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NYC foodie moving to london

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felizglfr Jul 21, 2008 10:19 AM

I know 90% of the people on this board of expat foodies from major cities like myself so I know for a fact you guys could help me out.

What food items should I bring with me?

I was thinking maple syrup and a can of my barefoot contessa pancake mix.

any other suggestions?

Also, would love your recommendations on good coffee in london. My favorite in NYC is ninth street espresso.

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  1. f
    foreignmuck RE: felizglfr Jul 21, 2008 10:56 AM

    for coffee, flat white and monmouth are your best bet:

    www.monmouthcoffee.co.uk

    Flat White: 17 Berwick Street, Soho#

    also, there is a newly opened branch called Milk Bar:
    http://trustedplaces.com/review/uk/lo...

    all do a mean coffee...

    I find Pret a Manger do the least offensive coffee out of the chain places. Most other places are fairly nasty.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foreignmuck
      steve h. RE: foreignmuck Jul 21, 2008 11:34 AM

      caffe nero has decent coffee. they're all over.

    2. nanette RE: felizglfr Jul 21, 2008 11:07 AM

      We have Costco over here. No need to bring maple syrup ;) Besides, you can buy it at the supermarket.

      With the exception of low fat refried beans, I can't think of anything I've not found a replacement for or grown to live without.

      1. zuriga1 RE: felizglfr Jul 21, 2008 11:28 AM

        I used to miss the strangest things... like Wondra flour. I find the longer I'm in the UK, the less I miss from back 'there.' You'll find just about everything here, but something like maple syrup will cost a bit more than you're used to paying. But you can easily find it. What you probably will miss most is the lower cost of food in NYC ( I know... hard to believe). I'm finding a few favorites now at Whole Foods (Joseph's diet cookies), but the prices just make me laugh.

        You'll enjoy shopping here. The supermarkets are excellent.

        2 Replies
        1. re: zuriga1
          f
          felizglfr RE: zuriga1 Jul 21, 2008 01:40 PM

          I'm very excited for my move. I've been to london twice in the past year and had a great time searching for some good food finds. places that stand out for me were monmouth coffee, toasted cheese sandwich stand at borough, bread and butter pudding at the table, beigel bake, and a good pre-fixe lunch at wild honey. i also enjoyed laudree alot although i know it's really french but they don't have it in nyc!

          anyone have good recommendations for the following:
          -red velvet cupcakes(my favorite in nyc are sugar sweet sunshine)
          -chocolate chip cookes
          -chocolate croissants
          -chips and salsa/guac

          1. re: felizglfr
            n
            Nii RE: felizglfr Jul 22, 2008 03:32 AM

            You could give the below a try for American baked goods. All good but very sickly.

            Hummingbird Bakery - 133 Portobello road, Notting hill W11 2DY
            Buttercup - 16 St Albans grove W8 5BP

            Try Peyton and Bryne for traditonal British baked stuff.

            Try Green and Red or Taqueria for 'authentic' Mexican

            Green and Red - 51 Bethnal Green rd. E1 6LA. I loved it here, the food was great.

            Taqueria - 138 Westbourne Grove W11 2RS

            Market wise, I would definitely try and visit some of the 'local' markets for a more electic feel and a tast of real London.

        2. r
          relizabeth RE: felizglfr Jul 22, 2008 05:08 AM

          I've made the NYC-London move a few times. Here are what I always bring back (or wish I did):
          chipotle chilis in adobe paste (I have seen these in tescos, and at taqueria)
          tapatio sauce
          indian head corn meal
          mexican hot chocolate
          epazote
          american chili powder
          masa (i bought a tortilla press and make my own)
          maple sugar and/or maple butter
          molasses

          if you are bringing your american cookbooks, bring your american measuring cups & spoons.

          4 Replies
          1. re: relizabeth
            n
            Nii RE: relizabeth Jul 22, 2008 06:14 AM

            I'm guessing this is a list of stuff you bring back to the U.K?

            My Mum buys Indian head corn meal from Sheperds Bush Market or Brixton -cheapy as well. I'm sure you'll be able to pick it up from Asian shops as well.

            1. re: Nii
              j
              JFores RE: Nii Jul 22, 2008 08:05 AM

              You can get it in quite a number of stores in Brixton; pretty much any of the South American places.

              1. re: JFores
                TexasToast RE: JFores Aug 3, 2008 02:33 PM

                It's not really food, but you can't buy Velveeta in London.

                TT

            2. re: relizabeth
              w
              walk_the_earth RE: relizabeth Jul 31, 2008 09:54 AM

              I lived in London for most of last year, and I would agree they are things having to do with Mexican food. That and the CLIF or Odwalla type energy bars that are plentiful here. They have sort of nutty sesame looking things often at store counters that serve the same purpose, but not the same as here in the States.

              For Mexican food, btw, last year for Cinco de Mayo I set out on a mission to find good authentic (Mexican authentic, not Tex Mex Americanized authentic) Mexican and was successful. Mestizo (www.mestizomx.com) way out at the north edge of Tottenham Court where it turns into Hampstead Road (take the #24 bus there) was fantastic. Oddly, though, they had no idea what I was talking about when I walked in and greeted them with "Happy Cinco de Mayo!" No matter, the food was excellent, and they had these video montages of Mexico playing on the flatscreens behind the bar - I would go there often and ease my homesick pangs for good Mexican food and cherished trips to Cozumel.

            3. j
              JFores RE: felizglfr Jul 22, 2008 08:19 AM

              I just made the move in September (Brooklyn to London for uni) and it was terrible at first, but now I wouldn't want it any other way. If you're on any sort of budget then the prices are going to kill you and you'll literally find yourself laughing at how much they want you to pay for some things. This especially goes for restaurants (I'd really like to know where the overhead is coming from because produce prices, meat prices, and cook wages are not high.)

              I don't think you have to bring anything, but if you want some stuff that you won't find there than anything Hispanic is good. The market shopping and supermarkets are IMO much better over there with a few exceptions in NY (ei. I still miss Three Guys from Brooklyn, all of the Italian stores I went to forever in Bensonhurst and Dyker, etc, but you can get some Italian stuff there.)

              I like Green Valley off Edgeware Road for coffee. Any time I passed in the morning I would get my take out cup there and they sell good beans as well. If you're in tea as well, then London has some really good tea stores and stands, but prices are higher here. That is one thing that I always bring. I go to the store in the basement of a building in Flushing which specializes in Taiwanese oolong and I load up for the dry (aka financially destitute) season.

              Go to Brixton and market shop there in the beginning, I think it acclimatizes you to London very quickly, especially since Central has a very fake feel to it. It feels kind of like Manhattan (which I hate outside of Harlem, the Heights, and Chinatown) but you can't even run away from it by going to Chinatown or Washington Heighs or Harlem. Also, Brixton has what is apparently a very good pizzeria, though it was only mediocre when I tried it. Apparently their pizza chef has changed and it vastly improved though.

              Also, if you're into South Asian food then at the very least the shopping is vastly better. Since I've gotten back to New York (and I live next to a very large Bengali population here) I've been trying to find some things that I just can't find. When I ask my Bengali friends and their parents they just sort of shrug and say that they've given up trying to find those things (mostly exotic vegetables and banana flowers are VERY hard to find here compared to London. Naga chillies too.)

              If you like Mexican food then invest in a tortilla press so you can make your own tacos, quesadillas, etc (it's really easy) and do not bother with Chinese food in London at all (except No 10 Chinese restaurant for their Szechuan items because I want to hear more comparisons especially if you've been to Chengdu Heaven (the tiny stall in the underground Flushing food mall) or Little Pepper.)

              If you're allowed to vacuum seal some meat products (I don't think you are, but hey I know Bengalis who bring 5 pounds of dried fish back every time they go home) I would definitely recommend that you hit up 18th Avenue for an assortment of sopressate and then head to Ridgewood for the glory that is Ridgewood Pork Store (load up on Romanian salamis, consider the home made smoked back bacon, the duck sausages, etc.) Those are the things that I tend to crave because even if I found it in London I can't make it and can't afford it.

              Oh yeah, if you like spicy food, then prepare to have it removed from your life.

              12 Replies
              1. re: JFores
                greedygirl RE: JFores Jul 22, 2008 09:48 AM

                I think JF is being a little harsh, and his view of London is skewed by the fact that he is a student on a tight budget.

                There are very few things that you can't get in London, food-wise. Mexican items are the exception, as we don't have a very big Mexican population here but you can get most things online. There is a Mexican store tucked away in Victoria, and a couple of Colombian grocers in Brixton, as mentioned by JF.

                1. re: JFores
                  zuriga1 RE: JFores Jul 22, 2008 09:51 AM

                  Justin, aren't the restaurant prices here, in part higher, due to the rents and cost of property? Of course, now this may be changing a bit with the 'credit crunch.'

                  'Spicy' is a personal thing, but I think that in general, food here seems much spicier to me than it was in the States... maybe not Bengali or other ethnic things, but Brits seem to love things that are hot.

                  You have become a believer!!

                  1. re: zuriga1
                    j
                    JFores RE: zuriga1 Jul 22, 2008 07:49 PM

                    I dunno about the rents and cost of property. In part, it makes sense, but rents in Manhattan are similar without such extreme cost increases. I think people are just more willing to pay more in a culture where eating out is a lot rarer than back home.

                    Yeah, the spiciness issue is mostly with Thai food and Sichuan. I can say "Thai spicy 5 stars spicy super super hot deadly hot" and my dishes will still come out very not-spicy. Oh well. I dunno about Brits and heat. I've taken four English friends to my favorite Thai place back home now and only one (who was Indian born in the first place) wasn't DYING. Two of them couldn't even finish their food.

                    However, the food at Gram Bangla packs some serious heat at times (usually the dishes that they would never ever except non-Bengalis to order), but Sylhetis do cook hotter in general (owned and operated entirely by Sylhetis.)

                    I do like the easy availability of nagas and bird's eye chillies in most Bengali specialty stores and even as close to central as Whitechapel.

                    1. re: JFores
                      greedygirl RE: JFores Jul 23, 2008 03:05 AM

                      It sounds to me that you are just more used to/tolerant of extremely spicy food than the average person. I suspect a lot of Americans wouldn't be able to tolerate the level of spiciness of authentic Thai food, for example. Extremely spicy doesn't necessarily = extremely good, either.

                      It's very difficult to compare prices in New York and London because of the exchange rate.

                      1. re: JFores
                        limster RE: JFores Jul 23, 2008 11:29 AM

                        101 Thai in Hammersmith/Chiswick will make dishes as hot as appropriate e.g. the som tom. The seasoning/spicing isn't as complex/refined as some of the best places I've been to back home, but it's pretty honest and down to earth.

                        Thai food isn't always universally hot, and different dishes have different characteristic ranges of heat. There are some that shouldn't be hot at all. For me it's always been a balancing act requesting spiciness, because the heat needs to work with the flavours in rest of the dish, and changing the heat level sometimes means having to adjust other seasonings to get everything to work together properly. A dish can be too hot in the same way as it can be too salty or sweet. It's not about extreme spiciness but the correct level of spiciness for the dish and the other ingredients and seasoning in it.

                        1. re: limster
                          j
                          JFores RE: limster Jul 23, 2008 06:20 PM

                          I agree regarding the spicing, but I tend to use heat as a signifier of an authentic restaurant with some dishes. For ei, I like my tom yum soup, jungle curry, and green papaya salad to be hot to an almost unlimited degree. I like beef salads and most dishes along those lines to be more mild though. I've found myself ordering hotter than I might otherwise just to avoid sickeningly sweet curries (which I would find just as often if I went to bad Thai places back in NY, but I don't. I stick to three very solid spots.)

                          I'll definitely give 101 Thai a try. What do they do well?

                          1. re: JFores
                            limster RE: JFores Jul 24, 2008 04:07 AM

                            At 101, I'd probably order off the Isaan menu towards the end of the menu. It's also worth asking about the thai specials on the wall.

                            One of the major lessons I've learn about ordering Thai in the US etc. is that it's important to get the dish not only spicy hot but nicely balanced with the rest of the flavours.

                            In many instances, asking for hot means that they just crank up the heat, often indiscriminately, and often with the wrong type of chilli. I've had a few cases where the place used dried red chilli instead of bird chilli - which not only amplifies the heat but also the earthy bitterness and thereby ruined the dish because the balance of flavours was all wrong. It's kind of a delicate balancing act sometimes, when trying get stuff done properly to ensure that the rest of the spicing and seasoning is commensurate with the heat level.

                            1. re: limster
                              greedygirl RE: limster Jul 24, 2008 04:17 AM

                              My office is not that far from Hammersmith, so I'll give 101 Thai a try - have yet to find Thai food in London which matches up to the stuff I've had in Thailand!

                              I did a search on them, btw, and looks like they're advertising for a new chef.

                              http://www.caterersearch.com/jobs/job...

                              1. re: greedygirl
                                limster RE: greedygirl Jul 24, 2008 08:04 AM

                                Cool -- many thanks for the info -- will be important to see if they're holding up or if we need to track the chef down...

                    2. re: JFores
                      limster RE: JFores Jul 22, 2008 12:37 PM

                      re: spicy food, I have to admit that I've finally been able to find the proper red and green chilli here in London; after living for 15yrs in the US -- it's like seeing long lost family. Mexican chilli peppers, while as lovely as they for Mexican food, just don't really taste right with various Malaysian/Singaporean foods and certain Chinese (Cantonese) ones. Having had it removed from my life, it's been great to be able to ask for (or automatically get) sliced red chilli or the pickled green ones here -- big difference in the quality of the heat, not just how hot but the timbre of the flavour, a certain sharpness and earthy bitterness, a crisper texture.

                      1. re: limster
                        greedygirl RE: limster Jul 22, 2008 01:17 PM

                        That's interesting. Is it the long thin cayenne ones you mean?

                        1. re: greedygirl
                          limster RE: greedygirl Jul 22, 2008 01:27 PM

                          I think so....we just call them chilli (or la4 jiao4 aka "spicy pepper") back home. Long, thin and smooth rather than crinkled surface.

                    3. p
                      peelmeagrape RE: felizglfr Jul 23, 2008 01:05 AM

                      I miss all the healthy prepackaged/prepared-food grain/carb options from the U.S. Things like Fiber One peanut butter granola bars, Kashi Go Lean and Pro-Biotic Vive cereal, O.R. low-fat microwave kettle korn, Tazo Sweet Cinnamon tea. There is much less of that kind of food here.

                      I also miss the ready availability of a wide range of flavours of really great ice cream - not that you could bring that over anyway.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: peelmeagrape
                        nanette RE: peelmeagrape Jul 23, 2008 04:04 AM

                        FYI - I've seen Kashi at Sainsburys recently.

                        1. re: nanette
                          p
                          peelmeagrape RE: nanette Jul 24, 2008 11:18 AM

                          I'm pretty sure it's not Kashi Go Lean or Pro Vive, since I've been told by the food buyer at my local Waitrose that neither is available for sale in the UK (they don't want to package it with the labeling it needs here). I have seen a different Kashi cereal - the one with granola in it, I think - at a few health food stores. Maybe that's the one you've seen at Sainsbury's?

                        2. re: peelmeagrape
                          j
                          JFores RE: peelmeagrape Jul 23, 2008 07:55 AM

                          I have a big pack of Kashi bars in London collecting dust at friend's house until I get back, so yes you can get them.

                          Green Valley has some pretty good icecream.

                          1. re: JFores
                            f
                            felizglfr RE: JFores Jul 23, 2008 01:35 PM

                            Thanks for all the advice so far. I'm really excited on trying all the curries and bengali food when I get there. Any advice for someone who is absolutely clueless on where to begin?

                            I don't really have a tolerance for spicy food since I grew up on the vingeary foods of the filipinos and have only recently accquired a taste of mild section of thai restaurants. anyone know where i can find a good filipino grocery store as well?

                            i'm excited to discover my own food finds in london and exploring all the different types of markets.

                            unfortunately, i'll be moving to london particpating in a work-study program for which i will be paid very very little. so i guess my options will be very limited to say the least.

                            1. re: felizglfr
                              j
                              JFores RE: felizglfr Jul 23, 2008 06:21 PM

                              Check out Gram Bangla as one of your first meals in London, imo. Where will you be living?

                              1. re: JFores
                                f
                                felizglfr RE: JFores Jul 24, 2008 06:36 AM

                                The program that placed me has unfortunately told me where I'll be living. I know that I'll be living either in Edgeware Road, Maida Vale or on City Road between the Old Street and Angel tube stop. I'm hoping for City Road since it's closest to where I'll be working (UBS on Liverpool Street).

                            2. re: JFores
                              p
                              peelmeagrape RE: JFores Jul 24, 2008 11:19 AM

                              Which Kashi bars? The crisp ones? Or are they chewy? Where did you find them?

                          2. n
                            New Yorker in London RE: felizglfr Jul 23, 2008 09:58 AM

                            I moved to London from New York last year, and here are some of the things I miss and can't find here:
                            cake flour
                            unsweetened chocolate (for baking)
                            Tazo tea
                            authentic grits (I'm originally a southerner); instant grits can be found
                            Ghiradelli chocolate chips

                            I've found my Mexican supplies (chipotles, black beans, tortillas, etc.) at the Cool Chile Company (which has a stall at Borough Market) and at Whole Foods, which is full of good American stuff (peanut butter, popcorn, Frontera Grill salsas, etc.). I think you'll find you can get most stuff here, and there's tons of good new stuff (cheeses, Indian ingredients) to try.

                            And Monmouth Coffee is the best in my opinion, if you live near one (there are 2 outlets in Borough Market).

                            Welcome!

                            42 Replies
                            1. re: New Yorker in London
                              n
                              Nii RE: New Yorker in London Jul 23, 2008 10:31 AM

                              NYer in Lon - do you mean flour for baking and chococlate for baking - like plain chocolate? If that's the case, I'm surprised you haven't found them all yet.

                              Finding grits in the U.K would be like finding Yorkshire puddings in the U.S - in other words, very hard.

                              About ice-cream, supermarket wise - Waitrose do a good range as do M&S, Tesco isn't too bad either. There are some good litlle ice-cream parlours around town as well, some have quite unusaul flavours

                              William Curley - Richmond TW9 1LZ
                              Paul A Young - N1
                              Marine Ices - Haverstock Hill NW3
                              Fortnum and Mason-

                              I like all these, but there are loads more that I've heard about.

                              1. re: Nii
                                MMRuth RE: Nii Jul 23, 2008 10:39 AM

                                Re: unsweetened chocolate. I actually had a hard time tracking any down in London for a friend of mine who lives there. I ended up shipping her a pound or two of unsweetened Callebaut from the States. If you have a source in London, I'd love to know, so that I can pass it on to her.

                                1. re: Nii
                                  limster RE: Nii Jul 23, 2008 11:14 AM

                                  I like the ice cream from Helsett farms, been going to their stall at Borough Market. One thing that I've been impressed with is just the taste of the cream/milk that goes into the ice cream here; the flavours are richer and more prominent to me. I was very excited to be able to get Jersey Cows milk and yogurt at Sainbury's. Average dairy seems to be much better here.

                                  1. re: limster
                                    nanette RE: limster Jul 23, 2008 03:58 PM

                                    That is certainly true, and our greek yoghurt is a lot cheaper!

                                    1. re: nanette
                                      greedygirl RE: nanette Jul 24, 2008 03:04 AM

                                      And you can get Turkish yoghurt pretty easily, which is better than Greek yoghurt imho.

                                    2. re: limster
                                      f
                                      felizglfr RE: limster Jul 23, 2008 09:40 PM

                                      i tried the yogurt (yoghurt!) when i was in london in october and really found it so creamy as well. in general, i always liked the taste of the yogurt/cream in europe. must be the cows and the less regulations they have on dairy-based products.

                                    3. re: Nii
                                      f
                                      felizglfr RE: Nii Jul 24, 2008 06:39 AM

                                      William Curley - Richmond TW9 1LZ
                                      Paul A Young - N1
                                      Marine Ices - Haverstock Hill NW3
                                      Fortnum and Mason-

                                      do all those places you mentioned have chocolate for baking? I tried Curely but not the other ones listed.

                                      1. re: felizglfr
                                        PhilD RE: felizglfr Jul 24, 2008 07:20 AM

                                        Aren't these icecream recommendations?

                                      2. re: Nii
                                        p
                                        peelmeagrape RE: Nii Jul 24, 2008 11:30 AM

                                        Sorry, but as a former Bostonian spoiled for choice, the ice cream here (and more particularly, the supermarket ice cream here, or the readily available, don't-need-to-hike-across-town for a cone ice cream here) is utterly lacking.

                                        I can't find any interesting flavours at either Tesco or my small local Simply Food M&S. Belgian chocolate, white chocolate, ginger bits, etc. feels much more restricted than what's available across the pond. Even the John Lewis Waitrose on Oxford Street was a disappointment (the best I could do was horribly expensive "artisanal" pistachio in a fancy package which, upon tasting and checking the ingredients, was inexplicably flavoured overwhemingly with almond extract!) The only Waitrose kind I like is their clotted cream. The texture is pure and extremely smooth but flavour is very plain - which is fine when I'm in the mood for plain, but mostly I want something a bit more interesting.

                                        That said, I did have some great honeycomb ice cream today from a vendor at the Whitecross Market. (But it's not something you can get to take home and have on hand.) I'd only had honeycomb ice cream before at Hereford Road - and adored it! - so was very excited to see the flavour somewhere else. Boston ice cream makers should be alerted to the idea!

                                        1. re: peelmeagrape
                                          zuriga1 RE: peelmeagrape Jul 24, 2008 02:21 PM

                                          The Minghella ice cream is very nice, as are the flavours, but I'm not sure where it's sold in the London area. We had it on the Isle of Wight where it originated, and it was the best I'd had since moving to the UK. The only interesting flavours it seems to me is what Ben & Jerry come up with, but the price!!

                                          1. re: zuriga1
                                            limster RE: zuriga1 Jul 24, 2008 03:11 PM

                                            I've had Minghella at the Cabbages and Frocks Market in Marylebone. pretty good, although I still profess a soft spot for Helsett Farms which I get often at Borough Market. While they do have a good range of uncommon flavours - see http://www.helsettfarm.com/products.htm - what struck me was the taste of the underlying dairy. That for me, is a very refreshing change from many of ice creams I had in the Boston area, which had brilliant flavours and tended to be really rich, but which never revealed the personality (dare I say terroir?) of the milk.

                                            1. re: limster
                                              zuriga1 RE: limster Jul 24, 2008 11:46 PM

                                              I might be at Borough today and shouldn't but will taste the Helsett if I yet again break my diet. I so agree with you about the taste of ice cream in the UK... far superior to anything in the States except for my childhood favorite, Bassetts from Phila. Sadly, they no longer use their original recipe from the Stone Age and it's only half as good as it was.

                                            2. re: zuriga1
                                              f
                                              felizglfr RE: zuriga1 Jul 28, 2008 10:49 AM

                                              I'm surprised none you decided to stop by the ben and jerrys ice cream fest this past weekend!

                                              http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/whatson/b...

                                              1. re: felizglfr
                                                zuriga1 RE: felizglfr Jul 28, 2008 11:06 AM

                                                Ah well, think of the calories I saved. It looked like a fun event on the website. It's amazing what these two guys have achieved. I once was tempted to attend their ice cream school at Penn State.

                                                1. re: felizglfr
                                                  PhilD RE: felizglfr Jul 28, 2008 11:31 AM

                                                  ....I always rememeber a case study at business school. B&J's brilliant idea was to substitute expensive ice cream for cheap filler i.e. cookies, biscuit etc. However, it is interesting that they are always remembered for their social responsibility, non-corporate stance (although B&J is now a Unilever brand).

                                                  The UK has lots of great artisan ice cream makers - they just don't get the shelf space in the supermarket.

                                                  1. re: PhilD
                                                    zuriga1 RE: PhilD Jul 28, 2008 01:02 PM

                                                    Unfortunately, now, the huge array of brands found in ice cream sections of American supermarkets are reflected in the widening waistlines of many citizens. I was surprised when moving here how few shelves are dedicated to ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbets etc. over here as compared to the States. Maybe the weather has something to do with it... or habits.

                                                    That said, the ice cream here tastes much better. I do wish there was more of a choice, however, in frozen yogurts which really are good for those watching calories.

                                              2. re: peelmeagrape
                                                n
                                                Nii RE: peelmeagrape Jul 25, 2008 03:00 AM

                                                I've never thought of Boston as a destination for ice-cream - interesting.
                                                The 'interesting' flavours aren't as available as you'd probably like, but the places I mentioned do unusual flavours like green tea and strawberry and balsamic vinegar.

                                                1. re: Nii
                                                  limster RE: Nii Jul 25, 2008 03:09 AM

                                                  IIRC, Boston has the highest ice cream consumption in the US per capita; lots of milk producing farms in the environs that make for great ice cream. For certain styles of ice cream, it's home to some of the best.

                                                  1. re: limster
                                                    d
                                                    DietStartsTomorrow RE: limster Jul 25, 2008 04:01 AM

                                                    I had some fabulous ice cream at the recent Taste London festival. It was by a Kent-based company called Simply Ice Cream and apparently they are going to at the covent garden night markets in august. I tried the honeycomb and stem ginger flavours - yum!

                                                    1. re: DietStartsTomorrow
                                                      zuriga1 RE: DietStartsTomorrow Jul 25, 2008 06:17 AM

                                                      Have you or anyone tasted Losely Farm ice cream? I've had that a few times here in Surrey, and it tasted quite nice.

                                                      1. re: zuriga1
                                                        d
                                                        DietStartsTomorrow RE: zuriga1 Jul 25, 2008 06:28 AM

                                                        No I haven't. To be honest I rarely buy ice cream as I don't have a sweet tooth and growing up on home made stuff in childhood I am a bit of a snob about most commercially made stuff. The fuss over Haagen Dazs completely passed me by! But the Simply Ice Cream stuff is definitely worth a trip to the Garden for. The entire group of us agreed it was one of the highlight of the festival !

                                                        1. re: DietStartsTomorrow
                                                          zuriga1 RE: DietStartsTomorrow Jul 25, 2008 08:22 AM

                                                          Do you know how Haagen Dazs got its name? It's a funny story. OK.. will definitely try Simply Ice Cream next chance I get.

                                                        2. re: zuriga1
                                                          greedygirl RE: zuriga1 Jul 25, 2008 06:53 AM

                                                          I have and it's OK - but I've since discovered that nothing comes even close to home-made ice cream (especially when it comes to calories!).

                                                          1. re: greedygirl
                                                            d
                                                            DietStartsTomorrow RE: greedygirl Jul 25, 2008 06:58 AM

                                                            ooh ---don't mention the calories! My last posts have been on ice cream, pork pies, fish and chips and curries. I need food rehab...

                                                            1. re: DietStartsTomorrow
                                                              greedygirl RE: DietStartsTomorrow Jul 25, 2008 07:11 AM

                                                              LOL! I feel your pain. I find it's best to conserve the calories for the really good stuff - like vanilla ice cream made from double cream!!

                                                      2. re: limster
                                                        f
                                                        felizglfr RE: limster Jul 25, 2008 07:36 AM

                                                        I would think ice cream central would be out in the mid-west where diary is big. cheesehead, anyone? lol

                                                        1. re: felizglfr
                                                          zuriga1 RE: felizglfr Jul 25, 2008 08:30 AM

                                                          I just took the ice cream quiz online. Some interesting questions and answers...

                                                          Top 5 ice cream producing states in the U.S.
                                                          (1) California (2) Indiana (3) Texas (4) Pennsylvania
                                                          (5) Illinois (6) Minnesota (7) Michigan

                                                          Name one of the top three cities in America that purchase the most ice cream on a per capita basis.

                                                          Portland, Oregon St. Louis, Missouri Seattle, Washington.

                                                          Name three of the top 10 Ice Cream Consuming Countries in the World

                                                          1) United States 2) New Zealand 3) Denmark 4) Austrailia
                                                          5) Belgium / Luxembourg 6) Sweden 7) Canada
                                                          8) Norway 9) Ireland 10) Switzerland

                                                2. re: New Yorker in London
                                                  nanette RE: New Yorker in London Jul 23, 2008 03:57 PM

                                                  A bar of 80% Lindt or even 99% works well for unsweetned chocolate in baking.

                                                  As for chocolate chips - I much prefer chopping up a bar of good semisweet chocoalte. And you can make your own cake flour.

                                                  1. re: nanette
                                                    MMRuth RE: nanette Jul 23, 2008 04:29 PM

                                                    The unsweetened is useful for those who can't eat sugar - one can make desserts and use artificial sweeteners instead. Could you tell me more about the 99% though? That might work for my friend, and I've not heard of it before. Where in London do you get it - or is it readily available?

                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                      nanette RE: MMRuth Jul 24, 2008 01:07 AM

                                                      I've seen it at my local supermarket - Sainsbury's. It is 99% Lindt.

                                                      http://www.lindt.com/1610/3429/3497/3...

                                                      1. re: nanette
                                                        MMRuth RE: nanette Jul 24, 2008 03:49 AM

                                                        Thank you - I'll pass the link on.

                                                  2. re: New Yorker in London
                                                    f
                                                    felizglfr RE: New Yorker in London Jul 23, 2008 09:36 PM

                                                    peanut butter harder to find? didn't know that. i suppose they'd give me strange looks if i wanted almond butter as well, huh? do they have that fresh peanut and almond butter station too? nevertheless, i shouldn't be asking about whole foods since i can't even afford it in nyc!

                                                    i tried monmouth coffee the last time i was in london in april and though it was very good. expensive like all good coffee so getting their lattes will have to be a treat for me. most likely i'll just buy some regular supermarket coffee and drown it with flavored creamer like i do now at my current job.

                                                    1. re: felizglfr
                                                      zuriga1 RE: felizglfr Jul 23, 2008 11:41 PM

                                                      Glad that you mentioned flavored creamer. Bring a lot of that along (the dry variety) if you like it... Coffemate?? I have never seen any in England, and I miss that at times. You can easily make your own cinnamon flavor, which is better than nothing, but it's dry, not liquid.

                                                      I have only found low-fat creamer in one place - Tesco. I wish the other supermarkets would introduce that nice feature for those who are watching their fat intake!

                                                      There is good peanut butter here.. I forget the brand, but I buy it once in awhile when I need a fix.

                                                      1. re: zuriga1
                                                        PhilD RE: zuriga1 Jul 24, 2008 12:21 AM

                                                        Coffemate used to be generally available in the UK, and it is still featured on the Nestle UK website so looks like should be able to get it. I suspect it has fallen out of fashion as peoples tastes have changed and therefore no longer has shelf space in supermarkets.

                                                        1. re: PhilD
                                                          zuriga1 RE: PhilD Jul 24, 2008 01:05 AM

                                                          I have seen Coffemate here, Phil... but never the nice, flavoured varieties they sell in the States. I guess they used to appeal to my sweet tooth. What I liked even better was their liquid, flavoured creamers... very handy and nice for a change of pace. My husband drinks only black coffee, so he makes life easy, and I don't drink that much coffee at all the past few years... I'd rather sleep and not feel nervous. :-) Oh, to be young again...

                                                          1. re: zuriga1
                                                            babybat RE: zuriga1 Jul 24, 2008 09:02 AM

                                                            You can get flavoured Coffee Mate (the "Latte Creations" range) here, their website lists 4 flavours: http://www.nescafe.co.uk/OurProducts/...
                                                            My housemate uses it, I'm not a fan, but YMMV

                                                            1. re: babybat
                                                              zuriga1 RE: babybat Jul 24, 2008 09:48 AM

                                                              Thanks. I've seen the Latte Creations in the shops but for some silly reason, I've always thought they included the coffee, too. They're fairly caloric but makes for a nice treat, so I'll give it a go.

                                                      2. re: felizglfr
                                                        nanette RE: felizglfr Jul 24, 2008 01:08 AM

                                                        You can grind your own almond butter at Whole Foods in Kensington. I've seen almond butter at the supermarket too.

                                                        1. re: felizglfr
                                                          greedygirl RE: felizglfr Jul 24, 2008 06:45 AM

                                                          Peanut butter is sold everywhere. My local wholefoods store sells almond, cashew and pumpkin seed butter as well.

                                                        2. re: New Yorker in London
                                                          s
                                                          scooby99 RE: New Yorker in London Jul 24, 2008 05:48 AM

                                                          You can get unsweetened chocolate for baking and Ghiradelli choc chips in Partidges on the Kings Rd, Chelsea.

                                                          1. re: scooby99
                                                            n
                                                            New Yorker in London RE: scooby99 Jul 24, 2008 08:33 AM

                                                            Wow--that's fantastic! Thanks so much.

                                                            1. re: New Yorker in London
                                                              k
                                                              kidtofu RE: New Yorker in London Aug 1, 2008 12:09 PM

                                                              I visited ninth street on my coffee geek tour of the US and it was great!

                                                              For serious espresso here there are a few places you should stick to.

                                                              Flat White, as mentioned...these guys are kiwis and are serious about their espresso. Stores at Berwick Street Market in Soho and their new Milk Bar place just around the corner.

                                                              Monmouth are cool for filter but some people have issues with the consistency of their espresso.

                                                              Climpson and Sons run a great shop on Broadway market...I believe their espresso is currently single origin rather than blend - 67 Broadway Market, Hackney. the market is great on a saturday btw.

                                                              Since you'll be working in Liverpool Street you have to hit up Taylor Street Baristas new store in 'New Street', a small avenue just opposite the main BishopsGate exit of LivPool St. station. They are super friendly Australians who also have a branch in Richmond and Fleet street and again, are passionate about their coffee. It's opposite a new starbucks so go fight the good fight!

                                                              Filipino stuff is tricky, there is a small stall in Tooting Market run by filipinas, otherwise I'd check any thai / chinese supermarkets you might find in chinatown. There's another asian supermarket in Queensway, just past the Whiteleys mall that does some filipino stuff.

                                                              Me and my lil filipina have yet to find any good restaurants :/

                                                        3. kristainlondon RE: felizglfr Aug 3, 2008 09:25 AM

                                                          Here's a food accessory to bring: Ziplocs. They don't really have them here. The ones they do have pale in comparison.

                                                          Would also second the grits suggestion. Although as a NYer, you may not be into grits. I only got into grits because my family moved to Florida when I was a teenager. But I guess the same goes for Farina...you won't find Farina here.

                                                          One thing that popped up at a potluck at work the other night...Queso dip. If you love that cheesy microwaveable stuff, bring it with you.

                                                          17 Replies
                                                          1. re: kristainlondon
                                                            zuriga1 RE: kristainlondon Aug 3, 2008 02:20 PM

                                                            Lakeland sells very, very good ziploc-type bags. They are fairly pricey, but they are excellent, as is their aluminium foil. I used to bring back that sort of thing, but now I don't bother. That said, I hoard the ones my son sends me things in. :-)

                                                            1. re: zuriga1
                                                              r
                                                              relda RE: zuriga1 Aug 4, 2008 06:28 AM

                                                              I use a service called MYUS (or AccessUSA). They will ship most things to you in the UK. It's expensive but there are many things I can't live without that I can't get in England. I have a Florida address with them and I ship stuff to them and they collect it and send me a CARE package when I request it. I'm probably very picky but I find it impossible to find many, many things, not all of them food items, in London. For example, has anyone found travel sizes of things like toothpaste? Just one small example. The country that brought us the ban on liquids and gels on planes and is so stingy with luggage allowances doesn't seem to have such things.

                                                              1. re: relda
                                                                zuriga1 RE: relda Aug 4, 2008 07:09 AM

                                                                Thanks, yes, I have an ex-pat friend in Paris who told me about that sort of service a long time ago. I don't miss all that much anymore, and I have a service, too, that sends CARE packages. It's called my sons. :-) I'm not sure I've seen travel size toothpaste in England, but lots of the places like Boots or Supersaver do have other travel size stuff. I get back to the States at least once a year and sometimes I stock up on certain things that cost twice the amount here.

                                                                1. re: zuriga1
                                                                  j
                                                                  JFores RE: zuriga1 Aug 4, 2008 01:16 PM

                                                                  Haha. I've got a care package service called my mother and grandparents. It seems to be dedicated almost exclusively to Jacques Torres choclates and Italian and Romanian salami (which I have no idea how customs hasn't intercepted yet.)

                                                                  Does anyone know a good Romanian or Italian salumeria in London? If Italian, then specifically Sicilian would be much preferred.

                                                                  1. re: JFores
                                                                    PhilD RE: JFores Aug 4, 2008 01:48 PM

                                                                    Does anyone realise that the penalty for importing, either personally or by post, meat or milk based products (including cheese) into the UK from the US and many other non-EU countries, is up to seven years imprisonment, a fine, or both.

                                                                    http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/illeg...

                                                                    Bio-security is quite important to a country that has had trouble with foot and mouth disease, blue tongue etc.

                                                                    1. re: JFores
                                                                      zuriga1 RE: JFores Aug 4, 2008 11:38 PM

                                                                      During WWII, my grandmother and aunt sent salamis to my dad who in New Guinea and the Philippines... from Katz's, no less. They arrived in good shape and were devoured. I think rules were a bit different back then.

                                                                      1. re: JFores
                                                                        greedygirl RE: JFores Aug 5, 2008 02:23 AM

                                                                        There's really no need to be importing salami into this country - they're very easily available here. You can get Italian salami in the Brixton deli, for example, and there are loads of Polish/Eastern European shops here now.

                                                                        In addition to the one Nii mentions, there's a good, old-school Italian deli on South Lambeth Road, about halfway down. Also Lina Stores in Brewer Street, Soho and Camisa and Sons on Old Compton Street. And Gazzano's on Farringdon Road.

                                                                        There are at least three Polish delis on the Uxbridge Road.

                                                                        1. re: greedygirl
                                                                          a
                                                                          ali patts RE: greedygirl Aug 5, 2008 05:11 AM

                                                                          greedygirl, yes you can get salami, but you can't get certain salamis. I'd like to be able to get certain Sicilian ones too, especially the really coarse one and the ones with pistachios and some of the varieties with fennel. But so far, you can't, or I've not found them. Neither can you get a lot of varieties of Italian cheese. I'm always on the lookout for aged ragusano but no joy. So if JFores manages to find somewhere to look I'm interested! On the other hand, it provides an excuse to go back to Sicily, I'm off in a months time!

                                                                          1. re: ali patts
                                                                            greedygirl RE: ali patts Aug 5, 2008 05:39 AM

                                                                            You can get the fennel ones at Borough Market (there's an entire stall selling just Italian cheese and salami), and I think I've seen them elsewhere too. Where have you been looking?

                                                                            Never seen aged ragusano (or even heard of it!). Not sure that would be easy to get outside Sicily/Italy, tbh.

                                                                            1. re: greedygirl
                                                                              a
                                                                              ali patts RE: greedygirl Aug 5, 2008 07:53 AM

                                                                              The stall at Borough is Sardinian, I forgot all about it, they have one that is quite similar to one of the fennel salamis I've had in Sicily. But no-one has the really nice coarse one I'm after, I'll try and find out the name when I'm there this time!

                                                                              I'm a regular at Camisa, Lina Stores and Gazzano's (mostly Gazzano's as it's easy from work). I've also done the trawl of a number of online places, the names of which don't stick as I've not had a lot of success.
                                                                              The closest I know in terms of cheese is greek kefalotiri, but it's just not the same and no-where seems to have the range of cheese I'd like.

                                                                              There's a couple of other deli's I've tried sort of Belgravia/Brompton direction with no luck.

                                                                              1. re: ali patts
                                                                                greedygirl RE: ali patts Aug 5, 2008 08:30 AM

                                                                                There's a Sicilian-owned cafe in Notting Hill called arancina - they might be able to help.

                                                                                For the cheese, have you tried La Fromagerie?

                                                                    2. re: relda
                                                                      greedygirl RE: relda Aug 4, 2008 12:04 PM

                                                                      You can get 100ml tubes of toothpaste pretty much everywhere.

                                                                      1. re: greedygirl
                                                                        n
                                                                        Nii RE: greedygirl Aug 4, 2008 01:25 PM

                                                                        JFores, there's an Italian deli at the end of Brixton road, near Oval tube station. I'm sure i've seen salami's hanging from the window. I don't know if it's Sicilian though. There's another one I've seen somewhere near Wandsworth/Balham, I'll have to get back to you on that.

                                                                      2. re: relda
                                                                        n
                                                                        Nii RE: relda Aug 4, 2008 01:26 PM

                                                                        Relda - how long have you lived here?

                                                                    3. re: kristainlondon
                                                                      nanette RE: kristainlondon Aug 5, 2008 12:52 AM

                                                                      Costco over here sells Ziplocks at a pretty reasonable price for those of us with a car or who live close.

                                                                      1. re: nanette
                                                                        zuriga1 RE: nanette Aug 5, 2008 01:50 AM

                                                                        Do you go to the Watford location, Nanette?

                                                                        1. re: zuriga1
                                                                          nanette RE: zuriga1 Aug 5, 2008 01:53 AM

                                                                          No, I'm closer to Reading.

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