After a bumper week of 6 special London spots from Sammy Sousa of Informed London, we bring you 5 specialist suggestions. Luiz Hara runs The London Foodie, as well as being a Grande Diplome student at Le Cordon Bleu, and hosting a monthly supper club. Anybody wanting to appreciate the best of London food would do well to explore this expert’s recommendations. Let the tummy rumbles commence. Ashleigh Arnott
Start Space Café
Tucked away behind an art gallery selling an eclectic range of art works, vintage furniture and lighting on 150 Columbia Road is a charming café open on Sundays between 9am and 2pm serving top notch coffee and pastries for the busy Columbia Road Flower Market crowd. A haven of tranquility and style for those after outstanding Italian coffee by friendly barista Riccardo.
City Caphé – 17 Ironmonger Lane, EC2V 8EY
Off Gresham Street on tiny Ironmonger Lane in the City of London is City Caphé, a Vietnamese eatery serving up some of the best, most authentic Vietnamese food in London. The wonderfully flavoursome broth in the Beef Pho got me hooked and I also love their lemongrass Banh Mi (a Vietnamese baguette crammed with a seductive combination of French and Southeast Asian ingredients). Expect long queues form around 11.45am but it is well worth the wait, or avoid them by arriving early or between 2-3pm.
London Supper Clubs
Whether it’s Burmese, Persian, Japanese, Catalan or anything in between, London supper clubs offer a unique and affordable dining experience for those willing to share a table with other like-minded foodies over a delicious home-cooked dinner. Events are announced mainly via food blogs, Twitter or Facebook, and take place at the host’s home, making for an intimate experience. Lex Eat!, Shacklewell Nights and ferdiesfoodlab are some of my favourites.
Run by food writer Reiko Hashimoto (author of ‘Hashi – A Japanese Cookery Course’) from her beautiful kitchen in Wimbledon, this is the school at which to learn Japanese Cooking in London. Courses comprising four weekly evening classes range from Beginners to Home Cooking, Gourmet and Masterchef . Here, you can learn how to roll the perfect sushi or knock up spectacular Japanese dinners. Taught with panache in an informal setting, Reiko will ensure you will never look at supermarket sushi in the same way again.
Saponara Italian Deli – 23 Prebend Street, N1 8PF
Located in one of the less salubrious parts of Islington, this Italian Deli has been serving a local loyal clientele for many years. On my last visit, I stocked up on some delectable Italian goodies including homemade venison and truffle ravioli, scamorza affumicata cheese and Italian artisan chocolates. Their selection of 25 authentic pizze are outstanding including some less known Italian ingredients like the Calabrian Nduja for ‘Piccante’ or Praga ham for ‘Prosciutto e Funghi’.