Cristian Guajardo Garcia

Business Strategy

where data and creativity collide

Eating out in London

You can read about my previous visit to London here

You know I love to eat. Every little thing that happens in the kitchen has a bit of magic to it. And being in London for several days, well, you know we had to go out and try a bit of it all.

  1. 1st disclaimer: since I do not eat meat, all the places that I mention here and serve meat are halal.
  2. 2nd disclaimer: the very best food in London is not in a restaurant, in in anne’s kitchen.

Nando’s: (halal) Have you ever been to Portugal and tried their awesome ==chicken piri piri?== Well, if you haven’t, Nando will bring it to your table. Curiously enough, Nando is from South Africa, but as long as they keep the chicken coming, we’re good. I liked the atmosphere of Nando’s, the well done menu and the spicy sauces you can get to increase the flavor of your meals. We went twice and every time I had also fries, corn, olives and garlic bread.

Gaucho(not halal): What an eventful and joyful night this was! Apart from all the emotions, we enjoyed one of the best argentinians-latin restaurants in town. At the beginning I thought it would be strictly Argentinian food, but we had empanadas, humitas, pan de queso y ceviche. Even though I did not tried the meat, it looked great. The waiter came with several cuts of raw Argentinian meat to explain us what they were and how you could have them, really good from the customer experience point of view, I would say. The atmosphere was modern and the music was good (not to loud); the wines were mostly from Mendoza and the desserts were heavenly. Gaucho is in Square Mile, nearby Bank Station.

Maedah Grill (halal): Maedah is right behind the majestic East London Mosque in the middle of Whitechapel. This is the place were a lot of sisters and brothers break their fast for iftar. The restaurant is a real turkish delight. Elegant, spacious and beautiful decorated. Here we had meat and chicken that tasted like heaven. The place is huge and there’s always someone having kebab. Let me tell you, if you come here, the turkish steak is the thing to have. To finish the meal, turkish delights and tea. Just like our brothers do it in Istanbul.

Ariana 2 (halal): Ariana 2 is an afghan restaurant. Somehow similar to Maedah (or turkish food) but not as good looking. The first Ariana was open in the 80’s in NYC and in 2010 the family decided to open the 2nd one in London given the fact so many relatives lived here. Afghanistan is a rich multicultural country. The silk Road brought variety, different cultures and flavours to this middle eastern country. All of this is reflected in the Afghan cuisine; natural yogurt and sauces are a must (i had something that looked and tasted it exactly like chilean pebre). The equation in Ariana is kebab with rice and salads. The plates are huge and we guys, were the only ones to finish it all. To finish, a happy tea will do (cardamom tea btw).

Ceviche Old St (not halal): I had so much expectations for this one. And it flopped. The music was too loud and for being peruvian food, I expected at least to talk to one peruvian waiter. When it comes to food, the idea is to have “tapas” or samples for different dishes. We had ceviche (with a very tasty leche de tigre with wasabi), chicha morada, cancha, pastel de choclo, yuca frita (awesome), olives and guava y tequeños. The food at Ceviche was good, but I guess the lack of ingredients (as good as they are in Peru) affected our experience. Next time, we’ll try Lima London or Señor Ceviche.

Itihaas Brasserie (halal): Selfridges it's one of the biggest malls in London. I do like it but it feels like “too much”. Anyways, if you tired to go up and down with your wife, have a break and enjoy the Northern Indian flavours that Itihaas has for you. The restaurant has the famous Mumbai Street Food and you can really tell they know what you're doing. Regardless of being in a shopping mall, this is no food by no means at all, this is the real deal.

Fika (not halal): Fika means snack in swedish. This is a small café in Brick Lane in which you can have several Sweden delights in a nice and chill place. In terms of coffee I was disappointed, they only serve aeropress and that would be it; when it came to food I fell in love back, the just baked mazarin (a cake with almonds) was nothing but delightful.

Last but not least, if you want to go straight to the heart of India go to Brick Lane and dive deep into bangladesh, afghan, indian and middle eastern cuisine. If you running out of money, then Tesco's 3£ meals are a savior!

Cristian Guajardo Garcia (cc) by-nc-sa | Made in London, UK |  2005 - 2017