Tips from Peter S
TOP LOCAL PUBS SERVING FOOD
1. Hunter S, Southgate Road (formerly the Perseverance)
Recent great for Salade Nicoise, Beef Wellington, oysters and sprats. Good service with frequent changes to menu. Suspicion that cooking is better at the weekend.
I had brunch today at the newly opened 3Course (on the old and dreadful Bombay
Bicycle Club site) and what a wonderful addition it is to the neighbourhood.
There are seats for perhaps 30 covers inside so it might get a bit cramped at
the weekend. I think I spotted seats outside last weekend. The interior is both
fresh and breezy with lots of light. There was a steady stream of mums with kids
in tow today plus other early lunchers when I was there. It is only open for
brunch and lunch at present with extended hours at weekends.
I am big fan of Smorgasbord type breakfasts and the one consumed today was very
On the photo to the left you can see hot smoked mackerel with black bread,
potato salad and a few leaves. To the bottom right were 3 cold dishes comprising
salmon, herrings and cheese with assorted tasty and ultra fresh salad leaves and
dressings. I think this place will thrive and it is well worth a visit with my
only concern related to it becoming too popular!
Cost: £16 including tea and hot chocolate.
I am removing my previous recommendation for "Dukes" on Downham Road. They have
bumped up the prices considerably with only the beef ribs as a stand-out dish,
but at £20 plus 12.5% service with drinks and add-ons priced at the lower end of
good value it makes for an expensive meal at a location which really only excels
with one dish.
3. Crown Barnsbury
Sunday lunch, especially for roasts.
Now back to former glory, after rough spell. Good beer, dog friendly.
5. Narrow Boat, Islington
Basic things done very well. Busy.
6. The Clyde
(too expensive now for average food) and Northgate have fallen from earlier highs in my view. Talbot is now back to avoid, unless you like tofu sausages and overpriced very average wine.
7. Wenlock Arms
Unreconstructed pub with fabulous beers popular with students, beer buffs and trendies. Not a food pub apart from pork scratchings and doorstop sandwiches. The pub is up for sale and will most likely close for redevelopment.
Stil rings my bell for special occasions.
2. Almedia, Almeida
Good for early evening service. Look out for taster bargain and discounts in September and January. Very good cocktails.
Good value and service. Great for kids.
2. Sweet Thursday
I have been to the Sweet Thursday Pizzeria a couple of times in the last week. I had only realised in passing that it was not a deli/wine shop upon seeing the flaming oven to the rear of the property and opted to go there a couple of days later.
There is some cross over in ownership and/or management with the De Beauvoir Deli and Scolt Head. I am not a big fan of either. The Sweet Thursday management and food prep staff are Italian (at least for the moment).
Opening hours are from 12.00 till late every day with no interruption. This suits me as I prefer to eat out early. The first occasion we entered was on Thursday about 6.00pm when there were only a couple of early birders. By the time we left it was getting busy. On Saturday we arrived at around the same time and the place was largely full with families. This has obviously quickly become somewhat of a firm favourite with parents, grand parents, friends and small children in the best Italian tradition where the children come first allowing the adults to dine without stress. For those who don't like a noisy atmosphere you should try different hours.
Serving time is fast once you get your order in. I like the house red served in carafes for £10 for 500 ml
The pizzas are authentic, tasty, varied, smoky with a chewy doughy texture and made with fresh ingredients starting at £7.00. My daughter thinks that the pizzas are the best ever and we will return again shortly. There are a couple of menu items not involving pizzas such as baked fish and some delightful and simple side dishes such as lightly battered courgette strips.
FISH AND CHIPS
1. Fish Central
My top place in London for variety, variable menu, interesting and of course fresh fish served either grilled, fried or poached. Good value.
Chapen Market BYOB. Bengali more than Indian, great service (listen to the managers tips). Very good value.
Good sushi, always busy, interesting and varied menu
2. Dotori, Finsbury Part
Offers both taste and incredible value affordable even to students. Not to be missed. Booking required.
1. COTE, Islington
Untried, but well recommended to me for great value steak, salad and chips.
2. Little Bay, Farringdon
Unbelievable value chain offering med type food. Singing waiter on my last visit.
3. Manzie's, Chapel Market
I dined at Manzie's Pie and Mash shop last night in the pop restaurant alter ego format called the Seagrass. It is highly recommended.