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Sanxia Renjia, Bromley, London BR1

This week's featured article is for Sanxia, a Sichuan/Hubei restaurant in Bromley, where you'll find the marvellously-named dish 'ants climbing a tree' (spicy pork vermicelli). I do like a place that has a menu section called 'Adventurous Dishes' - if you're after some #TripeOfTheDay then you could do a lot worse than here (or their sister branches in Deptford and Fitzrovia). I've gone veggie for 2019 though, so you'll have to eat my portion for me.

Some pub updates, following a recent jaunt to Ealing: the Rose and Crown and the Castle Inn are both Fuller's pubs, with a predictably similar beer selection, but the menus are quite different (no tripe). Over towards Old Street, the Trader is now under new management, and has been renamed to the Whitecross Tap.

The Antic-owned Jam Circus pub in Brockley has closed (a distinct lack of actual jam there, as I recall), as has the Grill On The Market by Smithfields (jam quantities uncertain but I remember it being very noisy), and the Dispensary in Whitechapel (very handy for my office, zero jam). The Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green has also finally closed its physical shop - online jam(s) available only.
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[personal profile] ewan
I am keeping you waiting this week, apologies, but read on for some fine places!

Boca, Aldgate

First up, the featured article is Boca, E1 7DA. This is a cafe in Spitalfields themed around South America! An entire continent of food in such a small space. Anyway, expect empanadas aplenty, and vegan/veg options, hurrah!

Otherwise, we have three updated articles:

* Tokyo Diner, a Japanese restaurant in Chinatown. Try some tasty agedashi tofu, perhaps?

* Cafe Blue, a cafe in sun-struck Purley. It is blue. May not be worthy a visit to Purley if you're not local, unless you're a fan of curly fries perhaps?

* Cappuccino, a cafe in Norbury. It gets busy, and you might not get the breakfast you want, but try the smoothies, smoothie fans.
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K's Spice, Erith, London DA8

Hi readers! This week's featured article is for K's Spice in sunny Erith. This Nigerian restaurant is a tale of two halves: the casual, familiar tiling on one side, the dramatic elegance of stone cladding on the other, reflecting the eternal dualism within us all, the light and dark, the yin and yang, and all the shades in between that create a fulfilling and rounded human experience worth living for. Also, there's plantain!

New this week - we've all dreamed about it - the Christmas empanada. Yes, at Boca in Aldgate, your December empanada dreams can come true. If veggie stuffing and turkey fillings aren't your thing, try the sweet potato and feta - available all year round!

There's an update to Marylebone favourite The Golden Eagle - the beer is still good and there's still a dude playing piano classics in the corner. It's unlikely that this pub will change its style in the next millennium but your trusty reviewing team is happy to keep checking regardless.
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Itadaki Zen, King's Cross, London WC1

Hi RGL crew! I’m back after an unforeseen shortage of working laptops in the Sydenham area. We've had a productive week, so let's crack on with our featured article Itadaki Zen, a vegan Japanese restaurant in King's Cross. It's a solid, reasonably priced lunch option for the area with good tempura and bento boxes.

In Lloyd Park, Croydon, a morning soup can be avoided if you take a route straight through what is known as Parklife Cafe! As our new page for it describes, it's open for breakfast and there are plenty of tasty alternatives to soup, enough to give you an enormous sense of well-being.

There's a new page for GT Flavazs "N" Spices, which is not in fact the newest grime remixer on the block but a friendly Guyanese bakery and takeaway in Anerley. Thirteen stops up the Overground to Shoreditch, you'll find Lyle's, a Michelin-starred restaurant in the vein of St. John, which our reviewer enjoyed a great deal.

Also new to RGL is Brixton's Booma, a restaurant whose gimmick is curry-and-craft-beer pairing. A match made in heaven? You'll have to read the article and find out. Meanwhile down in Beckenham we have new pages for Indian restaurant Chai Naasto, and Poached, a small cafe where you have one (1) guess as to what sort of eggs our reviewer had for breakfast.

There's an update to the page for Bombay Burrito in Angel (now with vegan options!) and the Indian YMCA canteen in Fitzrovia (now with Rice Krispies!).

Lastly, Salt & Pickle in Crystal Palace has closed after less than a year - the final outpost of the Good Taste empire has now left the Triangle.
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[personal profile] ewan
Welcome back to a new week of RGL!

Orange Pekoe, Barnes, London SW13

The featured article this week is Orange Peko, SW13 0PX, which I had been convinced for some reason was a breed of dog, but actually no it's a tea. I should have known that. So anyway this is a tea shop, not a dog shop. It gets quite busy, even on a Monday morning. The food is pretty good, and they're excellent at tea, which you'd expect, or at least you'd hope for that. No word on dog friendliness, but it's in leafy Barnes, so they can handle prams.

Lots of new additions! We have Searcy's, a restaurant and champagne bar in St Pancras International Station (friendly service, good food, but steep prices). We have Grao de Cafe, a Portuguese cafe and shop in sunny South Croydon (more friendly service). We have Divan in London-adjacent Borehamwood, a Turkish restaurant with abstract art and chill-out music, a good lunch deal and observant service (so I'd class that as good service). We have The Alfred Arms, a pub in Borehamwood, smart traditional, but still not in London. And finally we have Kiyoto, for all your Borehamwood Japanese food needs (good rice, but the food is a bit stodgy, but perhaps that's what you get when you leave London and are not in London, outside London).

Reported temporary closure for The Bear, one of Camberwell's finest pubs and due to reopen in 6-8 months' time.

Finally, three reported permanent closures. There's The Still and Star in Aldgate (boo hiss developers), The Peacock not far away on Minories (may yet reopen), and The Good Ship in Kilburn. I remember many gigs at that pub back in the day, what a strange stage arrangement it had.
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Bull & Last, Gospel Oak, London NW5
Evening RGL readers!

This week's featured article is for The Bull & Last, a popular gastropub on the Gospel Oak corner of Hampstead Heath. There's plenty of real ale and decent grub (handy for refuelling after a jaunt around Parliament Hill), and they'll even spare a marrow bone for your dog.

We have a new page for Vegan Yes, an assertively-named Italian-Korean cafe on Brick Lane that will do you a vegan kimchi lasagne without batting an eyelid. The other new glorious food combination this week is Romford Shopping Hall's #1 Filipino/jacket potato destination, Sunrise Jacket Potato and Oriental Food (baked beans and congee - together at last). Up in Cockfosters, there's a new entry for Turkish restaurant Skewd, where the seasonal vegetables seem to be on a slightly different calendar to the rest of us. Also in Cockfosters, there's an update for The Cock Inn following a visit.

There are also updates for Lutong Pinoy, a Filipino restaurant in Earl's Court, and Mohsen, an Iranian restaurant in Kensington. Which one has the better rice? You'll have to click through to find out. Finally, The George pub in Enfield Town has turned into an O'Neills.
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Prince George, Dalston, E8
Evening all!

This week's featured article is for the Prince George, a friendly local tucked away in the backstreets of trendy Dalston. But I bet you hear about Dalston all the time! What's happening in Epsom, I hear you ask?

Well, if you want to find out, why not have a look at the new page for veggie cafe and deli Organico (featuring a reasonable attempt at vegan ham sandwich) or the updated page for the Marquis of Granby (featuring nduja mayonnaise, not attempting to be vegan in any way). Epsom! It's all go, I tell you. Look out for more exciting developments from the south-west outskirts of London on RGL in the near future!

Other pub news, courtesy of the recent issue of London Drinker: The Cape in Wapping, Corney and Barrow near St Paul's and The Beauchamp in Knightsbridge have all shut; the Charcoal Burner in Sidcup is no longer aflame, and is now just The Charcoal; and the Obelisk in Chingford has reopened as The Mount. The Clifton in St. John's Wood has reopened without changing its name at all (a lack of imagination, perhaps), as has the Crown & Greyhound in Dulwich Village, a lovely sprawling pub which I'm glad to see back on the drinking map, and not just because it's walkable from my house.
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IMG_20170714_125716725

This week's featured article is Som Saa, E1 6BD, a well-regarded Thai restaurant that I've been meaning to go to for ages, just on the Spitalfields/Whitechapel border. However, luckily an RGL correspondent has done so, and plenty of positives resulted, albeit clustered along the sour/salty ends of the taste spectrum. Kake also tantalises readers with a suggestion of weird over-intimacy but we shall have to imagine.

Three new articles:

* Lituanica, a Lithuanian restaurant in the charming and delightful eastern oasis of Beckton, and part of what sounds like a Lithuanian department store. Expect potatoes and meat.
* Cafe Le Jardin in Whitechapel. It's a decent greasy spoon, though it is unclear whether there is indeed a garden, but the map doesn't suggest any.
* North End Tavern in Worcester Park. Welcoming yet fairly standard as these kinds of things (chain pubs in suburbia) go.
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Curzon Aldgate, Aldgate, E1

Morning RGL crew!

This week's (slightly belated) update sees the Curzon Aldgate cinema, opened this year, as our featured article. Currently at the Curzon Aldgate, humans are at war with the Transformers, and Optimus Prime has vanished. It's up to the unlikely alliance of Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins and Laura Haddock to save the day via a series of expensive-looking explosions.

There's a new article for Long Shot Coffee in Whitechapel, serving coffee, tea, soup and sandwiches. Tito's Peruvian restaurant in London Bridge has had an update after a visit (featuring an insufficient quantity of prawns), as has Le Raj in Epsom (which does a decent veg biryani). The latter also has air-conditioning, so I'm sorely tempted to go there this very instant.
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[personal profile] ewan
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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[personal profile] katstevens
Simpson's Tavern, Cornhill, London EC3

Evening RGLers! This week's featured article is for Simpson's, a venerable old pub in the City which is even older than Jonathan the tortoise. It's closed on weekends but makes up for it by opening early for breakfast during the week - worth a visit if you're after a fry-up in EC3.

A trio of new pages to report: Maria and Aldo's Coffee Bar in Beckenham, a pleasant local cafe with a vintage feel; De-Lites, a small Bengali cafe/takeaway near Shadwell station, and Crystal Palace Market, which is not a market at all, but a busy gastropub-style restaurant and bar. Apparently they do oysters! (I did not try the oysters.)

Finally, in lift refurbishment news, the lifts have now been refurbished at Lambeth North tube, and it's fully reopened.

The blog is taking a short break next week - we'll be back in a fortnight!
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Ram's, Kenton, London HA3

Evening all!

This week's featured article is for Ram's in Kenton, a vegetarian Indian restaurant and sweet shop with a decent all-you-can-eat buffet. Unlimited bread! There are also two new pages on RGL: Cactus Grill in Wallington serves Mexican/American food with a lunchtime meal deal, and Hap Lee in Norbury does the usual Anglo-Chinese cuisine (maybe skip the aubergine).

There's an update for the Orange Room in Mile End, just around the corner from a house where approximately half the population of Livejournal has lived at one point or another, including this author. I'm pretty sure there wasn't a local Lebanese mezze place at the time - but now there is!

Several pub closures to report: the Hatchet near Mansion House, the Chequers in Hendon, and the Greenwich Pensioner in... wait for it... Poplar! (Come on, why would you think a Greenwich Pensioner might be in Greenwich?) The Victoria Stakes in Muswell Hill is also temporarily shut following a fire, but the Good Samaritan in Whitechapel has reopened: very handy for a pre- or post-Tayyabs pint.
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Coal City, Edmonton, London N18

Evening everyone! We head to the far frozen North for this week's featured article: Coal City is not a colliery in Yorkshire, but a small Nigerian restaurant in Upper Edmonton. The edikang ikong (a hearty veg soup) was just the right level of spiciness to thaw out our intrepid reviewer.

New to RGL this week is Cafe Rosh in Shadwell, serving an all-too-rare combo of fried breakfasts and biryanis (and chicken themed sandwiches) for a very reasonable price.

Elsewhere, The Melbourne in Wallington has closed for a quick refurb, while in Chinatown, RGL favourite Leong's Legend has moved around the corner to Gerrard Street. I'm sure we'll get round to paying a visit to the new location soon!
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Mr Chilly, North Harrow, London HA1

Evening RGLers! After last week's Good Beer Guide pub deluge, here's what's been happening everywhere else.

Our featured article is for Mr Chilly, who is neither an underprepared arctic explorer nor an anthropomorphised ice cream but a small North Indian restaurant near North Harrow station. Try the biryani!

We've got lots of new articles. Let's kick things off in Morden, with a branch of Wimpy and the Morden Hall Bookshop, which sells second hand books from an old National Trust building in the park. Up the Northern line a few stops is Vijaya Krishna, a South Indian restaurant in Tooting, while back down in the other direction there's Bamboo Basket, a Chinese/Malay tea shop and cafe in Epsom. Ram's in Kenton is a veggie (and Jain-friendly) Indian restaurant that has a buffet with unlimited puri (mmm, delicious carbs), while all the way over in Eltham, the Yak and Yeti does a reasonable lunch deal.

Of course there are some pub updates too: the Duke of York in Surbiton and the Albert Tavern in South Norwood (both owned by Greene King), the Cape bar in Wapping, the Cricketers pub in Croydon (great for tram watching), the Barley Mow in Epsom, the Villiers Arms in Oxhey (as confirmed last week, Oxhey is indeed a real place) and the Railway Tavern in Bexley. I judge it would be quite a challenge to create a (theoretical, even!) pub crawl to visit all seven of those in one day, even though you would be unaffected by the temporary closure of the Gospel Oak to Barking line (it's shut until next February).

Finally, some closures to report: Italian restaurant Tentazoni has moved from Bermondsey to Notting Hill, while the Charlotte in Crayford, the Dover Castle (a Sam Smith's) in Marylebone and the branch of Spirited Wines in Putney have all closed.
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Hello, welcome back after a brief hiatus. It is that time of year for the Good Beer Guide updates! (Non-GBG-related changes will be in next week's update.)

IMG_20160906_182216068

Our featured article is therefore Category Good Beer Guide 2017. Here is a link to the CAMRA website if you want to see what it looks like and/or buy a copy.

There are many new entries to our database:
* The Beehive in Tottenham (a very nice pub I should have added years ago);
* Brewhouse and Kitchen by Angel station;
* The Broken Drum in Blackfen near Sidcup;
* The Four Thieves, a former Antic pub in Battersea;
* The Hare and Hounds in Greenford;
* J.J. Moon's, a Spoons in Kingsbury;
* The King's Arms, another lovely pub I should have added years ago (it's in Bethnal Green);
* The King and Co. in Clapham;
* The King's Stores in Spitalfields near Liverpool Street;
* The Long Pond in Eltham (see main image above);
* The Penny Farthing in Crayford;
* The People's Park Tavern in South Hackney (a large place);
* The Phoenix in the City of London (Throgmorton Street if you must know);
* The Railway Arms in Oxhey (hey! I hear you say, is that even in London? well no, but it's by Zone 8 Bushey station);
* The Rifleman in Epsom;
* The Shaftesbury Tavern in Upper Holloway;
* The Ship in Gidea Park;
* The Upminster Taproom;
* The Wibbas Down Inn, a Spoons in Wimbledon;
* The Woolwich Equitable.

There's also a stub entry for The Radius Arms in Whyteleafe, which wasn't visited in time to get a full write-up.

A noteable re-entry is the lovely Chesham Arms, which was under threat a few years back, but has reopened and is lovely.

Finally, one that actually entered the GBG last year, but we missed it: The Woodman in Woodmansterne.

Pubs pubs pubs pubs. Go to a pub?
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[personal profile] ewan
Welcome back. I was off ill yesterday so I present this week's update a bit late, sorry.

Rui shatkora and rice at Ponchokhana, Whitechapel, London E1

The featured article is Ponchokhana, E1 1DB. Not in fact some kind of Mexican-equestrian hybrid, this is instead a Bangladeshi cafe, which has good rice and flavourful fish in the fish curry, though we daresay their other food is also worth trying. Good prices too.

Three new articles! Andu Cafe in Dalston does Ethiopian vegan food, with a really sour injera. Brazil Express is a Brazilian cafe in Stratford, which also offers some grocery items for pao de queijo fans, lovers of preserved hearts of palm, and other exotic things. Finally, there's Eddie's Cafe in Addiscombe, a greasy spoon which does greasy fried things as you'd expect.

There's an update to The Fox, friendly craft beer hub in Dalston.

One reported (but thankfully temporary) closure is The Ladywell Tavern, a tavern in Ladywell. It's being refurbished, we hear.
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[personal profile] ewan
Oval Tavern, Croydon, London CR0

This week, as members of the RGL community prepare to visit the Great British Beer Festival, our featured article is a pub: The Oval Tavern, CR0 6BR in sunny Croydon. It does around five real ales served from the cask, pub quizzes, food, darts, proper locals' pub stuff done well, just like you need sometimes.

We also have three new articles for you. There's Redemption, not the brewery but instead a vegan restaurant in Shoreditch, which I can co-sign on because I have visited myself, though I didn't add it to RGL. But it does tasty food. Note that aside from dairy, honey and other animal products, they are also free of alcohol.

There's also Bloomsbury Farmer's Market, a regular market every Thursday in Torrington Square; and Manor Bar and Grill in Tooting.

We have a significant update to The Prince Arthur in Hoxton, a classic Shepherd Neame pub.

Sadly lots of reported closures this week: The Good Samaritan in Whitechapel; Boho Mexica in Spitalfields; The Duke of Wellington in Marylebone; The Only Running Footman in Mayfair (though it's still a pub, just not gastro, which sounds fine actually); and The Tyburn, a Wetherspoons by Marble Arch.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Beer Rebellion, Sydenham, London SE26

Evening RGL crew!

This week's featured article is for the Sydenham branch of Beer Rebellion, a micropub run by the Late Knights brewery dudes. It's a bit more spacious than the Gipsy Hill Beer Rebellion, which we've also visited recently and thus have a brand new page for. The Sydenham branch has a revolving menu with different popups taking over their kitchen each week (this weekend for example, it was tapas). The Gipsy Hill branch meanwhile has a more stable menu: half burgers, half 'not burgers'.

It's not all about the beers and binary burgers this week though! There are new pages for Saffron, a decent Nepalese/Indian takeaway in Tulse Hill, and for Ponchokhana, a small Bangladeshi cafe in Whitechapel which sounds like a handy place to stop for a 'not burgers' lunch.
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[personal profile] ewan
Hi there welcome back to another week of interesting things to drink, eat and do south of the river (and maybe like one or two things to the north -- though that lack is entirely my fault by the way).

Senzala, Brixton, London SW9

So the featured article this week is Senzala, SW9 8PS, which is a creperie in Brixton Village Market, that burgeoning community of little foodie units. There are sweet and savourity galettes and crepes served up by Brazilian chefs, and if you're vegan you'd usually steer clear of this kind of thing, but fear not for they do some vegan options too that sound great.

The new articles are: We Brought Beer, a branch of a craft beer shop/stall in Tooting, where you can drink on the premises as well; Frydays, a fish and chip restaurant in Norbury (do you see what they did with the name eh?); and Som Saa, a well-reviewed Thai place in Whitechapel/Spitalfields, so do go read Kake's review, as it sounds great.

There's an update to The Old Dispensary pub in Camberwell.

The Shooting Star near Liverpool Street is now temporarily closed for refurbishment and will reopen under a new name.

Finally, one reported permanent closure is Maotai Kitchen in Chinatown.
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[personal profile] katstevens
White Hart, Stepney, E1
Hullo all!

This week's featured article is for the White Hart in Stepney (not to be confused with the other White Hart a few hundred yards further down the A11 by the Whitechapel Gallery). The featured White Hart contains its own microbrewery so you'll have plenty of fresh beer to drink if you visit, and some decent food to soak it up with.

Aside from our Cockney drinking den we have a very Brentwood-focused week for new pages. Pub-wise there's the Brewery Tap, a small pub that does not have its own microbrewery as far as I can tell; the Rising Sun, which is in the Good Beer Guide and will do you a pickled egg; the Spread Eagle, which does scones and coffee as well as real ale, and a traditional boozer in the form of the Victoria Arms, which I'm pleased to report possesses a carpet. Elsewhere in Brentwood there's the Chicken and Frog, a children's bookshop, and Japanese food at Sushi City. The latter plays techno covers of Terence Trent D'Arby - I'm sold.

Finally another non-Brentwood addition: USSR Ltd in Leyton, which appears to be a Russian version of Aldi? I will admit to being intrigued both by the concept and the name! I wonder if they play techno versions of Дима Билан?

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