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Chefs know best: where Chiltern Firehouse’s Nuno Mendes goes for a cheap meal

Posted at 1:30 pm, February 27, 2015 in Food & Drink
nuno mendes © Louise Haywood-Schiefer

© Louise Haywood-Schiefer

Nuno Mendes, head chef at Chiltern Firehouse

Where’s your favourite place to spend a fiver on food?

Broadway Market on Saturdays is a great place to go: there are lovely Indian ladies making amazing vegetarian food, and always a Mexican offering. I tend to head to a stall called Yum Bun which does slow-cooked pork belly served in little Chinese-style steamed buns with pickled cucumber, hoisin and chilli sauce [£4].’

You’ve got £10. Where do you go for lunch?

Hurwundeki [Arch 298 Cambridge Heath Road] in Bethnal Green. It’s next to my old restaurant, so I used to go there all the time for kimchi jjigae, a Korean stew with pork and tofu [£7.90]. It’s really good, quite spicy.’

What about the perfect sarnie?

‘I’m obsessed with sandwiches, but compared to New York, there are few places that blow me away in London. That said, the salt beef bagel with hot mustard [£3.70] at the 24-hour Brick Lane Beigel Bake [159 Brick Lane] is really nice. But it depends on the time of day. If you’re there at 3am, it’s perfect. Eight o’clock in the morning? Maybe not so good.’

Best takeaway in London?

‘My favourite Chinese in London, Gourmet San [261 Bethnal Green Road], just started doing takeaway. It’s proper Szechuan food, not your standard takeout: very spicy. One of my favourite things there is the ma po tofu (£6): a braised tofu dish with dried pork and chilli, long beans and peppercorns.’

Find more great cheap eats in London.

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