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Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

It's no fine dining experience and the service can be a bit shoddy when it's busy, but San Marco (a Maps link 'cause they don't have a website) does pretty drat good, comforting Italian food. I usually avoid Italian restaurants because they're never as good as my dad/nonna's versions of the same stuff, but the first time I went here I was pleasantly surprised - I stumbled out of Paddington, starving, and happened upon this place and now I try to make a point of going at least somewhat regularly. Reasonably priced and homely, what more can you ask for with Italian? The garlic mushrooms are the only mushrooms I've ever truly enjoyed, the arrabbiata is bang-on and the carbonara is delicious, too. Plus they don't skimp on the parmesan like so many places do.

Aw, man, I wanna be there right now.

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Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Any suggestions for a (cheapish) place to go for lunch in North? We're moving house tomorrow and want to take my partner's dad somewhere that isn't too far from Tottenham Hale, but neither of us know of many places round here.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Yup, Finsbury Park/Highbury and Islington are pretty much the ideal places! Tottenham itself sucks for food, unless you fancy greasy chicken etc.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Ended up in some Italian near Highbury and Islington. It was alright, better than your usual Italian fare but nothing to write home about. San Marco has always intrigued me, and we thought about going there a couple of nights ago, but I read some bad reviews and I don't really like risking it with Italian because when it's bad, it's really disappointing. If it's good, though, I'll keep it in mind for when we're back in the city. Thanks for the suggestions!

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Any suggestions for a Chinese/Thai place that delivers to N4? I have a poorly partner in need of tasty comfort.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

I've mentioned a fab Italian near Paddington before in this thread if you look at my past posts. Very reasonably priced and their pastas are on a par with my Italian grandmother's, which is my measure of brilliance. The pizzas are pretty mediocre, however. It has a fairly nice, bustling (but not rushed), family-owned feel if you're into that kind of thing.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Seeing as we've had discussions of coffee places and whatnot, I figured it wouldn't be too remiss of me to ask you guys for recommendations for drinking establishments.

I'm looking for somewhere that isn't too pricey and that has both decent beer and other drinks (I'd be happy in a BrewDog or something but I have a few non-beery friends). I want to book a table for my birthday to avoid having to drag people around looking for somewhere to be, but I'm at a loss in this city since there are so many options! Somewhere North/East/Central would be good as I want to avoid going too far South/West because of getting people there and back.

So, any suggestions? I'd also like a place that isn't too loud, since I like being able to have conversations. I assume my requirements aren't too specific, I'm just not sure where to start searching!

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Snipeo posted:

Do you want a place that serves food as well?
Nah, just drinks.

Thei posted:

BrewDog do usually stock a selection of excellent wines too. I only mention this as recently one of my friends was dreading going to one as she's not big on beer, after she'd been she raved about how great the wine was there and how the staff could tell you anything/everything about it, just like the beer.
My fussy friends aren't big on wine either due to its headache potential. One of them practically worships cocktails, though.

It's my birthday, damnit, and I want to both please people and actually have them come. This is stressful!

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

reality_groove posted:

I believe the BrewDog in Shoreditch which used to be Mason & Taylor's has a speakeasy-type cocktail bar in the basement, might be the best of both worlds?

I loooove this place, but apparently you can't book tables. It was my first choice until I found that out, but I want to avoid having to wander round Shoreditch trying to find somewhere if we get there and it's too busy.

Neris posted:

Just book a room in the Library in Islington or some other generic bar. No one will care about the booze or anything, as long as there's beer, wine, liquor behind the bar and a room where you can get pissed and be loud that's the recipe for success - don't over think it. I was going to use the Library for my birthday and then last minute the whole thing got hosed up since we booked the date wrong so check that. And also it's your birthday, anyone who pouts because they can't get a Cosmpolitan or an unusual dark ale is an rear end in a top hat.
I'm the fussy one with the unusual dark ale in this circumstance... But yeah, you have a point. I'll have a look at the Library. It'll be nice and easy to get home from as well!

Thei posted:

In my head I replaced 'fussy' with something else entirely that's slightly uncomplimentary. Really they should be trying to please you if it's your birthday.

Given the circumstances maybe a Tiki bar? If they don't love Tiki bars then there is something severely wrong with them. Rum fixes everything. There seems to be South London Pacific, Mahiki and The Sugar Cane; I haven't been, but now I want to...

Oh, and happy birthday!
Oh, I know, I know. I guess I'm too nice. Also my aspie friend is brilliant company but a whiny bastard when it comes to drinks. I'll have a look and see, I've never been to a Tiki bar! And thanks, I'm excited to be one year closer to being taken seriously as a proper adult, haha!

I'd love to go for cocktails but they get pretty expensive pretty quickly, which is annoying,

Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I'll follow some leads. I also found designmynight.com and that's helping as well.

Bollock Monkey fucked around with this message at Jan 18, 2013 around 12:33

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Bangkok Garden in Barnes was criminally cheap with a Taste card (as I recall it was ~£26 for a starter, mains and wine for 2) and rather delicious. Bombay Lounge is near Angel and we ended up not using the Taste card because it was so yummy that we felt it would be a disservice to cash in on the discount. I'm a big fan of both places, and they're probably the best I've had on the scheme.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

I just got back from Tootoomoo in Crouch End (tootoomoo.co.uk). Holy gently caress, it was good. I had some vegetable tempura that was perfect and my partner had a beef dish that wasn't on the menu and it was absolutely divine - I could eat it all day. The beef was so tender and perfectly cooked and the spices were so yummy! We had a sharing platter for dessert that had a fruit and chocolate mousse with crunchy stuff on top and a pistachio crème brûlée that I could also have never stopped tasting.

The service was friendly and attentive but without being overbearing, and their lychee bellinis were pretty nice as well as the food. I highly recommend this place, they seem to know what they're doing and, well, they're bloody fab at it!

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

sweat poteto posted:

I really like Pizza East - interesting flavours and huge airy crust. Everything else on the menu is good too. But I live a few blocks from Donna Margherita so my usual fix is Neapolitan.

I wasn't that impressed by Pizza East. I mean, it was fine, but it didn't blow me away. The meat boards, however, looked delicious, and watching the guy slice the speck/prosciutto etc was hypnotising.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Raffles posted:

Also I meant to post a while ago that I tracked down the Burger Bear stall at Harringay Market and it was the best burger all time, all my life. I think he normally is set up at Red Market. If you can check it out; a true five-star burger.

https://twitter.com/burgerbeartom

This is just the news I needed to get my arse into gear and get back to the market since I abandoned it when the weather turned lovely. Have you had chocolate from Life & Chocolate? It's loving divine, try the 87% dark stone ground bars if you haven't already.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

angelicism posted:

I just moved to London from NYC and I'm going to be living in Angel; hopefully you guys can help me out with a couple things.

Specifics: good Korean food (willing to travel a bit from Angel for this); great burgers; places to get solid yakitori; good Brazilian, specifically properly done pão de queijo and picanha, I don't dare hope for açai; good Ethiopian; best place to get afternoon tea given that I'm a wide-eyed American that hasn't had "afternoon tea" and thinks it's a novel idea.

General: a site like nymag.com where I can get restaurant recommendations given a neighborhood, cuisine, and price range, with reasonably consistent reviews (yelp and its equivalents are terrible) for when I want to find someplace new.

Thanks for any help!

I found this site and it seems like it could be what you're looking for? I also tend to read Time Out and then check those reviews against the ones you find from a quick Google of the restaurant in question and that seems to work out.

Dotori is in Finsbury Park, which is really close to Angel, and whilst I've not been there it has come oft-recommended for Korean/Japanese food. I think Neris might be able to help more with this?

I'm no expert on Ethiopian food, but I went here with a friend who loves it on his recommendation and it was pretty good. There is also a place called Senke in Finsbury Park that seems to be popular.

Primrose Hill, I hear, is a good place to sniff out an afternoon tea, though I personally couldn't recommend anywhere as I, as a boring British person, have also never had it. You can grab a tube directly from Angel to Chalk Farm and explore that area.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

angelicism posted:

Sweet, thanks everyone for the help. I've been mostly craving proper dduk-bokki and bulgogi. Relatedly: is there any Korean/asian supermarket in central-ish London? At some point I'm going to need to bite the bullet and buy a rice cooker and a giant fuckoff bag of rice because I'm too Korean not to have these things.

There are loads in varying sizes dotted around. Here's a quick list of what the Guardian deems to be the best for each specific bit of Asia.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

EvilMoJoJoJo posted:

No idea if it's authentic, but I liked the bulgogi fries at Kimchi Cult at the Black Heart. (Repeating my recommendation from above because I looove the Black Heart.)

I went there the other day after reading your recommendation and also had the chicken thigh burger. So tender and delicious and mmm, I'll definitely be back for that alone! We shared some kimchi cheesy chips as well, which were also yummy.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

angelicism posted:

Seems my best bet is heading out to New Malden. I was really hoping it would be a lot longer before I had to figure out how to drive here/get someone to drive me somewhere. Eep. (Yes, I see there is a train but if I'm going to schlep out of London proper I'll likely want to make one large trip.)

A rice cooker and a giant fuckoff bag of rice will be easily found around Chinatown if you don't want to trek out to New Malden straight away. Also, if you're in Angel, there are a few Asian shops around - for example, there's one on Green Lanes (you can get the 341 bus directly there from Angel) that seems to sell lots of different things from China, Japan and Korea, and the owners are very accommodating so you could always ask them to order anything in that they don't have. They're in the process of expanding their premises at the moment, so it could be worth a look in! Here's a local forum that's talking about it.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Fatty posted:

If they don't I think they'll probably be happy to order them. They're a really nice couple.

E: Oops, just noticed Bollock Monkey already mentioned ordering.

You don't have PMs but I was wondering where exactly you're living? Need to get this meet on the go, ha!

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Ooh I saw that the other day and was going to look into it, looks fun!

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Where do I go for the most crispy, delicious pork belly?

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Convexed posted:

We're looking for a new watering hole around London to go to this weekend? What's a good shout? Emphasis on lots of decent beers...

If you don't mind the trek out East, the William IV in Leyton is cheap and has many a decent (and lethal) beer. The Black Heart in Camden also has an impressive selection but is further toward BrewDog's level of noise. I've heard many a good thing about the Southampton Arms in Kentish Town but when I tried to go it was absolutely heaving so I couldn't speak for it personally.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Any suggestions for a bar in Camden that serves passable cocktails and beer and won't be too heaving on a Saturday night?

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

The_Doctor posted:

Camden, Saturday night, not too busy. I can do any two out of those three. :P

Failing that, Brewdog?
Turns out the Spiritual Caipirinha Bar fits 2/3, with the lack of busy-ness being one of them! Hurrah!

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Every drop in the ocean makes a wave~

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

What's the deal with Five Guys? I went past one and it just looked like a fast food joint.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

So it's just part of the fetish for American stuff that's going on now? Nothing special?

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Went to Busan and it was good. It was great to come out of a decent meal feeling full but not heavy, our group decided that the freshness of the cuisine was a big hit. Cheers, Neris! Been wanting some decent Korean for a while now.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Any suggestions for somewhere (north-ish/generally easily accessible) decent but not too pricey or busy that has some worthwhile veggie options? My dad and brother are visiting and I've had no time to prepare, so by 'not too busy' I pretty much just mean somewhere we can walk into with a decent chance of getting a table.

Bollock Monkey fucked around with this message at Feb 21, 2014 around 09:46

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Neris posted:

Coffee near trafalgar square?

https://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?m...sa=0&dg=feature

There's a bunch in Soho and apparently some place called Notes near there! I'd probably want to walk up to Monmouth though. God their coffee is amazing. My other personal favourite is The Fleet River Bakery but that's over in Holborn, so better to combine with Covent Garden.

edit: Bollock Monkey, what about pub grub? The Old Dairy et al? Bull and Last in Highgate?

We ended up going to the Vietnamese just up the road (since they had already done a bunch of travelling) then we stayed in the next day. It's just hard sometimes finding places where my brother can get something decent, especially now he's given up fish! Cheers, though. Been meaning to go to The Old Dairy myself, actually.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Oh, really? I had heard good things. I'll keep it in mind for next time though.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

corkskroo posted:

doesn't anyone eat the traditional stuff down here?
...
arch-traditional or adventurous as far as I can see, at least in the places I've checked out so far. Mostly burgers and fish and chips. Pork belly is about as interesting as it gets.
Are you thinking of anything in particular when you talk about 'traditional stuff' other than just black pudding? If you have an idea of what you're after, we might have some suggestions.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

corkskroo posted:

I guess I'm just looking for more stuff that I couldn't get at any random restaurant in Baltimore. In other parts of town I've seen plenty of black pudding with a fried egg dishes or kidneys/liver etc. I'm not expecting roast marrow bones or anything (although I'd order them!) but something other than pizzas and burgers.

The Nightingale has pie day on Tuesdays... I'm hoping that that will give me a little more of that homegrown food that I'm wanting.

I have no idea what there is available in Baltimore. Is there something in particular that you're curious about? A lot of places have things that aren't pizza and burgers.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

corkskroo posted:

I guess more uniquely English food. I don't know more to say. I've mentioned black pudding, offal and pie as things I'm looking for and hamburgers and pizza as things I'm not. Not sure how much more info I can give. Let's put it this way: I just moved from the States. American-style food (Five Guys) is not interesting to me. Not to say I'll never order a burger at a pub, but I'm not seeking them out.

Ah, I get you a bit more now. I guess part of the issue is that there's not a lot of uniquely English food. We did the colonialism thing and now the food you get here is a mishmash of loads of cuisines, and there's a big preference for food from other places - it has been said that chicken tikka masala is our national dish, for example. You could maybe look at going for a roast dinner somewhere? I know a lot of people enjoy Hawksmoor and places for special occasions.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Tag Plastic posted:

Any recommendations for Cantonese in Chinatown, or around Victoria, or even Kilburn, or at a pinch anywhere? New Fook Lam Moon in Gerard Street is what they have their eye on... any good?

Leong's Legends in Chinatown purports to be Taiwanese but apparently has mostly Cantonese on the menu. I went with a friend when he visited in January and had some drat tasty food.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

The Black Heart has better beers and a popup kitchen space that is currently occupied thus: http://www.ourblackheart.com/assets...t_Food_Menu.pdf

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Jignx posted:

My parents are coming to london for a vacation and I've been researching for places to eat and so far I've got Bodeans, Lemonia, Byron burgers and a few ramen places.

Do you guys have any recommendations for a family friendly places to eat where the crowd isn't that rowdy and the food is affordable for a family of four?

I like to recommend Jai Krishna near Finsbury Park for super affordable food. It's Gujarati cuisine so it's a little different from your usual Indian fare, and the service is very casual so it's a good place to spend time eating and having some drinks. You don't mention where you are though, so it could be way out of your way.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Neris posted:

I would say taking your whole family to Jai Krishna with its shabby decor and aluminium tables might be a bit underwhelming though. The food is cheap and decent but it's definitely not a destination restaurant.

My dad and brother really enjoyed Jai Krishna because the dining experience was so different to what they were used to with Indian restaurants, which is why I suggested it. But yeah, if you're after a classy experience it's not the place to be.

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

tarbrush posted:

Cool, thanks for the help, shame about the Italians. In that case, any other date type favourites you guys have in the area?

Less central (sort of) but I've always enjoyed the food here. The pizza isn't great so give those a miss but the pastas have always been delicious. They do the most amazing garlic mushrooms, too, with garlic and white wine sauce that is like crack. It's really nice and cosy, busy enough but chilled enough to make it a nice environment. I wouldn't mind at all if someone took me there as a first date.

Bollock Monkey fucked around with this message at Sep 23, 2014 around 19:58

Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

Anae posted:

Hi all. I'm moving to London next week. Will be living in Putney and working in Farringdon. On that note, do any of you learned foodies have...

a) Recommendations for dinner in Putney? Have heard good things about Prince of Wales and Ohayo Sushi.
b) Recommendations for lunch spots in Farringdon?

I love any and all cuisines so fire away.

The Italian right next to Putney rail station is good for a casual dinner/lunch. The owner is lovely and the prices are reasonable.

The South African café thing to the other side of the station entrance (next to the flower shop) does some great sandwiches and decent morning baps if you ever need to grab a bite and some coffee on the way to somewhere.

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Bollock Monkey
Jan 21, 2007
The Almighty

For North London folk who aren't yet sick of burgers, Bun & Bar on Green Lanes does a pretty good burger and chips for around £8. It's an alright pub as well, with a reasonable own-brew lager and a small selection of decent cocktails - I had a very yummy espresso martini.

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