Tag Archives: yndlingsrestaurant

Wahaca – modern Mexican market food

I have this weird relationship with Mexican food. And when I say Mexican I refer to the Tex-Mex Americanised version….ooooh how I have fond memories of eating huge burritos with guacamole & tortilla chips while sipping from huge jugs of frozen margaritas in a rainy New York.

It’s sloppy comfort food and I like the idea of it more than the actual food (which often turns out to be pretty awful).

I have a similar thing with horror movies: the concept and anticipation of snuggling up on the sofa while eating popcorn and watching a horror flick is often so much better than actually doing it, as 9 out of 10 horror movies are crap.

But back to Mexican food – the problem is you don’t feel too hot after swallowing tons of melted cheese and refried beans.

So the next time you’re in the mood for an inexpensive, non-grease-dripping Mexican meal, I suggest you try the restaurant chain Wahaca, that specialises in modern Mexican market/street food.

They have restaurants all over London, but I’ve only been to the new(ish) one in Wardour Street in Soho.

You often have to wait a bit for a table, but that’s no problem as the friendly staff hand you a buzzer and send you downstairs, where you can kill time with a drink in the big colourful bar.

The food is lo-key and you can either go for one big plate or several smaller ones. You eat the smaller ones tapas style and order around three each.

If you can’t be bothered to browse the menu, just go for the Wahaca Selection; a selection of the restaurants most popular plates for two people to share (costs £20 for two).

That’s what we did, as we were a bit indecisive. Five minutes later the first dishes started to appear. We had everything from vegetable tacos….

to chicken taquitos.

And some pork pibli tacos (slow cooked pork in Yucatecan marinade).

The food is good, although it doesn’t blow your mind. But I’ll still recommend this place because of its friendly staff, upbeat atmosphere and very reasonable prices.

And the food is not too greasy or covered in 10 cm of processed cheese.

Wahaca, 80 Wardour Street, Soho
(See website for more locations)

Lennies Snack Bar – A very special place

My most memorable dining experience in London has nothing to do with Michelin stars, fancy wines & waiters…

Lennies Snack Bar in East London (just next to Shoreditch Church)  is like no other Thai restaurant I’ve ever been too. Its life and soul is owner Irene who is the most welcoming host anyone can imagine. Eating at her restaurant is like coming home or visiting your favourite eccentric aunt.

Irene does all the cooking herself and will often sit at her customer’s tables and chat for a while, ask you how you’ve been or tell about her jet lag, her long life in London or the next party she’s planning to attend, dressed like Dolly Parton.

There is a varied menu to choose from, but we normally let Irene decide for us. We just tell her what kind of food we’re interested in and she’ll conjure up a wonderful mix of Thai curries, noodle dishes, fish etc. A lot of the vegetables come from her own allotment.

This is a BYO place, meaning you have to bring your own drinks. You don’t even pay extra for that and you rarely end up paying more than £ 10 per person for the food.

I really can’t recommend this place enough, I just love everything about it: from the kitschy cosy interior with red checkered table cloths, string lights and paintings of naked women to the fresh and well-prepared food. Hell, I even love the dodgy toilets.

But mainly I love this place because of Irene and her knack for creating the warmest and most welcoming atmosphere in East London.

Lennies Snack Bar, 6 Calvert Avenue,  London E2 7JP.
Tel: 020 7739 3628 ‎ (it’s a good idea to book ahead)

Ultra-cheap Thai food in Kilburn

Hvad jeg skulle have gjort i lørdags, da jeg lå katatonisk på sofaen med onde, onde tømmermænd var at hanke op i mig selv og trave en frisk tur op til Kilburn High Road. Her, midt i det temmeligt trøstesløste område ligger nemlig Spicy Basil, der godtnok har en af byens grimmeste facader, men til gengæld serverer noget af Londons billigste thaimad. Kokkene står klar-parat bag disken til at smide de på forhånd afmålte friske ingredienser på panden, så du lynhurtigt kan få serveret  klassikere som Pad Thai, røde og grønne karryer etc. Pris for en hovedret (inkl. ris): 4.50-5 pund.

Bestil ekstra chili og friskpresset appelsin/gulerods-juice, så bliver de værste tømmermænd med garanti blæst ud af hovedet og ud på den grå gade. Al mad fås selvfølgelig også som take-away.

Spicy Basil, 165 Kilburn High Road, London, tel: 020 7328 6646

What I should’ve done last Saturday when I was lying in a catatonic hung-over state on the sofa was to walk up to Kilburn High Road. This rather grim-looking street houses Spicy Basil – a brilliant Thai restaurant/take-away that serves up some of London’s cheapest Thai-food. Several cooks operate behind the counter in the cafeteria-style room and it rarely takes them more than 5 minutes to whip together a yummy meal, made from scratch from fresh ingredients. You can get all the classics: from Pad Thai to red and green curries. A main costs 4.50-5 pounds (incl. rice).

Order some extra fresh chilli and a freshly squeezed orange/carrot juice and your hangover will hopefully hop out of your head and onto the bleak rain-soaked street.

Spicy Basil, 165 Kilburn High Road, London, tel: 020 7328 6646