Rasa vegetarian restaurant in Stoke Newington is great - delicious variety of interesting Keralan dishes and all completely vegetarian. For carnivores, there's a non-veggie version opposite.
Church Street, Stoke Newington, Hackney, London
Tooting is curry heaven and Kastoori is its nirvana. The restaurant is run by the Thanki family (from Gujarat via Uganda). For vegetarians, like us, this is the best of all restaurants. Start the meal with delicate, filled puris, follow up with marsala dosa (filled super-thin pancakes) served with spicy sambar. Mr Thanki and his staff will help you choose your meal. This ensures that you do not over-order, which is easy to do. Finish off with kulfis (Indian ice cream) and the final surprise of a modest bill for such a wonderful feast.
188 Upper Tooting Road, SW17
Tel: 020 8767 7027
Modern Italian Pizzeria - great food, with lots of twists on the usual pizzas, including one based on a full English breakfast. Main one is just off Albert Square but a second has opened recently in Chorlton.
Croma Manchester 0161 237 9799
1-3 Clarence Street, Manchester, M2 4DE
Croma Chorlton 0161 881 1117
500 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 9AP
Simply the best veggie restaurant that I have ever visited. Reading the menu is part of the pleasure - it has a language all of its own, e.g. Bengal Babs -Tandoori spice loaded halloumi kebab, served with smoked almond custard risotto, tamarind tang, pink onion and green mango sas, and podi dust tomatoes; Cigarillo Mejoolie - Deep-fried parchment pastry crammed with cardamon mejool date and pistachio lemon mince, cinnamon dust, fennel seed sugar, served with pomegranate bead, orange and grapefruit fillets and a mint tisane granita. The flavours and textures are divine. The staff are efficient and friendly and the restaurant also caters for vegans and those who need a gluten free diet. I visit regularly and am never disappointed.
71 East Street, Brighton BN1 1HQ
Tel: 01273 729051
A great Turkish restaurant with lots of atmosphere. Always busy and buzzing and perfect for a party or a date, or dinner with friends. The food is very reasonably priced and there are some delicious vegetarian dishes (don't miss the moussaka). If Gallipoli is full, try along the street at Cafe Gallipoli, or Gallipoli Again (yes, there's 3 of them!).
102 Upper Street, London N1 1QM
To my knowledge, the greatest sausage and mash restaurant around. Three types of sausage, three types of mash, three types of gravy, plus specials - mix and match your way to mash heaven. Champ with pork and apple and onion gravy, if you're asking.
4a Forrest Road, EH1 2QN; tel: 0131 225 7069, and 47 Thistle Street, EH2 1DY; tel: 0131 225 5782
A restaurant right on the shoreline (in the arches almost directly the below the Grand Hotel) which sources excellent organic produce with an eye to environmental sustainability. Very good modern British food - excellent fat chips, sirloin, absolutely delicious Dover sole and cracking fish soup are among the highlights - and leave room for pudding if you can. Pricey but far better value than similar London joints.
Friends Restaurant is a non-profit restaurant run by former street children who are being provided with training. It's part of Mith Samlanh Friends, the Cambodian arm of Friends International. The food is good, the service is friendly, and your bill helps to fund Friends' charitable aims. Go to the shop and gallery while you're there.
House 215, Street 13, Phnom Penh
(+855) 12 802 072
Vegetarian Indian street food restaurant run by a friendly couple in Preston Street. It is one of the few places that I have been to as a vegetarian where I can hold my head up with carnivorous friends. The food provided is delicious - especially the Bhel Puri for starters and the peas and paneer main. It also has a wine list to die for - fabulous organic wines or a range of real ales or eastern European beers for those who want a more traditional accompaniment to a curry.
54 Preston Street, Brighton;
tel: 01273 275717
A breath of fresh air on the Indian dining scene, just round the corner from Brick Lane on Bethnal Green Road, but so different.
Fantastically fresh food, cooked in an open kitchen in front of you, and they do not use artificial food colouring and use fish from sustainable sources. Their lamb chops are to die for, and the Tandoori Raan (leg of lamb) is the best I ever had, and to top it up the chocolate milkshakes (Jay Rayner's recommendation in Observer) were spot on.
Maida Indian Eatery
148 Bethnal Green Road
Nearest station : Liverpool st
Bratislava's Old Town centre is completely pedestrianised and has wall-to-wall bars, restaurants, cafes and clubs.
It has a much more relaxed, easy-going and friendly ambience than many other European capitals and, because there are no cars, you can try all the superb Slovak beers, wines and fiery spirits, tottering from one bar to another without fear of being mown down by a Skoda in a hurry.
Highly recommended for gourmets and bon-viveurs everywhere.
Bratislava Old Town
Tram 13 from the main railway station
Bus 61 from Bratislava's M R Stefanik airport.
Only 64km from Vienna
This is a vegetarian restaurant near Sally Lunns. I am not a 'veggie' but was so impressed by the meal we ate that I bought the recipe book!
Friendly atmosphere,welcoming staff and great cooking makes this restaurant well worth a visit.
2 North Parade Passage, off Abbey Green, Bath BA1 1NX
Tel: +44 (0)1225 446059
Don't let the fact that Michael Winner recommends it put you off.
It's a proper Italian family restaurant - and the food's nice enough - but the star of the show is the really lovely ice-cream in fantastic flavours. There's a gelateria in the back apparently but I tend to grab and go.
I've had their ice-cream at other places like the Garden Cafe in Regents Park, but don't think that it tastes half as good as when you are sauntering along the road in the sun licking an overloaded cone.
8 Haverstock Hill, opposite Chalk Farm tube
Tel: 020 7482 9000
Anthony Bourdain, the New York chef turned best-selling author, is moving to Vietnam because he loves Vietnamese food so much.
Fortunately, Londoners without his resources can find excellent Vietnamese nosh in Hackney. The section of Kingsland Road just past Shoreditch is a veritable gauntlet of Vietnamese restaurants, but the Loong Kee Cafe is a standout.
Like most Vietnamese restaurants, the decor is simple, although it has had to up its game with the plethora of competition. The formica tops have been replaced by a more inviting matt surface and the walls have been repainted. But you do not come here for the interior design.
Besides the excellent pho, a hearty soup of flat rice noodles, brisket and thin red slices of steak that cook in the broth before your very eyes, Loong Kee makes a Vietnamese treat rarely found in London.
A northern dish, Banh cuon consists of very fine minced pork and black mushroom, wrapped in a white thin, translucent layer made of rice flour. The delicate creatures are sprinkled with dried onions, which have been fried so that you get a wonderful contrast between the velvety smoothness of the rice wrapping and the crunchiness of the onions.
Cha lua, a thick sort of mortadella and fish sauce complete the dish. If you don't meat, there is the prawn version, not unlike the long white steamed dumplings with prawn in the middle that is a staple of dim sum. The difference is that the Vietnamese rice wrapping is much more delicate.
Loong Kee does banh cuon to perfection and is the only restaurant I know in the area that does this dish. That's why you'll see plenty of Vietnamese customers tucking into banh cuon for Sunday lunch. It's also fun to see non-Vietnamese trying to eat banh cuon with chopsticks. They are very slippery and seem to take on a life of their own.
There is an added bonus to Loong Kee. If you fancy some culture afterwards, pop into the Geffrye museum literally next door, a quirky museum with a large garden, which traces the history of English living rooms from 1600.
134 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8DY; Tel: 020 7729 8344
Monorail is an incredibly cool, independent record shop, with a loads of vinyl alongside the racks of hard-to-find CDs. Especially good for underground Japanese music and European jazz, it stocks a really varied range of music plus magazines/fanzines. The shop is situated within vegan bar/restaurant Mono, which also hosts live music and album launches etc in conjunction with the record shop.
12 Kings Court, King Street, Glasgow, G1 5RB, UK
Tel: 0141 552 9458
Granville Arcade, the covered part of Brixton's amazing market, used to be a forgotten, dowdy spinster aunt of the younger, more vibrant Electric Avenue section. That all changed a few years ago and now you can't move on a Saturday morning without tripping over yet another new cafe, restaurant or retro clothing stall, jostling for space with the remaining grocers, fishmongers and haberdashers.
La Cabaña is a modest Colombian-Venezuelan eaterie near the Coldharbour Lane entrance. Snacks sell for £3, main dishes for £8-13 and there's a huge selection of interesting fruit juices; lulo, guanabana and the unusual Pony Malta.
1 Granville Arcade, Brixton Village, London SW9 8PR
+44 207 924 0992
Open Sun-Wed 09.00-18.00, Thur-Sat 09.00-21.00
Nearest tube; Victoria Line to Brixton, buses 3, 35, 133, 159
Google map: bit.ly/nkW5Dn
Cosy, underground cellars form the three rooms of the bistro. Below ground level, the bistro is a great pre-play venue or meeting place for friends.
When I go home to see my parents we go to the Everyman after I get in to Lime Street. It's really relaxed and although pretty basic, the menu is consistently varied, tasty and fantastic value.
Without exception, my dad orders the delicious tortilla with salads, and the desserts are highly recommended.
Liverpool Everyman Theatre.
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