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Seven days in London through a food lover's eyes

A week's worth of lunches and dinners in the cosmopolitan city

“Mort Londra? Għidli fejn kilt tajjeb għax ħa mmur daqt.”

My reviews are all going to skip breakfast, as we stayed with a friend and had breakfast with her at the retreat house she works at every day (thanks, Emma!).

Day 1

We arrived, at night.

Day 2

Lunch at Wasabi, a Japanese sushi & bento fast food restaurant found all over London. I had a spicy chicken noodle soup, Matt’s was noodles with chicken and veg in a mild spicy rich sauce. The triangles are the sushi equivalent of sandwiches with cooked salmon or chicken between two layers of rice in an edible nori wrapper, and we also got a stuffed chocolate pancake for dessert.

We were extremely impressed, it did not feel like fast food at all and was filling without being heavy. Our intention was to return as there was a lot that we liked the look of. However, there was too much else to eat through the week so those will have to wait for another trip. £16 for two.

Wasabi.Wasabi.

Coffee at Joe & The Juice - good, and well priced for a hipster London cafe. Located just off Oxford Street but not too busy to find a seat, which is ideal for tired legs. Not super strong coffee but still recognisably flat whites, and deliciously smooth.

Dinner at Patty&Bun on recommendation of a previous traveler. Really juicy with perfect buns, I highly appreciated that they ask you how you want your burger cooked and were true to it; my ‘rare’ bled.

The chips (I’d recommend getting one portion between 2 or 3 people) were a bit greasy but super crispy, the accompanying chicken skin mayo was tasty and intriguing but got tiring with the already salty chips. All of the sides were impressive – the cheeseballs are honestly addictive. Serving staff were very friendly and helpful which is a lovely touch. ££ - Pricey-ish.

Day 3

Lunch at Caravan which is round the corner from the House of Illustration. Also a good visit, this restaurant shares a roof with the prestigious Central Saint Martins, a constituent of the University of Arts London, so you can imagine the hip look of the place and the people, staff as well as clientele. Pizza dough was almost a sourdough but still a proper pizza dough, poached chicken from the small dish section but about the size of a cereal bowl so we found it was enough to share the two between us. Both of the meals were rich and flavourful, the chicken took me straight back to a thai beach bar while the pizza was an unexpected blend of european cuisine. Total including coffee and beer: £33.

Caravan.Caravan.

Dinner. We wanted something relatively quick due to a long tube journey home and close by due to a long day of wandering around museums; lo and behold there stood a Chipotle! ‘It’s good for a chain’ was the newbie reaction, it is pretty much what you expect it to be. The braised beef is very juicy and everything is tasty but not out of this world. Roundabout £16 for two (don’t forget that guac is extra).

Day 4

Lunch at the Borough food market. We ate from multiple stalls, super authentic Asian stalls, and the only real con was that there was no guaranteed seating; there was an area with benches but it was too busy for us to find a spot which was a pity as I don’t particularly enjoy eating standing up. The food was worth it, though. Fudge was delicious, loads of options as well. We ended up at a cafe round the corner so as to ~*sit*~, rest up, and plan our touristing for the afternoon. The coffee was really rich and we surprisingly fell in love with the (raw?) sugar, the making of which is explained on the cute paper on all the tables. I may or may not have had a spoonful of it alone.

Asian stall food.Asian stall food.

Day 5

Dinner with Family. Visiting family in Muswell Hill meant getting takeaway fish and chips from Toff’s. They’ve apparently won awards for their fish and chips and such. Personally, when it comes to fish and chips I don’t distinguish much difference between good and incredible as some others do, but the homemade tartare sauce was incredibly fitting and the entire meal did not feel as drowned in grease as I presumed it would be.

Day 6

Lunchtime lead us to Tortilla, extremely similar to chipotle just somewhat more of a homegrown vibe. Decent but still quite fast food Mexican, we loved the Barbacoa steak though, also always go for the extra guacamole which was actually cheaper here than at Chipotle!

Toffs.Toffs.

Dinner took us to Byron burger. We all had the Christmas special (£17.50pp for burger mentioned, any side + drink from a list), or as they called it their cheesemas special involving a fromagemas burger with multiple cheeses plus a pour over of cheese fondue, between three of us we had two sides of sweet potato fries and one side of holy cheeseballs (deep fried mac and cheese balls) and as for drinks the other two went for beers while I had an amazing salted caramel milkshake that was so thick it had chunks of ice cream yet was still drinkable and just salty enough to cut the sweetness.

Being the cheese lovers that we are, we were satisfied with our meal, though somewhat comatose. Maybe don’t get a cheesy side with your cheesy burger though, as delicious as they were it might be a bit much.

Final day

For lunch, we met a couple of friends in Chinatown for dim sum, something I always do when visiting London. The place we intended to go to was closed and I’ve lost the name of our second option, but I have never been disappointed so as long as the place has dim sum on the menu then you’re good to go! We ordered a number of dishes between us and were pleasantly stuffed at only £31 between 4 people. After pub hopping for a while we hit the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park where we shared some delicious fresh churros from a stand.

The fudge kitchen deserves an honourable mention.The fudge kitchen deserves an honourable mention.

Honourable Mention: though not found in London I managed to bribe a friend who lives in Cambridge to bring us some fudge from The Fudge Kitchen, A.K.A the best fudge known to man. They have locations across the U.K. in mostly historic centres like Oxford, Bath, York and even Edinburgh so I highly advise you to seek them out should you be able to. It has become my personal mission to visit every one of their locations (yes, they’re that good). My favourite fudge of theirs is Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt, but they always offer tasters if you’re not sure (or just a little curious).

This article first appeared in Cibus magazine, available with The Sunday Times of Malta.

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