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Hello all! It's the busiest week of the year at my work, so thinking about places to eat and drink is always a pleasurable divertissement.

Mandalay Golden Myanmar, Kilburn, London NW6

This week's featured article is the extravagantly-named Mandalay Golden Myanmar, NW6 2DB, where you can enjoy all your favourite Burmese food... or is it Myanmarese? I understand there's quite a bit of politics behind the naming of the country, and who would have guessed 10-20 years ago how we'd be thinking about Aung San Suu Kyi nowadays, eh? Ah well, there's still the food, and I'm certainly intrigued to try tea leaf salad, despite some of Kake's adjectives.

Two new entries are for The Hercules, which is the bar in the old Pillars of Hercules pub building, and Naughty Piglets, a wine bar ant tapas-y restaurant in Brixton with a twee name.

Loads of updates pages, mostly for pubs...
* Kulu Kulu in Soho, a Soho sushi place;
* The Duke of Argyll in Soho;
* The Newman Arms in Fitzrovia;
* The King William IV in Leyton;
* Browns of Brockley, a cafe in Brockley;
* The Nightingale on the Green in Wanstead;
* The North Star in Leytonstone;
* Domali, a cafe/bar in Crystal Palace;
* The Crown and Sceptre in Streatham;
* The Duke of Wellington in Belgravia;
* The Dog and Fox in Wimbledon "Village" if you will;
* The Aeronaut in Acton;
* The Roebuck in Hampstead;
* The Sir Richard Steele in Belsize Park;
* The Ivy House in lovely Nunhead;
* The Rye in Peckham;
* The Herne Tavern in East Dulwich; and
* Babur Indian restaurant in Forest Hill.

Finally, there are two reported permanent closures, being The French House, a French cafe in Crystal Palace (not the Soho pub!), and Mr Lawrence in Brockley, a sad loss to the area, which has been on the decline for some time but had been a fixture there for many decades.
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[personal profile] katstevens
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
Hello and welcome back to another week, if your week starts on a Tuesday.

St George's Walk, Croydon, London CR0

The featured article is Roti Masters, CR0 1YG in Croydon, a halal Caribbean cafe. But are they truly masters of the roti? Visit our reviews to FIND OUT.

There are no new articles, but two significant updates. These are to Vanilla Black, an upscale vegetarian restaurant near Holborn, and they can sort out vegans too. It's a lengthy review, so why not dive in? There'a also an update to The Wenlock Arms in Hoxton, which still has all the real ales and some basic pub food.

Finally, Suda Thai has moved from Covent Garden to Fitzrovia.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Le Raj, Epsom, London KT17
Evening crew!

This week's featured article is for Le Raj in Epsom, a fancy joint that's earned a spot in the Good Curry Guide. The takeaway prices are a bit lower but you'll have to come and get it yourself, as they don't deliver.

New to RGL but certainly not new to me is the Soldier's Return, the third best pub in Ickenham. It's changed a little since I was drinking cheap lager there in the '90s - the tie's changed from Courage to Greene King, and they've apparently got rid of the (really quite manky) carpet. Also new is Karachi Cuisine in Norbury, a child-friendly Pakistani restaurant that does an interesting-sounding traditional breakfast on weekends. Try the chickpeas!

Finally, the Michelin-starred Dabbous in Fitzrovia has shut. Apparently the team will be opening a new (hopefully less noisy) restaurant next year.
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[personal profile] ewan
Hello all!

Patisserie Joie de Vie, Barnet, London EN5

This week our featured article is the very French-sounding Patisserie Joie De Vie, EN5 5SN. It's unclear how joyful life will seem by the time you get to High Barnet, but at least once there you can have a crepe or a galette, which surely will help.

There's a new article in the form of Lahpet, a Burmese restaurant in Hackney. I believe the names "Burma" vs "Myanmar" are somewhat political, but as I have no idea what the adjectival form of Myanmar might be, I'm glad the former has been chosen. If you, like I, are unfamiliar with the country's food, then a visit to Hackney may be required, though you may need some patience with the food it sounds like.

There are updates to Shadi Bakery in Croydon (for all your fresh naan needs), Kazan in Westminster (for all your quality Turkish food needs, assuming you don't mind paying a bit more), and Village Bookshop in Woodford Green (for at least some of your book needs).

There's a reported upcoming closure for Dabbous; their final day is 15 July. I guess its period of on-trend success just fizzled out?

Finally the old Chesham Brewery Shop is now called Mad Squirrel Chesham following the renaming of its parent brewery from Red Squirrel to Mad Squirrel. Best of luck with the new name.
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[personal profile] katstevens
King and Queen, Fitzrovia, W1
Evening crew, here's another update to kick off your week, featuring 100% pub content.

Our featured article is for a pub that's become one of my 'old reliables' over the years, the King and Queen in Fitzrovia. A haven for office workers and weekend rugby-watchers requiring no-nonsense drinking, it was mere 3 minutes away from my (now-demolished) office back in the 2000s. It has offered the same well-kept pints of Tribute, scuzzy carpet and bookable upstairs room for as long as I can remember.

Sadly another 'old reliable' on the other side of Tottenham Court Road has closed - the Jeremy Bentham is now a Simmons bar (I doubt they've kept the shrunken wax head which looks more like Tim Rice than Jezza B). Other closures include the Station Tavern in Brimsdown, the Well in Clerkenwell, the Balham Arms (guess where), and the Crown near Hillingdon Hospital.

Some slightly more cheering news from Muswell Hill, where the Victoria Stakes has reopened after a fire. The Camel & Artichoke in Waterloo has also reopened, while the Melbourne in Wallington is now The Star and the Norbiton & Dragon in Kingston has dropped any pretense at mythology to become merely The Norbiton. I guess I'll now have to get my dragon content from Duolingo Welsh, which seems very keen that I learn the phrase "mae ddraig goch yn ddiflas" (hashtag #notalldragons).
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[personal profile] katstevens
Squires, Canning Town, London E16

Evening RGL crew!

This week's featured article is for Squires, a Nigerian restaurant in Canning Town serving at least two different types of pounded yam! I couldn't say if this is a 'typical Naija restaurant' as stated in the window but there are branches dotted around East and South London if you want to find out for yourself. If your prefer a cup of tea in Forest Hill instead, we have a new page for the Teapot cafe, which does a decent panini too.

Pub news! Famed Fitzrovia pie-haunt the Newman Arms is shut for a refurb, as is the Duke of Argyll (a Sam Smiths) in Soho. The Dartmouth Arms in Tufnell Park, the Widow's Son in Bow, the Lucky Rover in Chessington and the Great Northern Railway Tavern in Hornsey have all recently reopened - the latter is now owned by Fuller's, so expect the beer selection to be a little different.

However: the great pub deity giveth, and it taketh away again. The Taylor Walker-owned Devereux has shut, as has the Three Horseshoes in Southall. Also closed for good is Canal 125 on the Caledonian Road, once home to various club nights run by denizens of Livejournal. As small venues go it was pretty terrible, and I'm amazed it kept going that long. Let's hope whatever replaces it is better!
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[personal profile] ewan
Saravanaa Bhavan, Ilford, London IG1

Welcome back, belatedly!

This week's featured article is Saravanaa Bhavan, IG1 4PU in sunny Ilford. It's part of an international vegetarian Indian chain, and maybe you've been to one of the other London branches in East Ham or Tooting? Ganesha will watch peacefully over your dosa eating if you visit this spacious branch.

Other additions are a shabby pub/restaurant in Worcester Park/Cheam called The HG Wells, a Nigerian restaurant called Coal City in Edmonton (why not surprise the staff by visiting), and Chang's Noodle in London's fashionable Chinatown (excellent quality, and expect more than one noodle).

There's an update to The Gilpin's Bell in Edmonton, now under non-Wetherspoons ownership, but still offering Ruddles and similar cask beers.

Reported closures are Arbutus (always a bastion of unpretentious Michelin-starred fine dining) and The Windsor Castle in Marylebone (a bastion for the moustachioed gentleman).

Finally a couple of reopenings are The Fitzroy Tavern in Fitzrovia, and One and One Chinese buffet in Angel (now with meat, bucking the trend towards veganism).
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[personal profile] ewan
Willoughby Arms, Kingston, London KT2

Welcome back! This week's featured article is The Willoughby Arms, KT2 6LN, a pub on the north side of Kingston. Of course, you knew that from the postcode, so I need hardly say. It's a handsome building from the photo, though what were once separate rooms seem to have been knocked through somewhat (as is the style). Go to drink Twickenham ales and watch cricket on the TV, still lovely despite a musty smell.

Two new articles are Sun Luen Snack Bar in Chinatown, with eggy egg tart; and House of Bottles, an off licence in Brixton.

There are big updates to veggie favourite The Gate (their Angel Islington branch), and post-work vertical drinking favourite The Hope Fitzrovia, which used to be a nice pub once upon a time. Still, sounds like it might just be fine on a weekday afternoon if you're ever there at such a time.

Finally, just to mark the reopening of Camberwell's The Bear pub, for which our write-up is sadly rather out of date.
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[personal profile] ewan
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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[personal profile] katstevens
Grosvenor, Hanwell, London W7

Evening all! This week's featured article is the Grosvenor in Hanwell, a large Good Beer Guide pub with decent food (their website features a picture of some delicious-looking toad-in-the-hole) and some nice old-fashioned tiling on the exterior.

New to RGL are Karahi King and the Preston, both in Wembley. Karahi King is a laid-back Indian cafe where you can bring your own booze, while the Preston makes up for its Ember Inns blandness with free lime and soda and generally good accessibility.

The article for the Oval Tavern in Croydon has an update following a visit. Although it's not the closest pub to East Croydon station, it looks like a decent place to spend some time waiting for your train.

Pubs you should not wait for a train inside, as they have recently been on fire: the Beehive near Baker Street and the slightly less swanky New Cross Turnpike in Welling have both temporarily closed while they pat out the flames. Meanwhile the Ravensbury in Mitcham is not on fire but is also temporarily shut while its new owners figure out what to do with it, and the Fitzroy Tavern (which I feel I must point out is in Fitzrovia) is having a major refurb, and due to reopen next summer. Doctor Who fans will have to find somewhere else to meet up for now.

Finally, Sam's Brasserie and Bar in Chiswick has shut, to be replaced by a branch of Foxlow (owned by the Hawksmoor dudes). I am not keen on Foxlow as a brand, through no real fault of theirs - they replaced Homa in Stoke Newington which did extremely awesome takeaway pizza, a fact I only found out about just before they shut for good! Foxlow are clearly to blame for me not paying attention to local pizza opportunities for the previous 8 years.
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[personal profile] ewan
Hello all, bit late this week, sorry.

Kin, Fitzrovia, W1

The featured article is Kin, W1W 6DT. This is a veggie cafe near to where I work in London's Owl Country (it's a long explanation, you can call it Fitzrovia if you prefer). They have a sort of classic real-food wholesome vibe but poshed up a bit for yr modern market, tasty food and plenty that's vegan friendly (clearly marked) if that's your thing.

Our one addition is a sandwich shop in Croydon, Stuffins Unlimited. It's a decent selection for hungry council staff, with great fresh bread.

There's a brief update to The Bull and Gate to note that it's been reopened and it's more gastro than grunge nowadays. Certainly, there's no music unless you count jazz on a Sunday afternoon (NB I don't know if they do jazz on a Sunday afternoon, but it's the kind of thing I'd imagine they'd do).

Two pub renamings are The Black Cat in Catford (formerly the Catford Ram), and The Flying Horse on Oxford Street (formerly The Tottenham).

And then there are the pub closures. There's The Fanny on the Hill in Welling; The Smithfield Tavern by, er, Smithfield; The Noble in Crouch Hill (now The Hopsmiths, run by those Late Knights people); The Skylark and The Tin Goose both in Heathrow Terminal 1; O'Brien's in Brentford (now The Northumberland Arms); and The Lord Wargrave in Marylebone (now the Wargrave Arms, though I'm not convinced about that change of name).
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Olympic Studios, Barnes, SW13

Welcome back! This week's featured article is boutique cinema Olympic Studios in leafy Barnes. It's quite pricy, and the snacks are all artisanal, but it's very comfortable in the Everyman Cinemas sort of way. There's also a cafe attached, but I didn't visit that.

We've got an update to Three Compasses pub in Hornsey, where Kake enjoyed a selection of brown bitters and the company of half a dozen people on a Friday afternoon.

Finally, the reported closure last month of Fino "tapas bar" in Fitzrovia. According to the news article announcing this, the owners believe London dining preferences have moved on to a more informal style of eating (i.e. like actual tapas bars).
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[personal profile] katstevens
Ethos, Fitzrovia, W1

Hullo all!

This week's featured article is for Ethos, a vegetarian eatery in Fitzrovia. It's a self-service buffet set-up, with everything clearly labelled for those with dietary requirements. The food is good quality but apparently the buffet can get a little low-stocked during mid-afternoon, so you may want to stick to lunch and dinner times.

We've got a couple of closures to report: visitors expecting some Ghanaian food at Bongo East in Barking will now be greeted by a Bulgarian cafe instead, while our intrepid RGL team discovered at the weekend that Royal Palace by Surrey Quays station is now a completely different Chinese restaurant called Noodle Family. It still does decent food, though!

Finally, JD Wetherspoon has put The Foxley Hatch in Purley up for sale, and it will close when it's found a buyer.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Wood Green Cineworld, London N22

Hullo all! It's been a busy week for me - I've moved nearer to the Equator! Lots of other stuff has been happening too.

Our featured article this week is for Cineworld Wood Green, which I personally visited a few months ago to see the amazing/terrible Jupiter Ascending (2015) starring Mila Kunis as 'a young woman discovers her destiny as an heiress of intergalactic nobility and must fight to protect the inhabitants of Earth from an ancient and destructive industry.' Don't get it mixed up with the Wood Green Vue which is just by the tube station. I definitely didn't do this. Meanwhile the old Cineworld in the Trocadero is now the Picturehouse Central, and looks much fancier for it.

New to RGL are two veggie cafes in Fitzrovia: the miniscule Kin off Great Portland Street, and Ethos near Oxford Circus, which sells by the slightly pricey 100g. Even more costly however is the loss of Beatroot on the other side of Oxford Street, a fine veggie cafe which has closed due to the redevelopment of the bottom end of Berwick Street. In further sad news for vegetarians, Food For Thought on Neal Street has closed too.

The RGL crew has paid a visit to the Hagen and Hyde, an Antic pub in Balham which does a reasonable food menu, as you'd expect. There's also an update to Manchurian Legends in Chinatown following a dinner visit.

The Grove in Golders Green has closed and is now a mysteriously goth-looking bar called 'Wallace'. Finally, the Melton Mowbray Fuller's pub on Holborn has been done up and rechristened as the Inn of Court. And that's your lot for this week! Even if I hadn't been unpacking boxes I'd be exhausted after all that.
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[personal profile] ewan
Hello there! Katstevens is on holiday (I haven't ever learned how to link other users in DW, and I'm not going to start bothering now), so I am taking over for a second week. That said, it's a pretty short update...

Draft House, Fitzrovia, W1

Our featured article is the tiny corner pub on Goodge Street called The Draft House, W1T 1TA. Actually the company tend to refer to it as "Draft House Charlotte" due to its position on the corner of Charlotte Street (which must be the trendier street, I guess), though it's not on the pub itself, which is part of a small chain. It does a very basic menu what with being tiny, but it has many lovely beers on keg, on cask and in bottle form, so unless you're visiting after-work o'clock when it gets horribly busy, it's definitely worth checking out. Mid-afternoon would be ideal, I think, or Saturday.

There's also one new review: Roti King at Euston Chinese, by Euston station. There's little to commend it in terms of flashiness -- it's down some narrow stairs, the menus have clearly been retained through many moves and outwardly it's a Chinese place, so you need to ensure you get the right menu. That said, the roti (which is what you come for) are excellent.
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[personal profile] ewan
Bongo East, Barking, London IG11

Welcome back, and for this week's update your featured article is the wonderfully named Bongo East, IG11 8RW. It's an unflashy Ghanaian bar and restaurant in Barking, with a nice line in spicy fufu and a tempting kelewele. Seems like it might need a few more customers, so why not pop in next time you visit Barking?

My colleague Kat has added an article about Back on Track Coffee in Marylebone which is a coffee shop with a model train twist and a punning name to match. We also have a Chinese restaurant in Bloomsbury, China City, but you might be better off avoiding it for dimsum.

I've also added a bunch of pubs: The Hack and Hop, near Blackfriars; The Draft House on Goodge Street (or "Draft House Charlotte" as the website calls it); and Mother Kelly's "tap room and bottle shop" in Bethnal Green. All three do great beers, in slightly different ways.

There's an update to Hampstead Heath Station (it's accessible!), and a temporary closure at The Half Moon in Herne Hill. Closed more permanently is The Prince of Wales in Battersea, which I certainly have memories of. Finally, a possible closure is Manus Palm Grove in Stratford, pending further information, but it hasn't been open for a while it seems.
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[personal profile] ewan
amico-bio-frontage

A short update this week ushers in this week's featured article, Amico Bio, WC1A 1BH, a completely vegetarian Italian restaurant in Holborn. It's also very friendly towards vegans, and has a way with popped rice.

The only addition is a branch of Benito's Hat near Oxford Circus, offering more of that chain's burritos and tacos with the added twist of mambo covers of 90s dance-pop. Plus it's not so busy as their other branches.
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[personal profile] ewan
Ship, Fitzrovia, W1

Hello! This week the featured article is The Ship, W1W 6YB, an old-fashioned pub right in the middle of that vague area generally called Fitzrovia (and coicidentally very close to where I work), which still serves excellent pints of Bass, and has a huge amount of brass decorating its walls. There's also a rarely-spotted upstairs room which is all very pleasant.

Kat has added a Scandinavian restaurant in Marylebone called Verru. They also have Estonian beer. Good for taking parents to, as well.

The reported permanent closure is Soho Japan, again in Fitzrovia. I walked past it the other day, and it was all boarded up with workmen hard at work doing something to it.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Lord Nelson, Sutton, London SM1

Ahoy London landlubbers! This week's featured arrr-ticle is the mainbrace-splicing Lord Nelson in Sutton. "But Kat," I hear you holler in a sea-shanty style. "I see no ships in Sutton, as it is literally 60 miles from the Sheerness seaside!" Well that may be true, but any landlocked pirates will feel right at home at the salty Nelson, which has its own parrot. So be careful not to divulge the secret location of your treasure chest while quaffing your pint of Young's Ordinary!

Two new non-nautical additions to RGL: the terrifically-named Rock and Sole Plaice fish-n-chip joint in Covent Garden, and La Rochelle, a French restaurant on Croydon High Street that does a decent chicken supreme.

The branch of Palms of Goa on New Cavendish Street has now shut - after two disappointing meals there I can't really shed a tear for it. Any pirates in the area looking for South Indian cuisine would be better off going to Ragam, just round the corner.

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