City Guides

The Gannet Address Book: London

23rd July 2015

To download The Gannet’s full guide to the most exciting restaurants and food shops in London, CLICK HERE

In London, you can travel the world without ever leaving the city, pretty much. Almost every nation on earth, and almost every region of almost every nation, has representatives here, and in most cases they’ve brought some distinctive aspect of their culinary heritage with them so that it can mingle with (and be altered by) the other ingredients in the capital’s melting pot.

Since starting The Gannet last year we’ve been travelling far and wide – to Paris, Dublin and New Orleans, to Texas, the wilds of Norway and southern Sweden – finding out how people approach food in different parts of the world, but in one sense we could have stayed at home, exploring London in its inexhaustible variety. There’s enough here to keep us occupied for a very long time.

Whenever we visit someone, we ask for recommendations: Where do you like to eat out? Where do you buy food to cook at home? No matter how clued in we like to think we are about London, we’re constantly being caught out by the answers. We hadn’t heard about the amazing Turkish-Cypriot supermarket just around the corner until someone on the other side of the city told us about it. And we’d never even considered entering the dingy-looking skewer place in Chinatown, or the intimidatingly grand Mayfair hotel dining room, until Tim Anderson and Sabrina Ghayour, respectively, raved about them. (We’re now big fans of Chuan Chuan Xiang and the Colony Grill Room.)

So here are our very favourite London recommendations: the 10 restaurants and 10 food retailers we urge you to visit – or revisit – asap. For a more comprehensive list, we’ve put together a handy PDF arranged by area (north, east, south, west and central), which you can download here and consult next time you’re hungry in London.

Happy travelling.



Chuan Chuan Xiang

27 Newport Court, London WC2H 7JS
“This is not really a restaurant – it’s a little stall next to Baozi Inn that just serves skewers. Everything is £1.10 and you get a weird mix of ingredients – broccoli, tofu skins, pig tripe, beef trip, enoki mushrooms – and everything gets boiled in this very delicious salty spicy broth. It’s just my favourite place to eat.” – Tim Anderson, author and chef

The Colony Grill Room

The Beaumont, 8 Balderton Street, London W1K 6TN; 020 7499 9499,
“I spend an inordinate amount of time in the Colony Grill in the Beaumont Hotel. I’m addicted. I like the environment and it doesn’t have to be expensive: you can have a plate of pasta for £11 and mac and cheese for a fiver (though you can also have the veal chop for £38). My favourite thing is the shepherd’s pie. They only have it on Saturdays but sometimes they’ll make it for me on a Wednesday if I nag them. I have a real love for professional courtesy in service. I don’t want someone to slam down a wanky milk jar in front of me. I’d rather have someone saying: ‘Here’s your coffee madam, I know you like gold milk.’ I just want to die there. I want to be that crazy old bitch in the corner with the veiled hat, dead fox on the shoulder, lipstick smeared all over her face, muttering to herself in saggy tights, popping pills – I want to be that person at the Colony Grill.” – Sabrina Ghayour, author and chef


197 Richmond Road, London E8 3NJ; 020 8986 6534,
“I’ve been only twice but the food was really good. They do lots of weird pickles but also some really comfort dishes – the fried chicken was delicious. The desserts are really good and not too sweet – I had a persimmon cake which was quite unusual but really nice. And they have a really good selection of wine.” – Maud Faussurier, owner of Cantine catering


265 Eversholt Street, London NW1 1BA; 020 7388 8533
“It’s weird because there’s not a lot of hype around this place: they’ve never had a PR and they’re not on Twitter so you don’t see people talking about it much but it’s always full. It’s hard to get a booking because they don’t answer their phone, but it’s the closest thing I’ve found in London, in terms of vibe and menu, to what I’ve loved in Japan – it’s like a really casual old-school izakaya. They’ll make you good sushi, good karaage, but they’ve also got other interesting things on their menu like monkfish liver, when they can get it, or chicken skin skewers, and they’ve got great shochu. You can have a feast there and only spend £30.” – Tim Anderson, author and chef

Canton Arms

177 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1XP; 020 7582 8710,
“This is run by the same people who own Great Queen Street in Covent Garden. It’s close by and it’s a nice place. They do simple pub food very well – massive casseroles, interesting cuts of meat, there’s this little white pork dish that’s the tastiest thing… We go a lot.” – Itamar Srulovich & Sarit Packer, owners of Honey & Co

Silk Road

49 Camberwell Church Street, London SE5 8TR; 020 7703 4832
Restaurant in south London serving food from the northeastern Xingjiang province of China at hard-to-argue-with prices. “This place is amazing. It has an unusual menu – you don’t find food like this very much in London – and everything is so full of flavour. The lamb skewers are amazing. The pork and celery dumplings, the medium plate chicken. I could go on…” – Tim Anderson, author and chef


84 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3LQ; 020 7589 5834,

“I discovered this Italian steak place on Brompton Road the other day. I think it’s been around forever – it used to be called Maxela. It’s very simple inside – there’s a butchers counter as well as the restaurant – but the steak they do is incredible. It doesn’t come with any sauces, just olive oil and seasoning. And they have this really great steak tartare that has gorgonzola bruleed on top of it. It’s so good.” – Shivi Ramoutar, author and chef

Santa Maria

15 Saint Mary’s Road, London W5 5RA; 020 8579 1462,
“I’m a real pizza snob. I feel that what we serve in this country is just not pizza. The best is in Naples, but the closest second I’ve ever had is Santa Maria in Ealing. (They have a second restaurant now in Kensal Green called Sacro Cuore.) If Naples is 10/10, they’re a 9. It’s just never going to be as good, but their pizza is really good.” – Sabrina Ghayour, author and chef


Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JJ;
James Lowe, a former head chef at St John Bread & Wine and member of cooking collective Young Turks, opened his first restaurant in 2014. “Lyle’s is one of our new favourites.” – Leandro Carreira & Hayley Try, chef & restaurant manager

Bocca di Lupo

12 Archer Street, London W1D 7BB; 020 7734 2223,
“I do love Bocca di Lupo. They change the menu quite regularly but the thing I love is pasta with nduja – and burrata when they have it. My favourite place to sit is at the bar. And I love Gelupo, their ice cream shop across the road.” – Shivi Ramoutar, author and chef



Aryubi Express

402 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 0AH; 020 7739 9356
“I buy my veg here every week – I’ve been going for years. You need to be a bit careful with quality but if I want a particular vegetable they don’t source, they’re happy to get it for me. They have lots of dry-store goods, millions of pulses and different types of rice. Nice yoghurt and halloumi. Broadway Market is too expensive – I much prefer going here instead.” – Maud Faussurier, owner of Cantine catering

Yasar Halim

495-497 Green Lanes, London N4 1AL; 020 8340 8090,
“We don’t go here often because it’s too far but this is an amazing Turkish-Cypriot shop. The bakery is unbelievable, especially the savouries, all the boreks. Their baklavas are very good too.” – Itamar Srulovich & Sarit Packer, owners of Honey & Co

Shepherds Bush Market

off Goldhawk Road, London W12 8DE (open Monday to Saturday)
“I tend to go to Shepherds Bush Market for fruit and veg, because there’s really strong Caribbean produce there. It’s very much the place to go in London for Caribbean food.” – Shivi Ramoutar, author and chef

Bottle Apostle

49 Park Rd, London N8 8SY;
Brilliant Hackney wine shop (pictured below) – Leandro has done several pop-up dinners here. – Leandro Carreira & Hayley Try, chef & restaurant manager


The Butchery

49 London Rd, London SE23 3TY; 020 8291 4219,
“The butcher down the road has really good meat – their beef, especially, is incredible. They’re only open Wednesday to Sunday.” Tim notes that they have a production space at Spa Terminus in Bermondsey that opens to the public on Saturdays. – Tim Anderson, author and chef

George’s Fisheries

106 Ladbroke Grove, London, W11 IPY; 020 7727 9043
“All the other fishmongers in the area are overpriced but George’s Fisheries is amazing. It’s a huge place run by a Filipino family and they have glorious fish, octopus, giant prawns, a lot more exotic and larger than other fishmongers and their prices are so reasonable.” – Sabrina Ghayour, author and chef

Growing Communities

61 Leswin Road, London N16 7NX; 020 7502 7588,
“A brilliant organisation based in Hackney that supports local producers and sells direct to the public via a box scheme – we stock their salad at E5 Bakehouse.” They also supplied the mixed leaves for our lunch. – Ben Mackinnon, owner of E5 Bakehouse

E5 Bakehouse

Arch 395, Mentmore Terrace, London E8 3PH;
Excellent bakery under the arches below London Fields station. This is where Conrad takes us to buy seeded rye bread. – Conrad Frankel, artist

Newington Green fruits and vegetables

109 Newington Green Road, London N1 4QY; 020 7354 0990
“It’s a bit of a trek from here but this is an amazing greengrocer.” – Maud Faussurier, owner of Cantine catering

New Loon Moon supermarket

9A Gerrard Street, London W1D 5PN; 020 7734 3887,
“There are three great supermarkets in Chinatown. New Loon Moon probably has the best overall range, whereas SeeWoo probably has the best produce. But I’d go to all three (the other is Loon Fung): it really depends on who has what on the day.” – Tim Anderson, author and chef


To download the full guide, CLICK HERE

Posted 23rd July 2015

In City Guides


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