, anise-flavoured Ouzo or strong, clear Raki.

Week 44 – Swiss Cuisine

Swiss cuisine in London: St Moritz restaurant

Cuisine: Swiss
Restaurant: St Moritz Restaurant
Address: 161 Wardour St, Soho, Greater London, W1F 8WJ

Guests: Kader, Laura, Camille

– Fondue Moite-Moite
– Fondue Forestiere
– Fondue au Chocolate

– Petite Arvine du Valais
– Kirsch

Bill: £175.90

Notes: a corner of Switzerland in the heart of Soho. Enter the small premises to find yourself welcomed by an intense scent of cheese that won’t let you alone even hours after you have left the restaurant.

Don’t waste time with starters and be honest about the real reason you came here: the fondue, a melted cheese lover’s dream available in a few different versions. Pick a traditional Moite-Moite (melted gruyere and vacherin cheese from Switzerland) and one of the variation such as the Forestiere (bubbling cheese with wild mushrooms), all to be slowly consumed using little pieces of bread or potatoes. A bottle of white Petite Arvine du Valais will take you towards the end of your meal but don’t put up resistance and before leaving, surrender to another guilty pleasure: the chocolate fondue.

End with a generous shot of Kirsch: will be more than needed.

Week 45 – Lebanese Cuisine

Lebanese cuisine in London: Maroush

Cuisine: Lebanese
Restaurant: Maroush
Address: 21 Edgware Rd, London W2 2JE

Guests: Josè

– Tabbouleh
– Falafel
– Soujok
– Hommos Shawarma
– Batata Harra
– Halloumi Meshwi
– Jawaneh
– Mixed grills
– Baklawa

– Chateau Ksara Cabernet Sauvignon‪

Bill: £ 109.00

Located a stone’s throw away from Hyde Park and Marble Arch, Maroush is a sort of institution among the Lebanese community which populate the plethora of Middle East restaurants, shisha cafes and Arabic-themed premises lined up along Edgware Road.

Order a full body red Lebanese wine, skip the mains and focus on the excellent selection of hot and cold Meze: more than just starters, these sort of large tapas are guaranteeing you a pretty complete Levantine cuisine experience.
Order as many as you wish, they will quickly land on your table creating a colourful, inviting composition.
Worth a mention the Hommos Shawarma (Hummus topped with sliced marinated lamb), the homemade Falafel served with tahine sauce, the Jawaneh (Charcoal-grilled marinated chicken wings served with a delicate garlic sauce) and the Soujok (Home-made Lebanese spicy sausages, sautéed in lemon). Every dish is different, particular and tasty.

Stop ordering once you are stuffed but save some room for at least a portion of traditional Lebanese baklawa filled with nuts and syrup, to be accompanied by a few sips of mint tea or Lebanese coffe.

Week 46 – Filipino Cuisine

Filipino Cuisine in London: Lutong Pinoy

Cuisine: Filipino
Restaurant: Lutong Pinoy
Address: 10 Kenway Rd, Earls Court, London SW5 0RR

Guests: Shing

– Bicol Express
– Arroz Caldo with Egg
– Sizzling Pusit with Egg
– Daing Na Bangus
– Ilocano Pinankbet with Pork
– Sinigang Na Baka

– Don Moreno
– Mango Manga

Bill: £ 59.80

Small, cosy family run restaurant serving authentic Filipino dishes (a fusion of Spanish and Oriental ingredients and influences) to a number of regular Filipino families and customers.

Order one of the tasty sweet cocktails such as the Don Moreno (Filipino rum, ginger beer and lime), grab the food menu and let the exotic names and ingredients inspire you:
Arroz Caldo (rice with beef tripe, topped with one egg), Sinigang na Baka (tamarind soup broth), Bicol express (belly pork cooked with chillies and coconut milk), Sizzling Pusit (grilled spicy squid served on a sizzling hotplate), Daing Na Bangus (marinated fried milkfish), Ilocano Pinakbet (mixed vegetables).

Everything will land on your table almost simultaneously, a joy for your stomach and your eyes, so be prepared jumping from one dish to another till you have no space left, but take your time: everyone seems very friendly and comfortable here sipping their drinks and chatting the night away long after finishing dinner. No one will ask you to leave.

Week 47 – Polish Cuisine

Polish cuisine in London: Daquise

Cuisine: Polish
Restaurant: Daquise
Address: 20 Thurloe street, South Kensington London SW7 2LT

Guests: Patricia, Dave

– Pierogi
– Kaszanka
– Bigos
– Krolik w sosie tymiankowym
– Poledwiczki wieprzowe
– Wild boar goulash
– Naslesniki z serem (2x)
– Cheese cake

– Tyskie
– Zywiec
– Gorzka Zoladkova vodka
– Wiśniówka vodka
– Luksusowa vodka

Bill: £135.30

serving traditional Polish cuisine since 1947, going to Daquise feels like travelling in time, entering an elegant, without being pretentious, restaurant as you could expect them back in Warsaw in the ’50.

Start with the unmissable pierogi (dumplings with a choice of fillings: meat, cheese, potato, cabbage…), continue with a traditional Kaszanka (Polish black pudding) and complete your selection of starters with a tasty portion of bigos (chopped meat stewed with sauerkraut and shredded fresh cabbage).

Mains, mostly served with differently shaped delicious potato dumplings, are assembled directly at the table in front of you: the meat is perfectly cooked but what makes the dishes outstanding are their special sauces:
both the thyme cream sauce that comes with the Krolik (rabbit) and the mustard and honey sauce accompanying the Poledwiczki wieprzowe (pork tenderloins) are so good you may ask an additional portion of bread to mop it up.

Naslesniki z serem, mouth-watering pancakes with cheese and cranberry jam are a perfect dessert, especially when tasted together with a shot of one of the several differently flavoured vodkas.

Week 48 – Malaysian Cuisine

Malaysian Cuisine in London: Roti King

Cuisine: Malaysian
Restaurant: Roti King
Address: 40 Doric Way, Kings Cross, London NW1 1LH

Guests: Paolo, Simone

– Mee Goreng Mamak
– Bee Hoon Goreng
– Nasi Goreng
– Kangkung Belacan
– Lamb Murtabak
– Roti Canai Special
– Roti Cheese
– Roti Pisang
– Roti Planta

– Teh Tarik

Bill: £53.20

Tiny, packed, restaurant hidden away in a small basement just outside Euston Station, serving truly authentic Malaysian food to a number of South Asian (mainly) people ready to queue for hours (there is a strictly first come first served policy) in order to get a taste of home while in London.
Start with a couple of Roti a type of flatbread stuffed with all sort of things: fish, lamb, cheese, you name it. Fresh, tasty and as authentic as it can get, they are prepared in front of you in the open kitchen.
Mains, generous in size and rich in taste, are pretty much divided in three categories: rice dishes (eg Nasi Goreng, stir fried rice with eggs, seafood and chicken), noodles dishes (such as the slightly spicy Mee Goreng Mamak, stir fried egg noodles with eggs, chicken, prawns, tofu and peanuts) and vegetables (eg Kangkung Belacan, stir fried water spinach cooked in shrimp paste).
The food is just mildly spicy, still a warm or cold Teh Tarik, Malaysia own national drink, is recommended to get you through dinner, which mandatorily have to be ended with a sweet Roti Pisang Roti filled with caramelised banana).

Week 49 – Burmese Cuisine

Burmese Cuisine in London: Lahpet

Cuisine: Burmese
Restaurant: Lahpet
Address: 5 Helmsley Place, London, E8 3SB

Guests: Oscar, Roxana

– Mixed starters (Mandalay, Shrimp & Watercress, Sweetcorn, Shan Tofu)
– Lahpet Thohk
– Ngar Hin
– Thoe Tha & Lahpet
– Bazun Hin
– Plain Rice
– House Rice
– Poached Banana
– Lime & Ginger Ice Cream

– Shan State
– Kombucha (2x)

Bill: £102.30

located in an ex-warehouse in London Fields, a few steps away from Broadway Market, Lahpet offers a contemporary take on traditional Burmese dishes.

Start with a selection of fritters served with tamarind dip, before quickly moving to the mains, better tasted with a warm pot of Burmese green tea: the slow-cooked pulled lamb with pickled tea leaves beans and baby carrots literally melts in your mouth, the Ngar Hin, fish curry made with hake and Burmese masala is soft and spicy but the very unmissable dish, recommended by the maître himself, is… a salad: Lahpet Thohk (Tea Leaf Salad), a Burmese national delicacy, an eclectic, surprising mix of flavours.

Week 50 – Czech Cuisine

Czech Cuisine in London: Czechoslovak restaurant

Cuisine: Czech
Restaurant: Czechoslovak Restaurant
Address: 74 West End Lane, West Hampstead, London NW6 2LX

Guests: Dario, Paolo

– Vařená Klobása
– Bramborák se slaninou
– Vepřová pečeně na divoko
– Svíčková
– Pečené Husí prsa
– Segedínský Guláš

– Pilsner (5x)
– Budvar (3x)
– Becherovka (3x)

Bill: £78

Started as a meeting place for Czechs and Slovaks immigrants after WWII, the Czechoslovak National House Club & Restaurant has nearly unchanged since 1946, maintaining the original informal style and décor, serving authentic food at very reasonable prices.

Starters are as generous as the mains, still make sure you are not missing at least a portion of Boiled Sausages (Vařená Klobása).
Pretty much all mains are accompanied by a few slices of Knedlíky. These traditional bread dumplings are a necessary assistance to help you mop up the tick, rich, delish sauces: creamy and cheesy with the spiced roast pork (Vepřová pečeně na divoko), sweet-ish vegetable sauce with the roast beef (Svíčková), spiced for the pork Gulash (Segedínský Guláš).

Get through dinner with a few Czech beers and remember to end your Central European experience with a compulsory shot of Becherovka.

Week 51 – Chinese Cuisine

Chinese Cuisine in London: Little Lamb

Cuisine: Chinese
Restaurant: Little Lamb
Address: 72 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 6NA

Guests: Shing

– Original Spicy Pot
– Mushroom Pot
– Starter: Spicy Pigs Ears
– Meat: Classic Lamb Slice, Special Beef Slice, Beef Tripe
– Seafood: Squid Tentacles, Prawns on Shell, Fresh Squids, Mussels, Cuttlefis, Crab, Crabs sticks, Fish Balls
– Vegetables: Coriander, Kelp Thread, Spinach, Lotus Roots, Chinese Mushrooms, Oyster mushrooms
– Noodles: Soft noodles, Udon
– Fresh Tofu

– Tsingtao (3x)

Bill: £80.50

A tiny, no-frills Chinese-Mongolian restaurant specialising in eat-as-much-as-you-like hot pot located in the heart of Chinatown.

Ignore the à la carte menu and focus on the real reason a loyal Chinese community is constantly coming here: the Hot pot, a Chinese soup containing a variety of food and ingredients self cooked on a simmering, bubbling pot, right at the dining table.

Pick up to 3 different soup stocks, being sure you are balancing the VERY spicy one with a mild option and order as many dishes as you like from the large menu: veggies, meat, fish, noodles, seafood…
Everything will land on your table almost simultaneously, ready to be thrown into the boiling soups.

A couple of Chinese beers will be absolutely necessary to help you get you through this feast.

Week 52 – British Cuisine

British Cuisine in London: The Spaniards Inn

Cuisine: British
Restaurant: The Spaniards Inn
Address: Spaniards Rd, Hampstead, London NW3 7JJ

Guests: Carlos, Paul, Mati

– Scotch eggs (3x)
– Smoked Salmon
– Fish and Chips
– Sausages and Mash
– Chicken Pie
– Duck Breast
– British Cheese Plate

– Bloody Mary (2x)
– Sharps Doom Bar (2x)
– Fuller London Pride(2x)
– Cockburn Port wine (3x)
– Oban 14yo

Bill: £160

Perched on the edge of Hampstead Heath, The Spaniards is an iconic, charming London pub dating back to the 1500s serving traditional British pub food in a perfectly preserved Grade II listed building.

Start with some smoked Scottish salmon and at least one unmissable handmade scotch egg before diving into the classic mains:
the fish & chips, a cornerstone of British culture, is golden and crispy outside while white and tender inside, the “bangers and mash”, sausages with spring onion mash & red wine jus, are juicy and delish, the pan-fried duck breast with red cabbage nicely pinky and flavourful, the chicken pie with roasted carrots and mashed potatoes tasty and filling.

Wash everything down with a couple of good ales and close your truly British experience with a good Scottish whiskey to be sipped during or after the dessert.

It can’t get more British than this

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