Ryan Chetiyawardana’s London Address Book

26th January 2017

Interview: Killian Fox

The bar owner on a classic restaurant and its alumni, a kebab joint that plays heavy metal and (probably) his favourite food shop in London



6 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TQ;

The new Borough outpost from Trullo owners Tim Siadatan and Jordan Frieda. “What Tim’s done at Padella is incredible. I love their borlotti beans with salsa verde on sourdough. And then it’s everything you want from pasta. It’s so unassuming and simple. There’s a list of three wines: all great, really well-sourced. That simplicity is something I really love.”

St John Bread & Wine

94 Commercial Street, London E1 6LZ;
The classic second restaurant from Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver is “always going to be a favourite,” says Ryan. He also admires St John for the alumni it’s produced: he mentions The Clove Club and Lyle’s. (And while we’re at it, Ryan reels off a list of other restaurants in the area: Som Saa, Morito and Sager & Wilde.)


344 Upper Street, London N1 0PD;
“This is a lovely, tiny place on Upper Street run by Tom [Oldroyd] who used to work at Polpo. For a long time I didn’t really enjoy Italian food – growing up in the UK, it was crap. But Tom does it so well. Here you have a chef who knows how to get good ingredients and do something to them with a deft touch.” — Ryan

Black Axe Mangal

156 Canonbury Road, London N1 2UP;
New-wave kebab shop in Islington run by former St John Bread & Wine head chef Lee Tiernan. “The place I crave is Black Axe Mangal. It was the ethos that really rang true with me: Lee knows where to get the best ingredients and he knows what he’s doing – it’s finesse without being tweezered. And they play metal, which ticks another box for me.”


Borough Market, London SE1 9AD;
“I think Elliot’s does the best steak in London.”


Newington Green Fruit and Vegetables

109 Newington Green Road, London N1 4QY
When we admire the tomatoes on Ryan’s counter, he says he got them at “this place up in Newington Green which is probably my favourite shop in London” (it’s one of our favourites too). “It’s got all this amazing stuff. I sometimes go and buy mystery fruits there – I don’t know what this is, I’ll bring it to the team, let’s try it and see what works out.”

The Sampler

266 Upper Street, London N1 2UQ;
Clever wine shop (also in South Kensington) that allows you to sample a selection of wines before you buy. “There are a few booze shops I really like that have the same approach to ingredients, the same love and care. I use Sampler on Upper Street quite a lot for wine – I’ve used their stuff for competitions. I know what I want in general and I know quite a lot about the wines – but then I want something specific and they’re very good at picking out interesting bottles.”

The Whisky Exchange

2 Bedford Street, London WC2E 9HH;
“The guys down at the Whisky Exchange shop have a similar approach to the Sampler. You can go in there and say this is my occasion, this is what I love, this is what I hate, and they find you something. This, for me, is the same as a bar experience: great people who obviously care about what they do. We’re interested – we’re going to help you get to there. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or a connoisseur.”

Neal’s Yard Dairy (pictured above)

17 Shorts Gardens, London WC2H 9AT;
One of the long-standing champions of the London cheese scene. “We use Neal’s Yard stuff – Bronwen [Percival]’s selection is incredible. I’ve been fascinated by her work. She did a Kickstarter to research the microbiology of milk – it was a nice geeky connection.”

Broadway Market

Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ;
The cheese and pancetta Ryan plies us with come from a stall on Broadway Market – he doesn’t remember the name of the stall, but you’ll have no problem finding good cheese and cured meats at the Saturday market.


Arch 385, Geffrye Street, London E2 8HZ;
The bread Ryan lays out for us comes from this bakery, part of a burgeoning Swedish chain, near White Lyan.

Posted 26th January 2017

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