e5 Bakehouse – London Fields

The e5 Bakehouse is in a cavernous space under the railway arches of London Fields.  One arch, where the counter and a smattering of communal tables are, leads to another, and then another, through a series of larger arches all the way to the back of the bakery. At the counter I am torn on…

An Ode to Gaby’s Deli

I was in Leicester Square a few nights ago on my way to watch ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’ and walking past the Gaby’s Deli, I learnt to my horror that they had closed down just a few weeks prior. When I first moved to London, knowing barely anyone and practically friendless, going to Gaby’s made…

Déjà Food at Bellanger

Do you ever have the experience, where you go to a particular restaurant and only ever want to order the same one thing? It’s happened to me a few times over the years; I find one specific dish at a particular place, know I like it and it won’t disappoint. I order it every single…

Iskender Kebab at Kilis Kitchen (with a spider on my head)

There is a question that I have long asked myself; Will anyone care if I go to dinner with a spider on my head? Not a real spider of course (ew, shudder) no, a glam sparkly spidey fascinator sitting jauntily atop my crown. I was determined to find out eventually, and so I found myself…

A pilgrimage to Pophams Bakery

Sometimes you hear about people going on pilgrimages, and the way that it’s described it’s always a transcendent experience. They often find things, whatever it is they are searching for. Peace, forgiveness, enlightenment, acceptance, understanding. A way of being, a way of seeing, a path. Now, I’m not a religious person, but I do believe…

Five gauges of success – El Ganso

I’ve been learning lately about the relative perceptions of success. Six year old me thought that ‘making it’ was being prima ballerina Margot Fontaine. When I was in high school it was getting grades as good as my sister. After finishing university with a fashion degree I saw it as becoming head designer at Dior….

The Great Chase – Modern British Halal Fine Dining

Come to dinner he tells me. It will be great he enthuses, they make modern British food; it’s halal, and they make amazing cocktails. No alcohol though – it’s a dry bar, no booze. Great cocktails! What on earth are you talking about? I think, but I agree to go, on the proviso that I…

Andy Waugh – Mac & Wild

I first met Andy Waugh, founder of Scottish restaurant Mac & Wild, a few weeks ago at a work event. I was happily downing the prosecco and he was presenting a haggis masterclass. It was the evening before Burns night, the perfect time to be learning about haggis. While I know intellectually what haggis is,…

Temple of Seitan – Hackney

Towards the end of 2017 I agreed to a two-week vegan challenge with my friend. She had just watched ‘Cowspiracy’ on Netflix and was experiencing the after effects of having a perspective of reality slap her across the face. It was decided, she was going vegan and I was joining her in the quest. Months…

‘Mae’s Ancient Thai Food’ by Carole Mason and Ning Najpinij

The first thing I notice when I open Mae’s Ancient Thai Food is how vibrant it is. It’s exciting, brimming with colour, energy and undeniable joie de vivre. The book begins with a tribute to its inspiration, Gobgaew Najpinij, followed by a minutely detailed introduction to Thai herbs, spices and techniques, including a page devoted…

Fried Green Tomatoes and Po’Boys at Plaquemine Lock

For some time I worked down the road from an abandoned pub called the Prince of Wales. I’d always felt a bit sad for it. There it sat, on the corner in Angel, Islington, across from the Regents canal. It looked dilapidated, deserted and unloved. I had hoped some Good Samaritan would come and give…