Saturday chow around West London
Saturday my girlfriend and I went to an afternoon's eating and cycling around London.
We started at Church St market just off Edgware Road. Such a great market very well used by the local Middle Eastern community. I forgot how good the produce here in comparison to the Ridley Road market which is now my local cheap fresh fruit and veg market.
But we weren't looking for produce, instead making a visit to the cafe at 16 Church St which sells my favourite Lebanese pizza in London. We knew we had plenty of eating to come so settled for one zaatar and cheese and one zaatar with salad. The zaatar and cheese was the star. Perfect mix of Lebanese cheese (a lot like haloumi) and the zaatar spice blend. I'm salivating right now as I write this up. The best part of the snack was mopping up the edges of the pizza with the melted cheese and zaatar that had dripped into the paper bag..... mmmm
Then we hopped on our bikes and headed over to Warwick Ave tube to Amoul's, a great little cafe on Formosa St that I've written about before. Amoul is a great Egyptian cook who makes everything from scratch. The pastries are no longer a secret and regularly disappear before 10am (where else can you get beautiful hand made pastries that are not mass produced). But we made it for lunch and settled for the fatoush, tabouleh, hummous, moutabal and another green salad which I can't remember. Really nice salads, although the lemon was really strong on the fatoush, and I couldn't taste the pomegranate juice as strongly as when I've had this dish in the Middle East. Home made labneh rounded out an awesome lunch.
To work off lunch we headed off to Regent's and (ignoring the road rules) cycled round the park for half an hour or so, watching the sports matches and passing through the rose garden. The purpose: get some fresh air and prepare for afternoon tea.
We cycled back through Warwick Avenue, over the canal and along Westbourne Grove. I was keen to stop at Arancina for their new combo special but was hounded down. We had a look at El Pirata de Tapas (but I'm going there in a couple of weeks so gave it a miss) - the lunch menu looked outstanding and then headed to the top of Portobello Road along the backstreets to Lisboa Patisserie. Moments later we were in possession of 10 custard tarts, each with its own small mountain of cinnamon. Excellent. Is there anything in the world like these tarts? I can't believe that the clientèle is still 99% Portuguese.
Back through Portobello Road we checked out a few stalls, tried the felafels at the Vegetarian place, but as always found the food section underwhelming.
We jumped back on our bikes and rode through Notting Hill. Unfortunately the farmers market was long over, and we had no shopping to do so didn't need to stop off at the Chegworth farm shop. Instead we took Kensington Church St towards Kensington High St, making a stop at Ottolenghi. Tried the granola bar which was too sweet, disappointing really. Unfortunately the salads just didn't do it for me on the day - too many ingredients and too much roast root vegetables.
The final stop was a visit to Wholefoods. I always like looking at the huge variety of 'healthy' junk food that they have there like almond butter, millions of types of chips, chocolate etc
We made it to our friends house in time to have a snack before heading off to dinner at Wodka which I posted about separately.
Amoul's has a swiss chard and lentil soup once a week or so.. also moudardara (green lentils cooked with rice and topped with caramelised onions)
Haven't tried either
They have rotating daily specials like chicken and onion stew, beef lasagna, daoud basha, mushroom and leek lasagna, kibbeh bissaniyeh, fish pie and steak and kidney pie or steak pie
Lisboa is too delicious
And Nii, yeah I think the food at Portobello is just standard market fare, nothing that really gets me excited there