Top 3: New Openings You Need to Visit in London This WeekBy Claudine Levy
Life’s too short to visit the same restaurant twice. Here’s 3 new openings you need to visit in the capital this week. Happy exploring, London:
New Openings: For Tea and Cake
The Low-down: Camden Stables Market used to be a place where goths went to replace their misplaced skull rings and tourists went to find authentic London ethnic throws and cheap ‘Chinese lemon chicken’, but things are changing,… slowly. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and that light goes by the name of The Flour Station.
Eat: As you walk in to this place, brace yourself. You will be bombarded by vibes. They will be everywhere. You’ll have to swathe through the vibes until you reach the high countertop and lustfully peer at a selection of baked goods, which will make your heart ache with desire. Fresh, gorgeous loaves of bread lines the shelves, homemade conserves and butter sit beside them waiting patiently for you to delve, seasonal salads sit seductively on the right-hand side, English cheeses and charcuteries lurk around the corner… as you can probably tell by now, The Flour Station is a treasure trove. If you come for one thing, in the name of all that is holy, come for the eccles cakes. With buttery, flaky filo cocooning sticky, spiced mincemeat, these babies are festive enough to give any mince pie imposter syndrome. Did we mention they also sell godly granola? Cherry and almond. Get some.
Drink: A flat white.
Where: Unit 91, North Yard, Camden Market, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8AH
New Openings: For Lunch
The Low-Down: Bodean’s has become an institution. It’s the sort of place you’ll be taken to for a ‘welcome lunch’ at a new job by colleagues who want to test your nerve. Many men and women have been broken by Bodeans. Now the smokehouse and BBQ joint has hit up the streets of Muswell Hill, the folk of N10 are lapping up this meat shack like it’s nobody’s business.
Eat: Sometimes you will experience a hunger so profound that only a stack of ribs piled up to the sky will satiate it. Watching people eat here is like watching a scene plucked straight out of Planet Earth – at least when the AT team are in town. We chowed down like a pack of wolves, jowls slathering as we tore our teeth into succulent, sticky, sweet flesh, straight from the bone. Wholesome. If you’re feeling dainty, maybe stick to a light supper at Mae Deli, as the portions here are gargantuan and you’ll have to bring a savage appetite to match. We recommend the Boss Hog Platter, which is as absurdly big as it sounds: expect wings, BBQ burnt ends, baby-back ribs, Jacob’s ladder ribs, spare ribs, pulled pork, sausages, and a side of culinary heart attack.
Drink: This place serves a mean espresso martini, (which you’ll need to revive you upon waking from your colossal food coma), and an even better Bloody Mary – which is essentially just a tomato salad having an identity crisis. And salads masquerading as cocktails go down very well with us.
Where: 348 Muswell Hill Broadway, London N10 1DJ
New Openings: For Dinner
The Low-Down: Laksa Kitchen is a new pop-up in Kentish Town. Gentifirication has truly found its feet in the once gritty stretch by the station. No, but seriously, we would campaign for this to be standing fixture in the Tolli café. The greasy spoon cafe is now home to Laksa Kitchen on Friday, Saturday and Sundays until 18th December, after a sold out summer residency. It’s run by Chef Lim and the charming front of house David Tjong, bringing back the flavours of their travels from Kuala Lumpur and Penang. It’s constantly packed, so make you sure book in advance.
Eat: Start your Malaysian feast with a variety of small plates like taro wrapped tofu and prawn fritters in a lightly spiced batter. For mains, the noodle soups are the star here. If you feel comfortable with your companion slurp and share your way through a rich coconut laksa with plump mussels and juicy shrimps, and a sarawak – lighter than a laksa, but equally addictive. Now, this is the best laksa we have ever had (big, bold claim), but it’s also backed up by celebrity chef John Torode. And this man knows his soups. Pudding here is a real necessity. For anyone who has visited Thailand, sticky mango and rice becomes a real love affair, that Western attempts cannot even to begin to compete with. Kuih Seri Muka, a sticky rice and pandan coconut custard delight will fill the void. They also offer dishes that are suitable for veggies, coeliacs and vegans.
Drink: The food is so rich and flavourful; let it be the main event. Either opt for a coconut water and lychee juice combo, or a Tiger beer.
Where: 327 Kentish Town Rd, London NW5 2TJ
Photo Credit: Jennifer Cauli