Ahem. So, we’re starting a new section of the blog about London Life…it’s not strictly Pinteresting, but it is Twinteresting (to us at least!) We love London, and whilst we may not be here forevs, we intend to enjoy it while we are!
Today I’m writing about a lil 2013 challenge that Colin and I have set ourselves – to see how many different international restaurants we could visit in London this year!
The rules are:
– the restaurants have to be as authentic to their home country fodder as possible (no chains; ideally independent owner/operator places; recommended or reviewed by ex-pats or visitors who know their stuff…)
– we have to both be there for it to count (work dos don’t!)
– and where possible we want to do this challenge with other peeps, partly to help with one of our other NY resos – make the most of being fairly young, time flexible, and relatively responsibility free (read: no kids!).
We did a little backdating (otherwise we’d never make a dent in the list!) and ticked off: Cuba, Mexico, Kenya, Tanzania, France, India, Bangladesh, Morocco, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Thailand. Here’s the map so far:If you know of any great places in London for us to try, please let me know! And if you want to join us for some fun new food experiences, even better!
So! First off the list for 2013 proper was Egypt – recommended and joined by our lovely peeps Charlie and Laura ^_^ Charlie spent a year studying Arabic in Cairo and Laura had visited him there, so we figured a) they could tell their Ful Medames from their foul madames, and b) Charlie could crack out some lingo if anything got hairy (literally or figuratively).
We went along to Meya Meya near Edgeware Road, and immediately appreciated why the TimeOut reviewer wrote the following: Lord only knows how many people have slogged up Edgware Road to Meya Meya, only to then stand aghast at its sanitised takeaway interior before turning and shuffling off back down the street. That bit was true, but also the next line: Pity them for not knowing that the restaurant proper actually lies down a pokey flight of stairs…and that’s where the fun began!
The four of us were the only diners whilst we were there ( ’twas a Friday) but don’t let that put you off! With wise Thompson guidance we ordered plenty of hummus and pita to start, as well as Ful Medames (beany goodness), and falafal, served with some waytoohotforme chilli sauce, and reallyreallynice garlic sauce. This was all delish, so off to mains we went: Koshari for me, Charlie and Laura, and a Lamb Tagin for Colin.
Now, C+L had been bigging up Kushari (koshary, kosheri, koshari) since our last world cuisine adventure (Eritrean – YUM), so I was definitely up for trying some. It’s basically a carb fest meets mild chilli with onions on top…It was pretty much like a comfort food megamix – rice, macaroni, spaghetti, lentils, then the tomato sauce and onions. Pretty yum indeed, although I found it more exciting when combined with the Ful Medames and garlic sauce. If you would like to try your own Kushari or other types of Egyptian street food, I found some good-looking recipes at theKitchn.
Now, as regular Twinterest visitors will know, Ruth is the photographer, I’m the craptographer, so here are some more phone-sourced pieces of evidence from the night:Charlie with food friends (Kushari closest to him, Ful Medames middle left, lonely falafel in the foreground)
Thanks for the fun night, Thompsons!!
All in all: pretty good, healthy food, from a no frills but no probs restaurant (forgot to use the loo so I could review it, vv important!) It’s not a “special” feeling restaurant, and might be a bit awkward on a first date (no other diners and no background music…) but it was meya meya enough for me!
Next stop, this Friday night with Leanne + Dan, and something South American methinks….