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Sep 24, 2007 07:22 AM

Kilburn, W Hampstead, Finchley Rd area recs

Does anyone have any recs for the above areas? Price/Type/doesn't matter...
Thank you.

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  1. Some thoughts:

    Eriki (Finchley Road nr Swiss Cottage end) - Indian (focus on Punjabi/Goan). Very good neighbourhood place, not as good as when it first opened as very talented head chef has left but sous chef stepped up, I believe he's Indian Punjabi. They have a website.

    Singapore Garden (Fairfax Road) - SE Asian. Modern, stylish, high quality food although very expensive, central London pricing.

    The Arches (Fairhazel Gardens) - European. Decent enough bistro style food but more acclaimed for its very good wine list, European husband/wife owners are big wine buffs.

    Gung Ho (West End Lane) - Chinese/Szechuan. Consistently good neighbourhood Chinese. Claims to be Szechuan although I would say that this is somewhat overstated.

    Taro (Finchley Road) - Japanese. Does grilled fare and sushi, based upon a recent visit, I would stick to the grill options as sushi is mediocre. If you're prepared to go further up Finchley Road as far as Golders Green, Cafe Japan is a much better option for sushi. Oh there's also Yuzu on Fortune Green Road which is very good modern style creative Japanese, I've only ever had delivery but I believe you can go there and eat.

    Little Bay (Belsize Road) - European bistro. This place used to be good and well priced although I haven't been in quite a while. I did however recently go to a sister restaurant LMNT in East London and thought that was pretty good.

    Hafez (Finchley Road) - Iranian. Haven't been in a long time but this place used to be good, may well still be good as there is a reasonable Iranian presence along that stretch of Finchley Road including a couple of good grocery stores that I frequent regularly.

    Eton Avenue street market (Finchley Rd/Swiss Cottage). Only came across this recently, apparently it only opens on Fridays and Saturdays. Includes some stalls selling produce (French deli, bread, fruit and veg, Mediterrean - olives etc) and some selling meals to order including a Hungarian palacsinta (pancake) stall, a Thai food stall and an Egyptian food stall. Encouragingly, it appeared that the food was being cooked by natives of those respective countries, I saw two Thai women making the food fresh at the back of the Thai stall and it looked and smelled good. I need to go back and sample the various options, most things seemed tempting and prices were competitive.

    Ethiopian. There used to be a good place on Finchley Road, one of those places which makes you feel as though you've been transported to a front room in a 2up 2down circa 1975. It's probably been replaced by a Costa Coffee or something else pointless but this place appears to be alive and well

    1. For hearty eastern european food, try the Czech Restaurant in the Czech & Slovak house on West End Lane - roast pork with sauerkraut and dumplings, goulasch, roast duck and other dishes with a selection of Czech beers on tap.

      1 Reply
      1. re: AgnesGooch

        That place serves very hearty food. Good for autumn and winter dinners. It's really authentic IMHO but you will fill full afterwards.

      2. Having been attracted to the lunch buffet (incredible value, but not fine dining), Wakaba opposite Finchley Rd tube also does an impressive a la carte at dinner. Had an impeccable squid in sea urchin sauce, perfectly grilled fish, etc. (speaking of which, a rubbery and over-sweet grilled salmon neck in Soho Japan rather disappointed recently). There's a Sri Lankan in W Hampstead that was decent but not particularly memorable.

        3 Replies
        1. re: cavorting

          did you try the sushi at wakaba and if so what did you think? i used to go to this place but then went off it and found better places.

          where else in London do you like for sushi/Japanese?

          1. re: oonth

            Only had a spider roll there. Understated rather than bold, flavours well matched, the rice was good, and presentation was much better than usual (people are getting so laissez faire about symmetry). I liked it.

            Nowhere I've been blown away by for sushi. Presently I make it to Atariya whenever I'm around there for their fish. Where else can you get Otoro sashimi for 2.50?

            Haven't made it to Saki yet, will have to try it.

            I like Yoisho on Goodge St. And Yoshino off Piccadilly. Rice dishes at Sakura. The prices at a lot of the other places put me off. Remember being impressed by Kikuchi on Hanway St. Actually... are there enough Japanese food fans to organise a dinner sometime to try somewhere new?

            1. re: cavorting

              Thanks for your thoughts.

              Unfortunately great sushi and good value don't really fit together in the same sentence and that's the same whether you're eating your sushi in London, New York, LA, Bangkok or even Tokyo/Japan for that matter.

              Atari ya really does stand out in that it offers good fish at very reasonable prices, I guess that's because they are getting the fish from their wholesale fish operation. You may also want to try out the sushi counter in Selfridge's Food Hall which I've always found to be good quality and fair pricing.

              Otherwise my recs - Saki, Edokko, Kiku, Sakana-tei - are all at a higher price point although they all offer lunchtimes deals. Saki, you get a sushi selection for £20 even in the evenings which isn't too bad for the quality, it's only if you go a la carte or start ordering expensive sakes that you're likely to break the bank.

          1. re: fifi

            Two gastropubs to check out:

            Black Lion Pub and North London Tavern, both on Kilburn High Road