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[personal profile] katstevens2017-10-15 07:36 pm

New Featured Article - Prawn On The Lawn, N1 2LH

Prawn on the Lawn, Highbury, London N5
Hullo folks! I hope October is treating you well so far.

This week's featured article is for rhyming restaurant/fishmonger Prawn On The Lawn in Highbury. The fish is good and the staff haven't let the daft name affect their levels of professionalism.

Newly added to RGL is Miss P's in Croydon, on the site of former Cricketer's pub (near the Lebanon Road tram stop - our team of reviewers did not mention any sightings of Phil Oakey at said tram stop but I'm sure he can't be far away). Miss P's specialises in barbecued meats and fish, and reading the article made me feel very hungry indeed.

Two temporary pub closures to report: the Sugar Loaf Inn in Little Chalfont and the Lord Palmerston in Dartmouth Park are both due to reopen after some management switcheroos. Meanwhile way up in Zone 9, Chesham's Brazil's Cafe is now a restaurant called Brazil's Kitchen. I'm sure the RGL crew will head back there at some point to see what has changed aside from the name.

Finally, fancy Indian restaurant Vineet Bhatia in Chelsea has closed for good, just after getting their Michelin star back. I guess you could say it was…*puts on CSI sunglasses*... "Michelin accomplished"? Yeeeooooow!
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[personal profile] ewan2017-10-10 09:11 am

New featured article — Flavours of Paani Puri, Kingsbury, NW9

Hello and welcome to another week of RGL.

Flavours of Paani Puri, Kingsbury, London NW9

The featured article this week is Flavours of Paani Puri, NW9 9EG, a vegetarian Indian cafe in Kingsbury. It looks from the outside like a convenience store but don't be fooled! It's great value too.

There are three new articles this week. We have for you Tea Cosy, a cafe in Upminster, like an upmarket greasy spoon I suppose, is that what "British cafe" means? There's also Ashley Brook Fabrics, a rare article about something not food- or drink-related, this one being a Romford fabric shop. Finally, there's Little Coffee Shop in South Croydon. I have a small quiz for you: guess what it is. Those who answered "it's a little coffee shop" win!

We have an update to the Crumpled Horn article, a pub out Upminster way.

Finally a bunch of reported closures for you: Muncho cafe in Croydon; The Case Is Altered pub in Harrow Weald; The King's Arms pub in East Molesey; The White Horse pub in Hampstead Heath (this one is always opening and closing); The Railway Wetherspoons pub in Putney; The Goldsmiths' Arms in East Acton; and The Duke of York in Chiswick.
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[personal profile] katstevens2017-10-01 06:42 pm

New Featured Article - Organico, KT19 8EB

Organico, Epsom, KT19

Evening RGLers!

This week's featured article is for Organico in Epsom. It's a vegetarian cafe and deli with plenty of vegan options, that also does iced herbal teas if that's what floats your boat.

Fans of Crystal Palace's best deli/booze shop, Good Taste, will be pleased to hear that Manish and co have opened a restaurant just down the road, Salt and Pickle. Pickling seems key, so it's a relief to hear their pickles are of a high quality, though happily the wine list remains vinegar-free.

Finally, there's a pub closure to report: the Nightingale in Wanstead has shut.
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[personal profile] ewan2017-09-26 09:15 am

New featured article — Tip Top Cafe, Swanley, BR8

Welcome back, with another bumper crop of updates, although this one is not directly related to the Good Beer Guide.

Tip Top Cafe, Swanley, Kent BR8

Our featured article is Tip Top Cafe, BR8 8ES in Swanley. It's not quite a greasy spoon, instead it's a full-fledged British cafe, but not posh. Can't fault it if you ever find yourself in, or indeed find, Swanley.

Right then, plenty of new articles. We have Flavours of Paani Puri in Kingsbury, a casual Indian cafe with a good line in Pani Puri, masquerading as a shop. Then, not far away in Colindale, is Bang Bang Oriental Foodhall, the successor to the late lamented Oriental City, with loads of options, variable quality. A bit further out in Wembley is Krishna, a small and okay Indian vegetarian restaurant. And also in the north-west is Delisserie in Stanmore, a New York-style deli (which is to say, more of a cafe I guess) with a bunch of NW London outlets.

Moving out east is Hasi, an Albanian restaurant in Barking. You may not find a menu, but you'll have options, and while they may seem basic, they turn out to be worth eating. Swinging down across the river is Kitchen Counter, a vegan restaurant in Herne Hill run by "Deliciously Ella"; we only visited for breakfast, but it may be worth exploring. Over to West Norwood for Frangipani, a cafe with a cozy bright style and including vegan options.

Continuing west we get to Orange Pekoe, a tea shop in Barnes, so expect them to brew your tea properly at least, and they're happy to talk you through it. Still west, but north of the river in Ealing is Kiraku, a Japanese restaurant in the izakaya style, which gets busy and serves excellent (if pricy) food. Bringing us back towards the centre is The Bull and Last, a well-known (and also pricy) gastropub in Dartmouth Park, but the food is top notch even if it's only vanishingly pub-like. And on Highbury/Canonbury borders is Prawn on the Lawn, a silly name for a very likeable fish restaurant (and fishmonger).

I'll just list the significant updates:
* The Robin Hood, a Young's pub in Sutton;
* YBR Cake, a Thornton Heath cake shop;
* Finch's, another Young's pub, this one in Moorgate;
* The Volunteer, a pub in Bexleyheath;
* The Belvedere Hotel, in Belvedere;
* The Eel Pie pub in Twickenham;
* The Fox pub, not far away also in Twickenham; and
* The Norbiton pub in Kingston's Norbiton.

Three reported closures are: The Haandi Lounge in Edgware; L'Autre Pied in Marylebone; and Tigris in Waddon.
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[personal profile] katstevens2017-09-17 06:58 pm

New Featured Article - Good Beer Guide 2018

Mirth, Marvel & Maud, Walthamstow, London E17

Hello RGL crew! It's that time of year again where we explore the new entries in the Good Beer Guide. Which means a whole bunch of new pub articles for you to peruse at your leisure:

- The Albion (plenty of real cider in Kingston)
- The Angel (the Wetherspoons close to Angel tube station)
- The Antwerp Arms (a community-owned pub in Tottenham)
- The Black Horse (dog-friendly pub on the Kingston/Norbiton borders)
- The Brewhouse and Kitchen (microbrewery in Highbury)
- The Cricketers (Stonegate pub beside Epsom Common)
- Cronx (bar in the Croydon Boxpark, run by the Cronx brewery)
- Draft House Old Street (fashionable outpost of the ever-growing chain)
- The Dundee Arms (gloomily lit, narrow pub in Bethnal Green)
- The Flag (large pub by Watford Junction station)
- The Greenwood Hotel (huge Wetherspoons in Northolt)
- The Greystoke (Greene King pub on the Ealing/West Acton border, but with a better beer selection than that would immediately suggest)
- The Hope (sounds like a pleasant place to watch the cricket in Richmond)
- Jono's (oddly-decorated pub in Ilford)
- The Midland Hotel (stained glass and hexagons in Hendon)
- Mirth, Marvel and Maud (see picture above - an Antic pub and performance space, in a converted cinema in Walthamstow)
- The Mitre (more stained glass, this time in North Sheen)
- The Mossy Well (Wetherspoons in Muswell Hill featuring a large model cow)
- The North Star (bare lightbulbs in Ealing)
- The Northcote (above average pizza in Leytonstone)
- The Shelverdine Goathouse (Antic pub in South Norwood)
- The Taproom (deep fried courgettes in Woolwich)

Next week there'll be some non-pub updates! Stay tuned...
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[personal profile] katstevens2017-08-14 10:51 pm

New Featured Article - Lituanica, E6 6LA

Lituanica, Beckton, London E6
Evening RGL crew!

Our featured article this week is for Lithuanian restaurant Lituanica, which you can find by following the DLR all the way to Beckton. The cuisine of Lithuania sounds carb-heavy, of which I am totally in favour. If you're not hungry, there's other Lithuanian fun to be had nearby, including a bookshop and beauty salon.

As promised the other week, your intrepid RGL team have ventured to parts south-west, to find out what's happening in Nork and write some new articles. Yes, that's right, I said Nork. Some might say Nork is technically part of Banstead, but here at RGL we like to think that Nork is more of a state of mind. Anyway, if you need a cup of tea while you're there, Lilly's cafe is a perfectly pleasant place to while away the hours as you try to figure out what else to do in Nork when there's torrential rain outside. The answer: go to Sutton, where you'll find Antic pub The Shinner & Sudtone (featuring an alarming number of porcelain owls) and Ii-Ma Sushi, which turned out to be a real find (I want to go back and try some different sakes).

If that wasn't enough, there are new pages for the Canada Water Cafe (a short hop from the Jubilee line station) and the Tip Top Cafe in Swanley, plus an update for Moshi Moshi Sushi in Liverpool Street station.

Phew! After all that adventuring I think we need a break - we'll be back in two weeks.
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[personal profile] ewan2017-08-08 02:37 pm

New featured article — Karachi Cuisine, Norbury, SW16

Karachi Cuisine, Norbury, London SW16

Welcome back! The featured article this week is Karachi Cuisine, SW16 4XD in exotic zone 3 Norbury (that's in South London, so don't be confused by the name). It's a Pakistani restaurant with excellent reviews from our team of tasters (a "very good" is not dispensed to all and sundry on RGL).

We have three new articles: Munal, a Nepalese/Indian restaurant in Worcester Park with some oddness; Barwell Cafe in sunny Chessington, where you'll get classic greasy spoon vibes but beware some of the ingredients; and Cocum Keralan restaurant in East Molesey. Kerala is a state in South India for the record.

We have an update to Affogato, also in Norbury. I assume they offer an affogato on their menu, but no one amongst us has tried it. Still the other food options seemed to go down well.

Reported permanent closures are to Craft Beer Co. in Clapham (it's quickly morphed into another pub), and Kathiawadi Cuisine in Thornton Heath.

One of our entries has moved, which is Mandalay Golden Myanmar now in Brondesbury NW6 (from Edgware Road in W2), though we don't have much of a write-up.

Finally the cinema in Bermondsey Square has renamed to Kino Bermondsey from the Shortwave Cinema.
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[personal profile] katstevens2017-07-31 07:24 pm

New Featured Article - Prince George, E8 3AG

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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[personal profile] ewan2017-07-25 02:47 pm

New featured article — Som Saa, Spitalfields, E1

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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[personal profile] katstevens2017-07-17 11:41 pm

New Featured Article - Le Raj, KT17 3LB

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] ewan2017-07-12 06:52 am

New featured article — Ferry House, Isle of Dogs, E14

Hello and welcome back and sorry for the delay this week; things got busy at work at then... Oh well.

Ferry House, Isle of Dogs, London E14

So the featured article this week is The Ferry House, E14 3DT, a pub on the Isle of Dogs, still very traditional though with fewer dartboards and less sticky carpet than that might usually entail. It's got Courage beer and Sunday roast, though.

One new article is Pivaz, in London-adjacent and Central Line-terminating Epping. It's a somewhat upmarket Turkish restaurant, with tasty breakfast options and attentive staff.

Our reported permanent closures are The Cricketers, a small pub in Croydon (just near the Lebanon Road tram stop), and Dirty Burger in Kentish Town, though it was never much more than an outhouse shack and I was a meat-eater the last time I went there, giving a sense of its long and storied existence (i.e. it's several years old).

Finally, we can report the reopening of Affogato, a Norbury coffee shop and cafe, so there's no reason now to cancel all your Norbury travel plans this summer.
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[personal profile] katstevens2017-06-26 12:49 pm

New Featured Article - Crown & Pepper, CR3 6RA

Crown & Pepper, Caterham, London CR3
Hello RGLers!

This week's featured article is for the Crown and Pepper in Caterham, a pub that incorporates an Indian restaurant at the back. They also have a bar menu if you don't fancy the full sit-down experience - try the okra.

New this week, we have the Union Jack pub in Southwark, that perhaps isn't living up to its potential beer-wise, and the French House restaurant in Crystal Palace, a cheerful establishment themed around '60's Francophone pop music (the drinks menu looks pretty good too).

There's an update for the Prince George (just off Queensbridge Road in Dalston) following a visit, which reveals its all-important lime and soda pricing to be significantly cheaper than the Union Jack's.

Finally, Fujiyama in Brixton has closed: lovers of spinach ohitashi will have to venture elsewhere.
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[personal profile] ewan2017-06-13 08:00 am

New featured article — Banh Mi 108, Feltham, TW13

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] katstevens2017-06-05 09:29 pm

New Featured Article - King & Queen, W1W 6DL

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] ewan2017-05-30 08:43 am

New featured article — Sai Mantra, Gants Hill, IG2

Welcome back after a long bank holiday weekend (unless you were freelancing, in which case I suppose weekends don't make much difference).

Sai Mantra, Gants Hill, London IG2

This week's featured article is Sai Mantra, IG2 6HW, an Indian/Sri Lankan restaurant with some Indo-Chinese dishes too, in easterly Gants Hill. It's a bit nice inside, and does a chilli mogo starter you may just want to keep eating.

One new article is Patisserie Joie de Vie in (High) Barnet. Get your bakery and crepe/galette needs sorted if you're out this way.

Finally, an update to The Butcher's Arms, a pub also out that way. It's all nicely refurbished, but you may be listening to sport at a higher volume than is ideal. (I'll let you decide what constitutes an ideal volume for sport.)
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[personal profile] ewan2017-05-02 03:45 pm

New featured article — Shree Krishna Vada Pav, Harrow, HA1

Hello and welcome back from a long weekend.

Shree Krishna Vada Pav, Harrow, London HA1

This week's featured article is Shree Krishna Vada Pav, HA1 2TY, an Indian vegetarian cafe in a casual location in Harrow. It moved recently from another location nearby, and it has a decent vada pav (as you'd hope for given the name of the place). All pretty good value it seems.

We have not two, not three but FOUR new articles! There's The Pembroke, a pub in Coulsdon. Alright beer; seems child friendly. And then there's Archie's, a cafe/bar in Deptford -- a railway arch to be precise, HENCE THE NAME. Pretty good sandwiches and friendly service! Also, Halwa Poori House in Thornton Heath does Pakistani food with sparkly floor tiles and mild lukewarm curry. Finally, Canary Cafe, a greasy spoon in South Croydon. There's a solid selection of the usual staples.
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[personal profile] katstevens2017-04-24 10:31 pm

New Featured Article - Squires, E16 1EW

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] ewan2017-04-12 09:37 am

New featured article — Cah Chi, Earlsfield, SW18

Hello all, and apologies for the particular delay this week, caused by jet lag (on my behalf).

at Cah Chi, Earlsfield, London SW18

This week's featured article is a Korean restaurant in Earlsfield called Cah Chi, SW18 4HP. Dumplings, noodles, efficient service and K-pop are your selling points for making the southwestern trek.

There's one reported closure, of Hason Raja, a Bangladeshi restaurant in Holborn described by our reviewer as "OK".

There's an update to the reopened The Beehive gastropub in Marylebone.

Finally an art materials shop which was by Aldgate then Brick Lane, called Atlantis Art, has moved premises to Old Street.
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[personal profile] katstevens2017-04-03 10:46 pm

New Featured Article - Provender, E11 2AA

Provender, Wanstead, London E11

Evening folks!

This week's featured article is for Provender, which is not a gritty archeological crime series on ITV3 but a French restaurant in Wanstead with quality napkins and tasty souffles! (Next time on Provender: Detective Ian Provender eats some delicious prawns and then discovers a mysterious amulet on Wanstead Flats - could this be linked to the murder??)

New this week are entries for Battersea Pie Station in Covent Garden, which I keep calling Battersea Stodge Station in my mind (the pies are stodgy but in a good way), and the Crown & Pepper pub in Caterham, which also has a restaurant section serving Indian and Indian/Chinese food.

Affogato in Norbury is temporarily closed while they sort out the drains and the licensing (yikes), but it's good to see the Catford Bridge Tavern reopening. It's no longer an Antic pub but hopefully the new owners will have retained its friendly atmosphere and spacious interior.

Finally, here at RGL Towers we mourn the passing of the best named combination-cafe-and-juice-bar in South Croydon, Juicy Squeeze. A carton of Five Alive just won't cut it anymore.
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[personal profile] ewan2017-03-27 04:37 pm

New featured article — Napura, Nunhead, SE15

Welcome back to another week of RGL updates!

Napura, Nunhead, London SE15

This week's featured article is Napura, SE15 3QF, a Portuguese restaurant in officially the best area of London, Nunhead. This is official because I say it is, so I'll brook no disputes. I wager it's changed since I lived there, though this was a Portuguese restaurant back then. Go get yrself a bacalhau. (The historical verdict, which may not have changed much, is that there's less for those non-meat-eaters such as myself.)

But that's fine because our updated article is Shree Krishna Vada Pav, a Mumbai-centric cafe which is totally vegetarian, though you have to travel a bit further from Nunhead, as it's in Harrow. It will, however, satisfy all your carbs-in-carbs needs.

Finally, just reopened is iconic pub The Half Moon in Herne Hill, which has been closed for nigh on four years now, so its reopening (as a Fuller's pub) is welcome.