By far the best kebabs outside Istanbul are to be found in Green Lanes at Diyarbakir and Antepliler. Definitely the most authentic Turkish food in London. For some of the finest baklava - head to Antepliler's baklava salon just next door to the kebab shop.
69 Grand Parade, Green Lanes
Tel: 020 8809 2777
46 Grand Parade, Green Lanes
Despite its location in Newcastle, Mangos is truly a world class restaurant, world class in the authentic Chinese sense. You could as easily be in New York or San Francisco or Hong Kong... until you walk out the door that is. Fantastic dim sum, particularly after midnight!
43 Stowell Street, Newcastle;
tel: 0191 232 6525
It is a Bangladeshi/Nepalese run restaurant offering a stunning selection of Indian dishes, full of flavour, perfectly-cooked and by far the best in the county of Buckinghamshire.
High Street, Beaconsfield (New Town), Bucks. Near Beaconsfield station, Chiltern Line from Marylebone.
Brilliant and inexpensive Mexican food in Brixton. Freshly made tortilla chips and salsas, grilled burritos and an assortment of interesting mains. Also have special brunch menu and a Sunday Latin roast. Good choices for vegetarians too.
The Dogstar, 389 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London - very near Brixton station;
tel: 0207 924 9888;
The only south Indian restaurant in Glasgow (most Indian restaurants do northern cuisine) and the food is amazing, offering authentic, well-prepared, tasty dishes not tried before.
Rice is combined with lentils to make wonderful dosas, idlis, vadas and uttapams. They are combined with sambhar (dal), rasam (tamarind dal), dry and curried vegetable and pachadi (yoghurt). Also cater brilliantly for vegetarians.
89 Candleriggs, Merchant City, Glasgow;
tel: 0141 553 2585
Forget Umu, Zuma et al; nary a Japanese customer waiter or chef in sight, for good reason. Real Japanese food in London is in the 'burbs where the Japanese live. If you insist on staying central go to Cocoro. You won't be able to people-watch but you will get a very reasonable, authentic and heartfelt meal surrounded by appreciative Japanese customers and polite, knowledgeable service by Japanese waitstaff.
31 Marylebone Lane London W1 U2NH;
tel: 020 7935 2931
Still the best Indian restaurant in London, specialist in grilled meats - chicken tikka, lamb chops. Been going since it was still a cafe without a menu, and nobody seemed to speak English. Now the waiters have microphones to co-ordinate with the kitchen! Amazingly though, quality is as high as ever. Look at the reviews - almost unanimously called 'The best Indian in England'.
83 Fieldgate Street, London, E1 1JU;
tel: 020 7247 6400
nearest tube: Aldgate East, Whitechapel;
Wonderful food, although to be honest I can't get past the fabulous lamb curry. Incredibly busy with lunchtime specials from under £3.00, but a la carte is excellent too. Take away, sit in the cafe style downstairs restaurant, or in the more traditional upstairs restaurant.
129 Paisley Road West - a 10 minute walk from Central Station;
tel: 0141 429 4610
For the most authentic French food in the capital with quirky surroundings and no gimmicks.
Great snails, steak and wines. You have to go.
21 Monmouth St, London, WC2H 9DD - opposite Covent Garden Hotel;
tel: 020 7836 7243;
This warm and luxuriously designed Indian restaurant has a soothingly romantic environment with good lighting. There is a warm glow that suffuses the ambience. The food is extremely flavoursome, authentic and almost unforgettable (though a bit on the pricey side), with a good variety of starters, main courses and desserts that are imaginatively decorated.
The waiters are all very cordial, efficient, friendly and warm. It is definitely an enriching and illuminating dining experience.
Victory House, 99-101, Regent Street, London W1B 4RS (entrance is just around the corner in Swallow Street); tel: 020 7734 1401;
Underground: Piccadilly Circus
I'd like to recommend a fantastic restaurant that serves up alligator, ostrich and all sorts of other goodies. It is a beautifully decorated place where all the items on show are for sale. You are given a password when you turn up which makes it even more interesting. The pricing isn’t too bad either, £80 for two with starter and wine. If I could, I would go there everyday - it is really something special!
110 Whitfield Street, London, W1T 5ED
Tapa is a cafe/delicatessen that only sells organic and vegetarian products. They bake their own bread, which tastes fantastic: being Italian my family is very picky about bread, but Tapa's bread never let us down. Interestingly, they mostly use local-sourced rye to bake bread.
They also do very good organic fairtrade coffee, and their own soups, ciabbattas, sandwiches and, mostly recommended, cakes.
Staff are very friendly and nice. You can dine inside, or even outside on the pavement, weather permitting. The cafe has a very "east-side" unpretentious look, but the quality on offer is not matched by more pretentious cafes in the city centre - so it is worth visiting Dennistoun on the east side to eat at Tapa.
21 Whitehill St, Glasgow;
tel: 0141 554 9981
This restaurant serves a wide selection of vegetarian Indian food. The food is Gujarati with African influences due to the time the family spent in Uganda. Absolutely beautiful food, try the kofta or the green banana curry, and the pani puri is amazing.
188 Upper Tooting Road, London, SW17 7EJ; tel: 020 8767 7027
Nearest tube: Tooting Broadway
Moso Moso is my favourite Chinese restaurant in Manchester. Scallops with salt, chilli and garlic is a particular favourite. The wine list is extensive too. Service is always excellent.
403 - 419 Oxford Road Manchester
tel: 0161 273 3373;
This traditional pub in the Merchant City, Glasgow has a very nice and relaxed atmosphere. No background music, the emphasis is on conversation. Very good pub food at more than reasonable prices. There is also a restaurant on the first floor, with a good variety of game, and they even offer accommodation. A very friendly and relaxed place to meet friends and make some new ones.
16-18, Blackfriars St, Glasgow
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