The Culinary Explorer


I could describe myself as a culinary explorer. For many people, food simply means The Culinary Explorersurvival. That is, being able to eat three times a day everyday is all that is needed. They have a point.

I find that everyday habits can tell a good story about people and different cultures, though. Food is part of them. For instance, the ingredients and foods available can tell us about the influence that other cultures may have had in a specific area. This is something we do not find that easily on history books, where they usually talk about deeds, battles, years. But, we do know for a fact that nutrition played an important role in Nelson´s victory centuries ago.

In London, I am enjoying getting to know more about other cuisines, including the British! Groups of people from different nationalities seem to concentrate in some specific areas. For instance, near Manor House, in Green Lanes area, there are many Turkish. Down that road, I believe there are Kurds. In New Malden, Korean, etc. Each area have specific shops and restaurant serving regional cuisines. I loved the Turkish bakery on Green Lanes.

What I just can´t have is insects. I know there are a few places here where they sell edible insects, which many people over the world eat.

What types of cuisines have you tried? Any recommendations? Here are some of the cuisines and restaurants that I have tried so far:

  • Vietnamese.
    I simply love their spring rolls. They are so different from the Chinese! I liked this place called Cay Tre in Old Street.
  • Portuguese.
    There are so many nice Portuguese/ Brazilian cafés all over the place, eg, the one on Willesden Green High Street.
  • Ethiopian.
    I thoroughly recommend Lalibela – genuine, well-cooked food and good service.
  • French.
    I love their cheeses and bread. I tried one with work, a very expensive restaurant that I found unsubstantial.
  • Australian.
    Kangaroo meat was really tasty! I tried it over time at different places over time where they had it on the menu.
  • Scandinavian.
    Off Tottenham Court Road, there is this bar called Nordic. I loved their love for anchovies!
  • Dutch.
    I tried it in De Hems pub near China Town. I love kroketten and bitterballen! Any good recommendations?
  • German.
    I have mostly tried it in Germany and in the Christmas markets. Nice sausages!
  • Thai.
    Their currys are so tasty. I particularly enjoyed the green curry. I liked this small one on Chalk Farm Road, just opposite the market.
  • Greek.
    I have tried some in the Baker Street area. I haven´t found yet a Greek that I fully enjoy. I love their moussaka, houmous, etc.
  • Polish.
    If you like meat, you´ll enjoy so much! I also like their `pierogi´. Get it in Camden Market, for example. Any recommendations?
  • Mexican.
    I believe that most of the Mexican food is `Tex-Mex´, ie, no Mexican at all. People talk great things about Mestizo, near Warren Street on Hampstead Road.
  • Venezuelan.
    We went to this `greasy spoon´cafe, Mi cocina es tuya. Food and service were amazing. Try their `tres leches´cake.

    The Culinary Explorer - Tres leches cake

    Tres leches cake

  • Argentinian.
    Oh, lovely meat `empanadas´. Get some in Camden Market.
  • Chinese.
    A colleague, very fussy with his food, took us all to the Feng Shui Innin China Town. No regrets.

    The Culinary Explorer - Aubergines at Feng Shui Inn

    Aubergines at the Feng Shui Inn

  • Irish.
    Colcannon is nice. It´s just mash with veg, but I enjoy simple food.
  • Moroccan.
    Nice cous-cous, but I find that variety is not a characteristic of their cusine. I tried a nice one in Soho.
  • Lebanese.
    I like these restaurant in Shepherd´s Bush, Abu Zaad, which a Lebanese has recommended to me.
  • Jamaican.
    Jerk chicken is really tasty. I have also tried plantain and some other things. I find that I have to be careful, as these foods can be quite filling. The Notting Hill Carnival is the best place to try, altough the Jamaican guy at the Queen´s Crescent market cooks some very decent jerk chicken too.

As for British, I´d say that pub food can be so good. I like their venison sausages quite a bit, and a good Sunday roast or a full English the day after partying hard is glorious! I like St John´s Tavern, in Archway. What about you?

Bon appétit!

A Londoner from Afar

About A Londoner from Afar

Cheese & choc lover, marketer and linguist who would like to explore and share those aspects that still have the power to make her stay in the amazingly vibrant city of London after nearly 10 years.
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14 Responses to The Culinary Explorer

  1. Michelle Gillies says:

    I think I gained 10 lbs. just reading this. 😉 You have a very world wide palette. I haven’t tried half the different cuisine you have. I have had authentic Mexican food and it is one of my favourite things.

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  2. laniersmith says:

    In 2009 on my first visit to London I had a wonderful pup dinner at The Hereford Arms
    127 Gloucester Road South Kensington. Lovely delicious food. Rented a flat on Weatherby Place and just became part of the neighborhood. Here in San Francisco we like London have a myriad of cultures and cuisines. But we are most famous for our Seafood and Chinese food. (The largest Chinese population outside of China!) But my favorites are the wonderful Italian restaurants in North Beach. (The old Barbary Coast) Cafe Roma, Moose, Steps of Rome, The Stinking Rose, and Vesuvio are tops. (jsut to wet your whistle) and in my neiborhood it is all French, Jardiniere, Absinthe, and La Vie. I could go on ……

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  3. Wonderful! I look forward to visiting SanFran at some point.The Stinking Rose name sounds quite funny, but I’m sure they serve yummy food there.

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  4. Wanderlust23 says:

    Brilliant post. I have a little guide book that I got from my uni entitled Multicultural London. It maps out the various areas by nationality. I used to live in the Greek/Turkish area up north and now live in the Sri Lankan area in south. Food and lack thereof is so important in our society. Also when travelling, so I always like to eat local food where ever I go. It boggles my mind that people will travel and still want to eat western cuisine which is some of the worse in the world in my opinion. My favourites are Japanese and Thai.

    I’ve tried almost all the cuisines on your list, with the exception of 5 or so. I am going to Iceland soon and am interested in trying out Scandinavian food. Jamaican can be really heavy but a lot of Jamaicans are vegetarians so that side of the food is a lot lighter. While I have not yet been to to Notting Hill Carnival I have to say it can’t be the best place to get Jamaican in London. Brixton is definitely the place to go as it is basically ‘Little Jamaica’. It really depends though, random food shops around the city could be even better as I’ve had food from a place in Croydon that is the best I’ve had in this country yet. I am biased though, growing up eating Jamaican food I am very critical of the flavours.

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  5. Miranti says:

    I like this place for roasted duck “Four Seasons”, 12 Gerrard Street, London W1D 5PR, England
    +44 (0)207 494 0870…it’s from my address book.

    Thai restaurant Patara http://www.pataralondon.com/ isn’t so bad. Even though I like Blue Elephant http://www.blueelephant.com/london/ better because they have some interesting dishes on the menu

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  6. Nice to read a fellow culinary traveler’s food recommendations! When I travel, I like to eat in places where the locals eat to take in the tasty food and the atmosphere. When I am in London, I have no problem finding food from many different cultures so I like that. I find that it is a city that offers the best culinary delights compared to other major cities in the EU.

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    • Nice to see you are alive and well after all that happened! Any favourite cuisine?

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      • Oh, I love a lot of different foods and I am always craving to try new foods. Italian food is my favourite cuisine – – I have a carbohydrate obsession in the form of breads, pasta, and desserts! Yes, and after what happened and the hours I spent with straightening out the logistics of the car damage and my medical check up that day, I was most annoyed at the fact that I had to cancel my plans to try out a new Vietnamese restaurant that same night, haha.

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  7. Pingback: Czech Them Out: My Prague Highlights « Wanderlust

  8. Pingback: Czech Them Out: My Top Prague Highlights

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