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5 Restaurants to Try This Weekend

From vegan seitan sandwiches in Hackney to a Turkish grill in the middle of a dinosaur-themed crazy golf course

Clare Geraghty of Kettle & Ryan
Leytonsown | Instagram

This is a new weekly column with suggestions for where to eat during the weekend. There are three rules: The restaurants must not be featured in either the Eater 38 Essential map, nor the monthly Heatmap, and the restaurant must be outside Zone 1.

Temple of Hackney

Cooler weather means the queues outside this Hackney favourite are slowly receding to something approaching manageable. And with a recent episode of the BBC’s Food Programme taking the boom in meat-free diets as its subject, there’s arguably never been a more opportune moment to flirt with or even fall completely for veganism. Certainly, the sandwiches, “wings,” and “strips” on offer here — all made from seitan; garnished with fresh slaws and spicy vegan mayos — are a compelling argument for cutting animal flesh out of one’s diet; whilst London may not quite be at the level of sophistication displayed by New York’s Superiority Burger, this is still deeply satisfying, highly delicious fast food. Cheaper than Byron, this is a better burger in all senses of the word. —George Reynolds
10 Morning Lane London E9 6SA

Kettle & Ryan at Yardarm

Clare Geraghty and Laurence Mash’s cosy new neighbourhood bistro in Leyton, this author’s home turf. It’s a collaboration with my favourite wine shop Yardarm. Go for the mackerel with tempura samphire or the pasta with mushroom and hazelnut ragu. More fresh life on Francis Road, E10, after Phlox Books (and cafe) which is wonderful to see. —Grace Dent
240 Francis Road, Leyton, E10 6NJ

Gokyüzü

There’s a sign with an arrow on the roaring, repulsive north circular road that might literally say: “Turkish restaurant”. Follow it, even if it feels weird. Gokyüzü is a giant, glass, canteen-like restaurant next to Jurassic Falls Adventure Golf. It’s always packed because it’s fantastic. The sarma tavuk beyti has got it all going on: minced chicken wrapped in lavash with tomato sauce and cheese, grilled over coals and drizzled with chilli butter. —Laura Goodman
Southend Road, Chingford, E4 8TA

WC

Yes, it’s a secret underground bar. In what used to be a public toilet. In Clapham. But although, on paper, it sounds like hell’s innermost circle, this is actually one of the nicest spots in SW4. Right next to Clapham Common tube, WC has a Raymond- Chandler-meets-Peter-Mayle feel — rather than going down the done-to-death gin-in-teacups route, the owners have wisely kept the old Victorian tiles and swing-doors. Wine and cheese make up most of the menu, but there’s also a strong (in both senses) cocktail selection. The charcuterie boards, featuring the likes of rabbit and Armagnac salami, are excellent — or if you’re bedding in for the night, order the tartiflette, made with corpse-reviving Epoisse cheese. —Emma Hughes
Clapham Common South Side, London SW4 7AA

Sparrow

Shyly perching on one branch of Lewisham’s egregiously inhospitable one-way system, Terry Blake and Yohini Nandakumar’s Sparrow offers good reason to break out clichés about flying south for the winter. Broadly seasonal Modern European, with an eye for global inflections and the confidence that comes from restraint, dinner might include pickled devon crab, coconut and Thai spice or lamb chops with tomato and hazelnut salsa. Bonus points for a brunch menu to eat, rather than do: the star billing goes to Sri Lankan appam — pancakes made with fermented rice and coconut milk. —James Hansen
2 Rennell Street, London SE13 7HD

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