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Dec 20, 2012 10:48 AM

Top 5 best under 15 pounds a head - 2012

Hello all,

Just jumping on the theme set by Harters and ManInTransit.

I'm going to give this a think (plus I have to write up Gurkha Cafe and Kailash Momo.)

I can say for a fact that De Namaste is on this year's list and that Restaurant Le Taliet is probably there as well. The latter is pretty much the best Francophone African cooking I've had outside of France and the Bronx.

Take care and enjoy,


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  1. All in London, no particular order.

    Apollo Banana Leaf
    Tongue n cheek
    Lahori Nihaari
    Sarvana Bhavan (Wembley branch)

    1. Here we go again.

      1) I would have included 1539 in Chester - but I've already played that card on MiT's thread. So, I'll now play the Pointing Dog - a pub just down the road from home, in Cheadle Hulme (Greater Manchester - or Cheshire if you want to be posh). £12.95, two courses

      2) Inn at the Farm, Solihull. Another pub doing excellent value food - two courses, £10.95

      3) Rose Garden, West Didsbury, Manchester - neighbourhood bistro - two courses, £14.95

      4) Jaffa, Rusholme, Manchester - one of a growing number of Middle Eastern gaffs on the "Curry Mile". A takeaway with tables if you will. Shawama, a separate plate of mixed mezze and a Sprite - round about a tenner

      5) Lotus, Northenden, Manchester. A odd place - offering two menus - one South Indian, the other Malaysian. The better is Malaysian. Around £12 for two courses.

      1. My favourites for under £15 are;

        1. Pearl Liang (excellent Dim Sum, reservations, great service)
        2. Saravanaa Bhavan Southall (excellent South Indian)
        3. Shananshah Southall (best vegetarian Punjabi)
        4. Franco Manca (best pizza in town?)
        5. Princi (great for grazing in Soho)

        All London & suburbs...and looking forward to trying D'Namaste (Thanks for the tip, Justin).

        1. All London:
          Chili Cool (Sichuan food, near Kings X)
          Kokeb (Ethiopian, near Caledonian Road)
          Malabar Palace (Sri Lankan, Turnpike Lane)
          Afghan Kitchen (Islington)
          Hong Kong Diner (Soho/Chinatown)

          6 Replies
          1. re: baboon

            Have you tried Marathon, another ethiopian place enar Caledonian road, Baboon? I haven't tried kokeb, and wonder which is better...

            My top five, in no particular order:

            Middle Kingdom in Manchester (thanks Harters)
            Marathon (see above)
            Antepliller ciger salonu on green lanes (thanks JFores, IIRC)
            The wine bar at Maltby Street markets, the one next to Monmouth, though you have to order carefully to come in at under £15
            Mamuska, Polish place upstairs at elephant and castle shopping centre. Cheap, good and, in its own way, very atmospheric.

            1. re: lacemaker

              I toyed with putting Middle Kingdom in my list but would have had to knock out one of the three very enjoyable "Brit" meals.

              1. re: lacemaker

                Lacemaker, have tried Marathon, yep, it's pretty good too (only once have I had a bad Ethiopian or Eritrean meal in London all told) - food-wise, I'm not sure it would be easy to say one was better than the other in terms of quality, but Kokeb had a fair few recipes I haven't seen on other Ethiopian menus (for eg, beef with ginger and cardamom, that was delicious). Plus it's in a bad location (a relative backstreet), so definitely deserves more customers than it gets

              2. re: baboon

                Have you tried TPT in place of HK Diner? It's far superior (for the things I eat, anyhow).

                1. re: brokentelephone

                  Never tried it - always good to know of somewhere else good in Soho. I can't vouch for all the HK DIner food, but I've loved the pork belly and snow peas when I've been there

                2. re: baboon

                  I've REALLY appreciated all of these recs!! I've tried a few...
                  Afghan Kitchen: Once a fortnight ago. Really nice chicken in yoghurt, but it needed a little zip/tang - easily remedied that at home with the leftovers adding a little lemon. All was cold in the small deli case and microwaved but tasty and a fair sized portion. I thought the price for a side of rice rather high & bread is only made in the evenings which was disappointing. I usually forego rice so it was ok. Tasty but pricy for the tiny size sticky baklava. The 2 girls there were not particularly friendly or welcoming to me or the 3 other customers that came in, totally lacking enthusiasm; rather off-putting. Though small, it had a nice bright modern decor downstairs - I didn't go up.
                  Marathon: My 1st London Ethiopian meal last mid-May. I had Doro Wot, Tibs, & Missir. Very tasty as I recall.
                  Kokeb: My 2nd London Ethiopian meal end of last Oct. I like ordering lots of dishes to try & have leftovers for another meal or two - and take my own containers usually :). #20 Ye-siga key wot = Beef with ginger & cardamom; #8 vege combo with misir wot (red lentils), alicha kik (yellow split peas, spinach. #32 Doro wot. I made a note to try #22 next time. I can't remember details but it was tasty though not hot enough for me. Very nice woman who encouraged me to return.
                  I'd return to both Marathon & Kokeb as they are different - I need revisits Soon!!
                  I had late lunch at Hong Kong Diner today because of these recs. The crispy BBQ belly of pork was Delicious - I ate WAY too much of it!! The stir fried squid was so-so, the coating being a little too overwhelming for my liking.
                  Mandalay: Lunch last week; Loved the pickle style lamb which I ate with naan; wish the serving had been larger! The green tea salad was interesting but a few bites were enough for me. I will Definitely return!! The woman recommended I try curry noodles & some kind of fritter.
                  With all these places I want to try Plus those for returns, I'm not going to be losing weight any time soon, LOL.

                3. I also thought Mandalay on Edgware Rd was terrific the only time I went