• Fort Kochi: Where to eat great food

    Fort Kochi is the perfect introduction to India. If you’re a first time visitor to the sub-continent, the chilled out state of Kerala, with its palm trees, fishing nets and spice gardens, will gently welcome you with just enough Indian verve to make you feel like you’re somewhere truly exotic, yet with minimal hustle and hassle. If you’re an old hand when it comes to the chaos of India then Fort Kochi will seem like a a long cool drink of water. This historic, bohemian town – shaped over time by the Portuguese, the Dutch, Catholics, Hindus, Jains, Jews and so many more – is a hub of local artists,…

  • Tayyabs

    First dates are the worst.  I particularly hate first dates that involve going to a restaurant because I get so nervous that eating – such a simple thing – becomes impossible.  So a first date that involves not just food, but very spicy food, really is the stuff of nightmares for me.  On the plus side, however, this date took place at Tayyab’s.  Despite the fact that the relationship eventually crashed and burned, I will be forever grateful to him for introducing me to this gem of a restaurant. Tayyab’s is a Punjabi restaurant tucked away down a side street in Whitechapel.  It is something of a local institution, with people prepared to queue…

  • Dishoom, Kings Cross

    I’m always slightly wary about venturing outside of Tooting for a curry, but last Saturday I found myself in the freezing wilderness of a redeveloped Kings Cross and on the hunt for something that would warm the cockles.  Cue a queue free Dishoom.  Stepping into the cavernous converted warehouse was like entering another world.  Tiled floors, lush palm plants, ceiling fans lazily spinning; it was as if we had gone back to a more elegant time.  We had to wait for around 10 minutes before a table was free, but this was hardly a chore as we relaxed in the sophisticated lounge chairs and perused the menu. The main restaurant is…

  • Spice Village, Tooting

    Was it the screaming baby right behind me?  Was it the two drunks next to me who only stopped slurping cans of Carling to pass out?  Was it the food so smelly that it assaulted my nasal passages and walloped my sinuses?  Or was it the person playing their music so loudly that I’m sure they were only wearing headphones as a fashion accessory?  It was shaping up to be the journey from hell, and by the time I arrived in London I was feeling about as festive as a turkey on Christmas Eve. Returning to an empty kitchen and having already made myself sick after gorging an entire box of Quality Street…