Quick lunch spots in London

Use the forks!

I love good food, but I’m sure you already knew that. A key factor in eating is time! Especially lunch time, when you are on a city trip there are obviously other things to do then eating the whole time. Although I have to admit that it were for me I would be eating non stop (Am I surprising you?), but even I would start to feel guilty for not visiting the city I’m in. That is why for lunch we (me and my beautiful fiancée) always have a quick (preferably in a place where we can sit) lunch. In the evening we can make up for it and take our time for dinner. Finding a place to have a quick good lunch can be tricky and going to one of those multinational fast-food chains is out of the question.  Before leaving on a city trip, I usually write down some places I’d like to try. But you can be sure that most of the time they opposite side of the city from the sport where I am at that moment :-).

On one of these moment we walked into Wardour street (coming from Oxford Street), it was like finding the “Holy Grail”. So many nice spots to have lunch (here my greediness kicked in again). All kinds of cuisines, from Pizza to Indian to Fish&chips to healthy food (as you can see on the map below, that is one loooooong street, so it would even be possible to eat nonstop whole day long :-))

map wardour street

Our choice went to a place called BananaTree that is specialized in Indochinese kitchen (Indonesian/Chinese). What actually convinced me was the fact they had one of my all-time favorite dishes on the menu, Rendang. Rendang is a slow cooked beef stew with a nutty curry with a coconut based sauce and is for me without any doubt  ‘King of Curries’(Amen to that!).I used to eat it in a great Indo restaurant in Antwerp, but they closed down a long time ago (so I was craving for some Rendang). It tasted just like I remembered it, spicy with a little touch of sweetness and all the rich flavors a curry supposed to have! (I’m about to eat my keyboard)  On top of that we also had a green pancake (yes green) as dessert filled with coconut (that was some goooooood eating we did!).

Bananatree

Bananatree interior

Bananatree Rendang

Bananatree Green Thai pancakes

Bananatree one happy camper

A few other places that caught my attention in Wardour street:

Imli: the place Indian tapas, perfect to taste lots of different Indian dishes.

Imli

Princi: I actually tried the original Princi in Milan, where I probably had one of THE best breakfasts ever. The London branch (only branch outside of Milan) also sells pizza… check my blogpost about it. I can definitely recommend this!

But there were sooooo many more nice places (to many to write down), I’m sure you’ll find something of your liking.

To be continued….

Great British Food

British food doesn’t always have the best reputation, which is strange as every experience I had was good. It is true that the last few years chefs like Rick Stein, Gary Rhodes, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and many more have done many efforts to show that British food is more than only fish and chips! They try to show that there are so many good local products that one should be proud of! Every time I visit a foreign country or city I at least have to try one local dish meal. Like the saying says: “When in Rome do as the romans” when in Britain….. All the times I was in Great Britain I have always eaten well, which doesn’t always have to mean “expensive”. When you are ever in London and you feel like trying real British food made with local products grown by local farmers, I would suggest trying one of the “Canteen” restaurants. As you might already expect, the restaurants are like canteens, but don’t worry they really did their best to pimp the interiors (different in every Canteen restaurant). So no boring school canteens 🙂

canteen interior

Canteen interior 2

View from my seat

We came here to eat of course, so let me start talking about the food. I took a Beef pie (I love pies) and my fiancée another great British classic, smoked haddock :-). How better to end our meal than with a slice of carrot cake (although I have to admit I would have also enjoyed a slice of bread pudding). I have admit that choosing wasn’t easy as there were so many great dishes on the menu that I wanted to try… (and I cannot always be greedy)

Canteen Smoked haddock

Canteen_Beef pie

Canteen carrot cake

We enjoyed our real British meal very much and you will never hear us say that British food is bad! Simple and good, that’s a combination that is always a success. So if you are looking for traditional authentic British food, Canteen it the place to be. We went to the Canteen at Covent Garden, as this way after our dinner we could enjoy Covent Garden by night in a Christmas atmosphere 🙂

Covent Garden

Covent Garden (2)

Covent Garden (3)

The only thing that would have made this dinner better for me is if I could have tried English/British wine… I know they exist or aren’t they worth drinking? (Although I would find that hard to believe)

If you need some more convincing of great British food,  watch one my favorite BBC shows “Saturday Kitchen”, and see how great British food can be!

Canteen

Website: http://www.canteen.co.uk/

Address (the one in Covent Garden)

21 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7DN