It’s our birthday!
Now we’re at the grand old age of fourteen, we thought we’d dig out our best foodie secrets to share with the world. Whether it’s a hidden cafe that serves spectacular pastries, or a unsuspecting gastropub with the best burger in town, here are fourteen of Sauce’s favourite local spots across London.
Bintang on Kentish Town Road. A bit of a Kentish Town institution as has been there over 25 years. It looks like nothing from outside but it’s a great little pan Asian restaurant with some really interesting and creative dishes on the menu. My order tends to be crispy tofu bites with adobo BBQ sauce and King Prawn Bintang (their signature sauce, coconutty and fragrant but I ask for it spicey and they’re happy to oblige). Inside there is a small room when you walk in but also a huge cavernous basement dining room, it’s shabby but charming and the food is so good you don’t mind. It’s cheap anyway but on a Tuesday it is 2 for 1 on main meals if you like them on Facebook or tweet. The best bit is it’s BYO and they also deliver – which is really handy but also really lazy of me as it’s around the corner!
Nestled away just off Chiswick High Road, Outsider Tart is run by two David’s and who are all about American bakes. They serve a range of gooey brownies (all brick sized!), whoopie pies and layer cakes. Everything comes in huge portions and everything on the menu is amazingly good value for money. They also run a little diner next door (it doesn’t have signage about it so you have to know it’s there) continuing with the theme of hearty American cooking – they are currently doing weekly menus which cover each of the American states, so you can get something different every time you visit.
Naama, 384 Uxbridge Rd, W12. A Lebanese butchers and cafe. Does the best Lebanese sandwiches and Lebanese pastries. Really fresh vibrant food, friendly service and great value too.
The Ginger Pig on Askew Road for the city’s – if not the country’s – best sausage rolls. They are the size of a small car and are baked fresh everyday, you can sniff them out for miles. The best one in my view is the pork and stilton: Densely packed top notch sausage meat and stilton wrapped in buttery flakey pastry. Eat them warm with a cold ginger beer and you have the makings of the perfect summer lunch.
The Barn – really sweet new coffee shop on Holloway road near Highbury. Owned by three brothers who operate a warm and welcoming little spot. Great coffee, lovely cakes & freshly baked croissants. The interior is cosy; rustic wood and warm lighting in the main room: bright sunroom at the rear. Staff are super friendly.
Parissi in Brixton – tucked away on Atlantic Road away from the madness of the Village this is a tiny hidden gem. The owner makes the best fresh croissants, cakes and pastries right there in the cafe, and it’s a lovely place to while away a weekend morning over great coffee, or meet friends for lunch. In the evening it becomes a cute little bar with delicious mezze and cocktails. Rumour has it the Spyros, the owner, makes amazing macaroons, he’ll be adding them to the menu soon.
The Little Bar – cocktail bar by Tooting Broadway, owned by journalist Madeleine Lim, and serves classic cocktails as well as locally-brewed craft beers and wine. It is the only place outside of the Hix restaurants where you can get a Hix Fix cocktail (Morello cherry in prosecco). Open every day of the week, cocktails are reasonably priced and they have just opened a cute outside area for the summer too!
Mes Amis – Amazing Lebanese in Hammersmith, its teeny tiny and set in this guy’s front room! He cooks the food right in front of you, the room is filled with knick-knacks from his travels, mostly salt and pepper shakers which he collects. His loyal customers bring them back from holidays for him, so the place is filled with over 500 of them. No website but you can find tel number on Google.
MUD Tooting – great new place by Tooting Broadway serving breakfast and brunch dishes until 3pm. Only been open a couple of months but is already extremely popular among Tooting locals. Favourite dish has to be the sweetcorn fritters served with a poached egg, avocado and streaky bacon with a strong coffee and their fresh beetroot + ginger juice!
Ivy’s Mess Hall on Kingsland Road, Dalston – does the best eggs benedict/royale and spicy bloody mary’s – great for a weekend hangover cure!
Deli X in Deptford. Run by two local women, it serves up Monmouth coffee, a small menu of top quality, simple dishes and local vibes in spades. A bacon sandwich and latte on a Saturday morning there is one of my favourite things. It also has a fab deli counter and sells brilliant bread as well.
Green Bean Boost is a charming little vintage Citroen HY van called ‘Beany’ thats based in the hub of Hammermsith, Brook Green. The van offers wholesome superfood energy bars alongside its quality fair trade coffee. Using only raw ingredients, the nourishing bars use dried fruits, nuts, seeds and superfoods which are soaked to bring alive their natural vitality. Run by the beautiful Lucy it is the perfect pitstop for those looking for a healthy pick me up whilst out-and-about.
Bird in Hand – A Sauce favourite for a Friday lunch treat. A couple of minutes’ walk from the mayhem of Shepherd’s Bush the Bird in Hand serves up beautiful seasonal small plates and stone baked pizzas. Go with friends and make sure you share or there will be massive food envy!
La Porchetta Pollo Bar, Old Compton Street. Great, really central, really cheap place which serves good solid pastas and pizzas with loads of choice. The restaurant is set over two floors, and has a canteen-style feel to it. Small open pizza kitchen right at the front of the restaurant, offering warm and welcoming wafts as you walk through the door! A little rough around the edges (toilets in particular) but a great place for groups to enjoy good value Italian food if they ever find themselves right in the centre of tourist land. No twitter or website – this place is old school…
Don’t forget to tweet your best kept food secrets to us – @Saucecomms