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Naughty Piglets, Brixton, London SW2

Greetings!

This week's featured article comes with a warning - for cauliflower content! Thankfully at Brixton's Naughty Piglets there are other non-hideous foodstuffs available. Ham! Cod! Hazelnuts! Not all at once though. (A ham-cod-hazelnut combo would still be preferable to cauliflower).

Our list of vegan-only establishments continues to expand with a new page for Thenga Cafe in Bloomsbury, where you can try a coconut milk masala tea. There's also vegan food available at the Brookmill pub in Deptford, including the always-mysterious vegan mayonnaise. How do they manage it? We will never know (i.e. I don't want to know).

A little further eastward are two pub updates, following a visit to Greenwich: I remember the Pilot having a pleasantly spacious beer garden, but perhaps skip their eggs florentine if you're having breakfast; you might be better off with a scotch egg at the Cutty Sark, which would go nicely with a pint of Young's Ordinary, and depending on the weather, a picturesque view across the river.

Finally, the Bull & Last is closed for a refurb. Hopefully this will include eradicating all traces of cauliflower from the premises.
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[personal profile] ewan
Domali, Crystal Palace, London SE19

Hello welcome back to another week of Randomness. This week's featured article is Domali, SE19 3AH, a narrow cafe/bar in Upper Norwood's Crystal Palace neighbourhood, where you can find mostly vegetarian food as well as some draught beers. Expect to find our local correspondent in there for weekend brunches.

The two new articles are... Roti Joupa in sunny Clapham, a Trinidadian place, primarily a takeaway though there are a few stools from where you can view beach scenes and palm tree decals, though I suspect the food will be the main way you commune with its Trinidadian origins. Sounds like tasty good value to me.

The other new article is Craft Beer Co. in what they like to call Covent Garden. It's been recently done up, and Kake has managed to get a photo of it with no people in, which is not how you'll generally see the place (as it's quite popular).

Four reported permanent closures are for: The Sandrock in Shirley; The Castle in Holborn; the Nordic Bakery in Covent Garden; and Bread Ahead in Covent Garden.
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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
Welcome back RGL fans!

Maramia Cafe, Maida Hill, London W10

This week's featured article is Maramia Cafe, W10 5PR, a Palestinian restaurant in Maida Hill. The outside uses the internationally-recognised font of Middle Eastern eateries everywhere, and they've decorated the inside with lots of paintings and photos evoking the region too. It's been around a while: we have reviews from 2011 and 2018, both positive.

Our two new articles are for K's Spice in Erith, a Nigerian restaurant for when you find yourselves in Erith. If you need to look up where that is on a map, then may I venture to suggest you may never find yourself in Erith. The other new article is The Black Bull, a pub in South Ruislip, trad but not bad. It has carpets!

Updated articles are Itadaki Zen, the vegan Japanese place near Kings Cross (we suggest you go at lunchtime), and The Village Inn in Belvedere, which isn't all that far from Erith.

Finally, one reported closure is of Chennai Dosa in Tooting.
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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] ewan
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] ewan
Hello, and after a bit of seasonal break, welcome back to a new year, 2017!

Lulu's Caribbean Cuisine, Finsbury Park, London N4

This week's featured article is Lulu's Caribbean Cuisine, N4 3EN. It's pretty small and colourfully painted, and if you're there for a weekday lunchtime you may find yourself the only one. Generous portions and flavourful too, worth checking out we think.

There are three new pages: A&N Brothers Cafe in South Croydon (decent breakfast); Steakout in Norbury (neon pink, but decent steak); and The Fox pub between Coulsdon and Caterham (more a restaurant than a pub, but you can drink there, and the food is... decent).

Our two reported permanent closures are Bottledog on Grays Inn Road, and The William Jolle pub (a Wetherspoons) in Northwood Hills.
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[personal profile] katstevens
Chang's Noodle, Bloomsbury, London WC1

Evening all!

This week's featured article is for Chang's Noodle on New Oxford Street. Their intriguingly-named Man and Wife offal turns out to include some spicy tripe! It feels like ages since we featured tripe on the RGL blog, doesn't it? If that doesn't get your mouth watering, there are plenty of other Northern Chinese dishes to try - the pork belly with shredded cucumber and the baked buns sound pretty good.

There's a new page for the Meantime Beer Box, located just outside the O2 in Greenwich. Meantime may not be quite so locally-focused as they used to be, but their beers are all present and correct in this bar, including some experimental ones.

Last but not least, we have an update to the Rockingham Arms, aka the Elephant & Castle Wetherspoons (housed in the former Ministry of Health headquarters, the Grade II listed Metro Central Heights). Given the location I would say it's a good Spoons for bus spotting, but the outside space is a bit limited and it's hard to see out from inside.
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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
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
Husk, Limehouse, London E14

Evening everyone - Ewan is away for a few weeks so I am back once again, like the proverbial Renegade Master.

This week’s featured article is for Husk in Limehouse. It’s a cafe/community space run by the London City Mission, providing accessible space (and wifi) for working, chatting and eating quiche.

We have some new pages too! Bottledog in Clerkenwell is a beer and brewing supplies shop run by Brewdog, which stocks beers by other brewers too, including some on keg; Chatkhara in Tooting is a no-frills Indian cafe/takeaway; Beer Rebellion in Sydenham is a micropub run by the Late Knights brewery, just down the road from the recently-ish refurbished Golden Lion. Your correspondent visited both of the latter two at the weekend: suffice to say one establishment was more enjoyable to spend time in than the other.
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[personal profile] ewan
Welcome back! The update this week will have to last you for the next two. (Also there's no image for the featured article, as the original photo doesn't seem to allow embedding as an option, but imagine a green facade, maybe turquoise... or don't imagine it, click on the link!)

Osterley Bookshop

So the featured article this week is Four Hundred Rabbits, SE19 3AH, which is a pizza restaurant in delightful Crystal Palace (or maybe Upper Norwood if you're historically so inclined). It's a top place for all your sourdough pizza, gelato and craft beer needs.

We also have a new entry for Osterley Bookshop, in that bit of West London known as Osterley, housed in a former rail station building! It's arranged in classic second-hand bookshop style, which is to say haphazardly. Don't take any book-murdering dogs, though the regular book-friendly variety are fine!

There's an update for Dartmouth Park boozer The Lord Palmerston.

There are also two closures. The first is possibly only temporary, Shanghai Blues in Holborn. The other is definitely permanent, Moti Mahal in Covent Garden.
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[personal profile] ewan
Shanshuijian (山水间), Limehouse, London E14

Welcome back to a fairly brief update. This week's featured article is Shanshuijian, E14 7JD, a Chinese restaurant in Limehouse, whose name refers to its signature dish, though from the photo it seems nothing in English appears outside. Maybe that helps to make it less busy, but if you like a lamb neck hotpot -- or if you think you might be into that -- this is the place to go!

The other change is the permanent closure of Amico Bio in Holborn, though they still have another branch that's going near Smithfield Market.
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[personal profile] ewan
Hello all! I forgot to do my duty this week so apologies for the lateness.

Scone and jam at the Quaker Cafe, Euston, London NW1
[Picture CW: not vegan, although vegan options are available]

This week's featured article is Quaker Cafe, NW1 2BJ, which is a cafe open to the public in the Quaker Friends' House opposite Euston Station. It has hot food, bright white walls (to compensate for lack of natural light) and is child-friendly.

There's a new sandwich shop addition to our articles with No. 5's in sunny Forest Hill.

We also offer significant updates to the articles for The Misty Moon in Northwood which entirely coincidentally I walked past recently. It still looks like an (ex-)Wetherspoons and it still has handpulls. For the 'real deal' go instead to The William Jolle in nearby Northwood Hills. It's what you expect from a JDW.

Finally we report the impending (permanent) closure of Brew Wharf by Borough Market. It was an early adopter of trendy brewing scene but never really gained the cachet of other SE1 operations. Another reported closure (only possible at this stage; it might be a refurb) is Vegetarian's Paradise on Marchmont St.
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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] katstevens
Bubbles & Tea, Stratford, London E15

Evening everyone! This week's featured article is for Bubbles and Tea, a small vegan bubble tea cafe in the Stratford Centre. If you're not sure what bubble tea is, there's a helpful sign on the front of the premises!

Freshly written up on RGL are articles for the Japanese Canteen in Holborn (serviceable greasy noodles) and the newly opened Everyman Cinema in Canary Wharf. There's also an update to the page for Ravi Shankar, one of the better Indian restaurants on Euston's Drummond Street, following a recent lunch visit.

There's some to-ing and fro-ing around Tottenham Court Road and Waterloo: Book Warehouse has moved a few minutes down the road on Lower Marsh, and now occupies the top floor of Gramex Music Shop. Also on the move are Korean restaurants Woo Jung and Po Cha, both having moved from the shadow of Centrepoint due to the Crossrail works. Woo Jung is now on New Oxford Street while Po Cha find itself opposite Gramex on Lower Marsh, in the old premises of Marsh Ruby (now closed). Their former Centrepoint neighbour Assa has closed for good, however, as has the Old Justice in Bermondsey.
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[personal profile] ewan
Welcome back after a wee break. The next update will be after Easter, so in a couple of weeks.

Les Delices de Tresor, New Cross, London SE14

This week's featured article is Les Delices de Tresor, SE14 6TJ. I know what you're thinking from the photo, you're thinking that's a pub! Well, it is a pub still, down the back, but this front bar is now given over to an Ivorian restaurant. It's a one person operation, so expect some flexibility in the opening hours, but it will serve some if not all of your fufu and stew needs.

New entries for Singer Tavern, a Barworks pub at the bottom of City Road, where it meets Finsbury Square: a big spacious place but with a good drinks range. Plus there's On the Hoof Bistro in sunny Sydenham, a friendly little cafe near the station which does excellent Sunday roasts. Finally, Orchard, a veggie cafe on Sicilian Avenue by Holborn, rocking the 70s wholefoods vibe.

There's an update to the Bloomsbury (or Bloomsbury Tavern, if you will), a Shepherd Neame pub which is located in... well, I'd call it St Giles or Holborn, but knock yourself out.

Finally, we regret to report the impending closure in June of Food for Thought, a classic veggie cafe in Covent Garden, basically the origin of that very 70s wholefoods vibe we detected at Orchard (although they do it much better at FfT), and a proper old timer on the scene.
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[personal profile] ewan
Hello all! This week we travel a world of food.

Maida, Streatham, London SW16

There's a new featured article again this week, which is Maida, SW16 6AB. It's a good value Somali cafe/restaurant where you can load up on as much tender lamb as you want.

New articles are: Ergon, a Greek restaurant/deli in Marylebone; Bunga Raya, a good Malaysian restaurant and takeaway in Thornton Heath; VQ, a 24hr cafe in Bloomsbury; Castle kebab shop in Walworth; and the Guy's Hospital branch of dependable coffee stall AMT Coffee.

Permanently reported closures are, sadly, the very excellent locals' pub The North Pole on the Isle of Dogs, and Moyo-Ma, a Nigerian restaurant in Walworth.
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[personal profile] ewan
Hello all!

Calthorpe Arms, St Pancras, WC1

The featured article is the Calthorpe Arms, WC1X 8JR, a proper old school traditional pub with carpet and locals and tasty unchallenging beer with a friendly atmosphere. I'm not sure I'd call it Bloomsbury, but who has a better name for the area? Is it Holborn?

There are two new articles, again for pubs. There's The Monarch, which is on the Chalk Farm end of Camden Town, and often has gigs on, but certainly could be a lot worse than that suggests. And then there's the new BrewDog outpost in Shepherd's Bush, which is great if you like that kind of bar (industrial look and feel), and that kind of beer (there's nothing on cask, but there's an interesting range of both BrewDog and guest beers in the hoppier vein of "craft").

Finally, the St James Tavern in Bermondsey has closed in its guise as an old-fashioned locals' boozer and has reopened as St James of Bermondsey (website link here for those who want to judge what kind of market it's going for now).
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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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