This weekly column suggests London restaurants to try over the weekend. There are three rules: The restaurants must not be featured in either the Eater London 38 Essential map, or the monthly updated Heatmap, and the recommendations must be outside Zone 1. In need of even more London restaurant recommendations? Head to the 5 to Try restaurant recommendation archive.
Kululu Moroccan Kitchen
Kululu’s Instagram Stories feature a short video of the guys from Balady — themselves no strangers to good sandwiches — demolishing a schnitzel-stuffed challah and switching between Hebrew and guttural sounds of appreciation, flicking their wrists in the universal sign language for “this sandwich is off the hook.” The link makes sense not just for the shared Jewish-Moroccan axis, which Balady explores in vegetables and fish, but also for a great Jewish sandwich crawl that would stretch from Balady’s Temple Fortune home, through to Salt Beef Bar’s tongue sandwich by the North Circular, up to Kululu, and into Edgware with B&K’s pastrami: Ashkenazi, Sephardic, and Mizrahi cuisines all represented.
Kululu has only been open for a couple of weeks, propping up the counter of a kosher deli in Hendon called ... Hendon Kosher Deli. Elad and Ella assemble sandwiches the size of new-borns, sourcing challah from Just Kosher in Borehamwood that provides the barest lip service to resistance, letting the fillings speak for themselves. Pairing those fillings is an art form: salt beef, sliced thin as baloney and piled up, should be ordered simply with pickles and mustard. Egg salad was ordered with an outstanding sticky steak and onions, but even better would be sweet hot peppers, saving the egg for three huge schnitzels the width of escalopes piled on top of each other; disregard the cold aubergine completely. The salt beef and the steak are £12 and the schnitzel is £10 plus accessories: these are proper prices for proper sandwiches, and the money is going on the superb ingredients rather than the rent. Don’t sleep on it — Kululu is easily in London’s top 5 sandwich shops and can only get better. —Jonathan Nunn
43 Brent Street, Hendon, NW4 2HJ
Motorbike art work, skull bill holders, enormous fry ups and a good cup of tea. Jim’s Cafe, owned by London clothing brand Black Skulls, is no fuss with a rugged smile: the front half of the cafe is old style British caff with wooden booths and vinyl seats, while the back opens up with bigger tables, room for a dog or four, and a pram. The food is generous, hearty, and tasty. As well as fry-ups there, are pancake stacks with butter melting on bacon; cheese toasties for lunch; while dinner offers steak and eggs, burgers, and mac and cheese, with vegan and vegetarian options across all menus. Simple, fun and welcome to all. —Anna Sulan Masing
9 Chatsworth Road, E5 0LH
Cafe East could be considered Roman Road’s grime-soundtracked answer to Bethnal Green Road’s E. Pellicci. While the two tiny cafés, established well over a century apart, look — and sound — very different, what they share is a place at the heart of their community and a reputation for delivering a banging fry-up. Bow locals Mustafa Has and his brother-in-law Ali Cakan set up Cafe East in 2016 and now have queues outside the door every Saturday, with a waiting time of thirty minutes not unusual. Why the queues? For heaving skillets of eggs, bacon and sausages, with halal and vegan variations; for sugar-dusted stacks of pancakes; and a “posh breaky” garnished with an entire MasterChef episode’s worth of pea shoots, mint sprigs and edible flowers. The small cynical voice that grumbles that it’s all for the ‘gram is drowned out by far louder ones that cherish this cramped but cosy little spot. —Hillary Armstrong
426 Roman Road, E3 5LU
Spice de L’Afrique
In the four weeks it has been open, this little restaurant has become a serious contender for the best suya in the area. For a street already brimming with incredible West African restaurants, this is no mean feat. Tender strips of beef are both crunchy and melt-in-the-mouth, complete with a wallop of heat from generous seasoning. From a selection of Nigerian and Ghanaian dishes worthy of further exploration, a pepper soup is a high-powered antidote to the dropping temperatures — hissing with chilli and funk from pieces of goat meat and offal. But the highlight is the crescent-shaped beef pie. Tender, rosemary infused cubes of beef and carrot are blanketed in a buttery, homemade casing, like a deep pocket of warmth — a strong indicator for things to come from this exciting newcomer. —Shekha Vyas
594 Barking Road, E13 9JY
This stark but stylish space is on a stretch of road with low key culinary pedigree: The Leith’s School of Food and Wine is nearby. There are a few sweet treats on offer: cinnamon rolls that are beautifully spiced but maybe a little claggy; orange blossom and brown butter madeleines that are wonderful despite tasting of neither.
There are fragrant caraway and rye loaves; sweet and nutty walnut bread; an intriguing “secret loaf”; but really, the sourdough is star of the show. The large sourdough loaves have a prehistoric look to them, slightly irregular and matte with thick dark crusts, as if baked in a cave over embers. Behind the floury crunch of crust there is a tart and airy interior that begs to be slathered with salty butter. Bread, when done right like this, is a manifestation of joy. —Leila Latif
153 Askew Road, White City W12 9AU