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Welcome back!

Banh Mi 108, Feltham, London TW13

This week's featured article is Banh Mi 108, TW13 4HE. It's a Vietnamese cafe in Feltham. That first part may be clear from the name, and indeed they do banh mi baguettes, including a vegetarian one. I'm not sure what the 108 refers to though. Why not visit and figure it out? It doesn't appear to be the address though.

There are three new articles. One is Curzon Aldgate, a branch of the boutique cinema chain which opened earlier this year in... wait for it... Aldgate! It's quite a nice place (if pricy obviously). A second cinema is at the Close-Up Film Centre in Shoreditch, and yes I added both these entries because I went to my first film at Close-Up just this past week. Anyway, it's also a video rental library (those still exist!) and a cafe, and I'm a member.

Finally for the new entries, there's Hubbub, a cafe/bar on the Isle of Dogs. It's in a lovely looking building.

There's a significant update to the Ferry House entry, also on the Isle of Dogs, a very old pub given a light makeover.

Reported permanent closures are Shu Castle, a Sichuan restaurant on the Old Kent Road, and The Albion pub in Bethnal Green.

Finally, one pub to reopen is The Marquis of Wellington, once a dowdy-looking backstreets Bermondsey local which now finds itself adjacent to all the coolest new breweries and food vendors along Druid St, so it's been given a makeover befitting that location.
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I'm back-back-back from my holidays to take over update duties from Kat.

風味食堂 (Food House), Chinatown, London WC2

The featured article this week is the imaginatively named Food House, W1D 5QH, which we can confirm does indeed offer food. But perhaps instead you should call it 風味食堂. In fact, it's Northern Chinese and Sichuanese food, moved from that bit of Charing Cross Road currently being refurbished. The food was a mixed affair -- check the review for more details -- but the Chinese 'hamburger' was considered rather good at the most recent visit, and the service is friendly.

Lots of new articles, many of them in Tooting. Those that aren't are a relaxed Italian in Covent Garden, Wildwood Kitchen, and the Clapham Junction branch of We Brought Beer beer shop (we added their Balham branch recently). Moving onto those Tooting outlets, we have: Apollo Banana Leaf (a meaty Sri Lankan); Dosa n Chutny (a South Indian cafe); Gourmet (a Pakistani bakery/sweet shop); Pooja Sweets and Savouries (an Indian sweet shop); and Tooting Daily Fresh Naan, which will sort you out for all yr naan needs (though watch out for the hygiene rating).

There are updates to The Lyceum Tavern and The Edgar Wallace, both on or near the Strand.

Sadly, plenty of reported closures too, most of them pubs as noted in the London Drinker magazine: All Bar One by London Bridge ('redeveloped'); Costa Dorada on Hanway Street; The Fox Reformed in Stoke Newington (renamed); The Gilpin's Bell Edmonton Wetherspoons pub; The Man in the Moon Stanmore 'Spoons; Mela (an Indian on Shaftesbury Ave); The North Pole in Islington (renamed); The Queen's Head in Mitcham; The Widow's Son pub in Bow.

We've heard that Mum's House (a Burmese grocery, not literally your mum's house, unless your mum is Burmese and runs a grocery shop) has moved from Wood Green to Tottenham.

The Misty Moon in High Barnet is now called The Butchers Arms.

Finally, Adams Cafe in Croydon has reopened, for your London Road greasy spoon needs.
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Squires, Dagenham, London RM9

Hello, and another late post from me, apologies.

For the featured article this week we are venturing to remotest Dagenham for Nigerian restaurant Squires, RM9 5AQ. It has an interesting menu with such things as pounded yam and moi moi, and it probably has a nice chicken and rice if they've remembered to stock up.

Just two new articles. The Greenwich Pensioner is a pub in Poplar, though apparently none too popular (groan). Go there to stare at a shark's head if you dare.

Also, in the same area is Sichuan Kitchen, which could have used more pepper in their food.
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Tian Fu (天府布衣), Shepherd's Bush, London W12

This week's featured article is Tian Fu, W12 8AR (formerly known as Bamboo House), a Sichuan restaurant in Shepherd's Bush that serves loofah! Thankfully it is at the edible stage, before it turns into a scrubbing brush.

We have brand new pages for Caballo Bikes and Cafe, a cafe and bicycle workshop on Clapton's trendy Chatsworth Road, and the Parish, an Irish pub in Wembley that had the hurling on telly during our visit yesterday.

The pages for the Albion in West Kensington and the Lamb Brewery pub in Chiswick have both had significant updates after recent visits, as has my old local the Tichenham Inn in Ickenham, a Wetherspoons wherein I spent many a happy hour during my lunch break in Sixth Form as a responsible adult. Bonus history fact: the pub's name comes from 'Ticheha' (pronounced 'Ticky-ha'), which is how Ickenham was listed in the Domesday Book!

But it's not all rose-tinted Anglo-Saxon fun-times I'm afraid: Ciao Baby Cucina in the Shepherd's Bush Westfield, Cool Monkey in Holland Park, the branch of EAT in London City Airport and the Greyhound pub in Oval have all closed.
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Si Chuan (川妹子/Chuān Mèizi), North Greenwich, London SE10

Our new featured article is Sichuan, SE10 0QJ, a Sichuan restaurant in North Greenwich.

There's one new article, being Adams Cafe, a greasy spoon in Croydon.

There's also one closure, Dos Amigos, an unlamented Mexican restaurant in East Dulwich.
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Bourne and Hollingsworth, Fitzrovia, W1

This week's featured article is a cocktail bar down some steps in Fitzrovia, Bourne and Hollingsworth, W1T 1JF, which goes for an American Prohibition era style.

We have only additions this week, no closures: The Queen's Head, a pub in Soho; Spring Cafe, a greasy spoon in Camberwell; Sichuan, a Sichuanese restaurant in North Greenwich; and Edibles, a cafe/deli in Banstead.
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This week's featured article is Shu Castle, SE1 5TY, a Sichuan restaurant on the Walworth edge of the Old Kent Road.

New additions are: The Oracle's Juice Bar, a vegan cafe in Brixton Market; and two pubs in Penge, one upmarket (The Bridge House) and the other aimed more at locals (Hollywood East).

Updated entries are Nincomsoup, a soup-based cafe by Old Street; The Angel, a nearby pub; and The George, a pub in Belsize Park.

Reported closures are: La Grolla, an Italian in Upminster; The King's Arms, a fine pub near Chancery Lane, now a gastropub called The Lady Ottoline; The Sun and Doves, another excellent pub, in Camberwell; and Ruby Grand, a bar in Hammersmith (but also replaced by another pub).
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[personal profile] kake

This week's featured article is Dean Swift, SE1 2LX, a good real ale pub near Tower Bridge.


Recent additions to RGL include New Cavendish, a sandwich shop and greasy spoon in Fitzrovia; Marlborough Head, a pub in Mayfair; and Home, a Chinese cafe in Lewisham.

No reported closures! Hurrah! One reported closure: Presto Cafe on Tower Bridge Road.

kake: A tan capital R on an olive-green background, representing the Randomness Guide to London colour scheme. (RGL)
[personal profile] kake

This week's featured article is New Aroma, W1D 5PP, a restaurant on Gerrard Street in Chinatown offering Sichuan and Fujian food. (There's more info about Fujian food on my Reading Chinese Menus blog).


Recent additions to RGL include Pilpel, a small cafe/takeaway in Spitalfields specialising in hummous and falafel.

Two reported closures: Tiffinbites near Moorgate and Saki near Smithfield Market.

kake: A tan capital R on an olive-green background, representing the Randomness Guide to London colour scheme. (RGL)
[personal profile] kake

This week's featured article is Books For Cooks, W11 1NN, a Portobello Road bookshop and cafe devoted exclusively to books about cooking and food.


Recent additions to RGL include Deli Felice, a nice little local cafe near Rotherhithe Station; Bermondsey Brazilian Shop, a small Brazilian cafe and grocery shop on the Bermondsey/Rotherhithe borders; Canteen, a British restaurant in Canary Wharf; Preto, a Brazilian rodizio restaurant in Putney; and New Aroma, a Sichuan/Fujian restaurant on Gerrard Street in Chinatown.

Only one reported closure, but it's a big one: Pacific Plaza in Wembley, mooted as the replacement for the much-missed Oriental City, has now closed in its turn.

The Pacific Plaza website claims that the closure is temporary, but problems have been evident for some time. The supermarket failed to materialise despite being promised as "opening soon" for over a year, their PR agency reported repeated non-payment of invoices last December, and at the time of writing the Doki (crockery shop) website states that although all Pacific Plaza tenants had been paying their rent, Pacific Plaza was not paying their own rent to Wembley Retail Park.

kake: A tan capital R on an olive-green background, representing the Randomness Guide to London colour scheme. (RGL)
[personal profile] kake

This week's featured article is Imperial, WC2H 7BL, a Taylor Walker (Punch Taverns) pub on a small side street just off Leicester Square.

Despite its very central location, we've never had trouble finding a seat here — perhaps it's simply too tucked away for tourists to notice it. It has four handpumps, which have featured some relatively interesting guest ales in the past, though there are signs that the selection may have recently moved more towards the mainstream.

Accessibility is not great, unfortunately; a step to get in, and the loos are accessed via quite narrow staircases.


Recent additions to RGL include Ambala, an Indian sweet shop on Brick Lane; Shu Castle, a Sichuan restaurant on the Old Kent Road; and Yu Xiao, a small Chinese supermarket in Dalston.

Several reported closures: Papaya in Rayners Lane, the Old Rose in Wapping, the County in Newbury Park, the Mason's Arms in Upminster, and the Skiddaw in Maida Vale.

kake: A tan capital R on an olive-green background, representing the Randomness Guide to London colour scheme. (RGL)
[personal profile] kake

This week's featured article is Yellow House Bar, SE16 2UE, a restaurant/bar located in former pub premises opposite Surrey Quays Station.

It has a proper wood-fired pizza oven, and also does pretty good brunch.


Recent additions to RGL include Halfpipe in Maida Hill, Chinese Family in Greenwich, Simon The Tanner in Bermondsey, and Brick Box in Brixton.

One reported closure: Princess Royal in Croydon.

kake: A tan capital R on an olive-green background, representing the Randomness Guide to London colour scheme. (RGL)
[personal profile] kake

This week's featured article is Le Wei Xiang, SE13 5PT, a Chinese restaurant in Lewisham offering Sichuan and Dongbei (northeastern Chinese) specialties.

Its Chinese name is 樂味香 (lè wèi xiāng), and this is actually the only name on the frontage, though it also goes by the English names of "Le Wei Xiang" and the rather idiosyncratically-translated "Happy Smell".

The menu includes both the usual Anglicised Chinese restaurant items, and a separate section labelled "Genuine Chinese Tastes" with all the good stuff, including pork with mashed garlic, pig's blood soup, strange-flavour chicken, tiger salad, and so on.


Recent additions to RGL include African Kitchen on Drummond Street, Efe in Stoke Newington, Kazan near Victoria, and Harrow Inn in Cheam.

We've also updated a number of stub pages for other pubs in Cheam: the Prince Albert, the Railway, and the Claret Wine Bar.

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