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.
Look, if this place was in W1 it would be booked up months in advance. As it is, there’s a reasonable chance of a call made on Monday securing a table over the weekend, despite there only being 28 seats (most of them are at the bar, overlooking the busy kitchen). Husband-and-wife team Yoann and Sujin’s menu is modern French with nods towards South Korea: hake with grilled endive, kohlrabi, fennel and orange, and matcha rice pudding with caramelised pistachio. It’s mind-bogglingly good value, and the smoked butter that comes with the bread has a cult-like following. —Emma Hughes
28 Battersea Rise, SW11 1EE
Paradox Design + Coffee
Coffee and plants in a glass box in east London, the most identikit weekend jaunt imaginable!
Park the assumptions.
Anyone who has walked into a speciality coffee shop in London has probably seen the work of Zain Kara-Bernou and Katherine Miskulin’s Paradox in the wooden die that sits on many bars, carved with latte art patterns to test any barista. Now, they have their own, small tribute to coffee and hospitality in Netil Market, whose rose latte shatters any lingering concerns about coffee being deathless and whose expert brewing makes that coffee something genuinely special. Cafes across the city tread the tightrope between warm, engaging hospitality and quality drinks and lose their balance; this weekend, go somewhere that proves making it work doesn’t have to be as complicated or performative as a high-wire act. —James Hansen
Unit A Netil Market, London E8 3RL
Southall’s notorious Glassy Junction — named for the Punjabi term for pubs — is long gone, but thankfully this equally popular pub in a nearby back street is an altogether more wholesome affair. It’s one of many Indian watering holes that have been quietly springing up in London for the last couple of decades, under-the-radar of anyone other than the local community. The front room has the feel of an old-fashioned boozer, the sort that’s been disappearing everywhere except in TV soaps. It’s populated by English gents of a certain age who look like extras from a Guy Ritchie movie, and Indian blokes ranging in age from late teens to grandpa. There’s a brighter, more contemporary, family-friendly dining room at the back, lined — like the bar at the front — with screens for watching cricket and football. The best Indian pub grub is a mixed grill, a huge cast iron hotplate sizzling and steaming with robust, succulent lamb chops, lamb kababs, chicken tikka and chicken wings — add king prawns for a fancier version. Fat, cushioned triangles of paneer pakora sprinkled with chaat masala are moreish; and there are old-school curries like lamb with okra, and potato with baby aubergines. The drinks list centred on beers and whiskies is pretty basic: like all glassy junctions, the place is more about masala than Marsala. —Sejal Sukhadwala
202 Western Road, UB2 5ED
The Greengate Cafe
This Algerian-owned eatery has settled nicely into the much-maligned unit that used to house Ginny’s Pie and Mash. On some level it’s a neighbourhood cafe, but also a place where a warm homely dinner is guaranteed. As well as being one of the only places in Plaistow to serve solid brunch dishes, wintry mains are hearty and well executed. The trip is worth it for the in-house salt beef alone, generously layered in a warm beigel with English mustard and pickles. A stewed lamb shank is also tender and delicious with creamy mash and a punchy, meaty gravy. —Shekha Vyas
538 Barking Road, E13 8QE
Sitting proudly beneath Wembley’s famed arches — in a somewhat soulless development — is the newest Bread Ahead. An echoing, cavernous space roughly the size of an aeroplane hanger, all gleaming cement, exposed bulbs, and glass, houses a bakery school, a restaurant, and take-away counters packed tightly with baked delights. The restaurant is broadly European with sourdough pizzas, whole roasted chicken marinated in lemon and thyme, and an exceptionally moreish burrata with sweet charred beetroot salad, but no trip to Bread Ahead would be complete without one of the doughnuts. Lined up along the counter, they are plump, pillowy, generously dusted with sugar and pornographically overfilled with hazelnut praline, “velvet chocolate,” homemade raspberry jam, honeycomb salted caramel, and classic vanilla custard. —Leila Latif
Olympic Way, Wembley HA9 0FU