Food North London Eating Thread...let's give it a go

Walked past this place on Stroud Green Road today. Had to peer through half a dozen bare-chested, sweaty men all feverishly sawing/drilling/hammering away.... but from what I could see it looks like some sort of natural-ish wine bar featuring French and Italian wine. I think they'll be serving charcuterie and cheese as well. Apparently it's opening on Friday and I might well pop along to check it out before dinner at Top Cuvee.

Presumably no connection with @Chris Hambleton!!


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It's about halfway up SGR opposite the Tesco, just off the main road in the little arcade containing Vagabond coffee shop and Granny's Caribbean. I will of course report back after visiting!
Sorry, realised Top Cuvee has only had passing mention I think, definitely worth a look. Bit noisy but excellent eclectic grub and interesting wine list, will certainly return. Annoyingly very close to my old house which used to suffer from the Arsenal being just round the corner. Now dead trendy area as the Gooners are off in the Emirates and house has more than trebled in value.
For those who think Indian Rasoi has gone downhill, go the Shahi Pakwaan just by the one way system at the top of Archway road, close to East Finchley, where chef and family from Rasoi have moved, lovely food, very simple decor.
Right, a couple of new places, very different but we cater for all tastes here:
Wander, on Stoke Newington High St, identifies as Australian and the whipped Vegemite butter reinforces the idea. Shop front type place, small, a bit cool and casual, if you sit at the window you can see the derelicts and hipsters of Stokey wander by. Pretty inexpensive - starters may £5-7, bigger plates £10-15, quite a shared plate thang going with a decent tasting menu for £35, and not afraid of flavours. Good truffle burrata, squid, Korean bbq chicken, Pavlova. Not huge portions for a fat boy like me but you emerge well sorted. Wine list is pretty natural with some off-piste Australian options, we did the wine flights to see what was up but quite modest pours (or we were thirsty) so maybe go by the bottle.

Lyons, very fresh opening in Crouch End, almost opposite the clock tower. We went second night and think this is a serious eating joint though with a cafe/family sense with small open kitchen. Very much seafood - only one beefy item on the menu - though I did ask, Max, if they can convert veg dishes to vegan and the answer is, yes, though maybe worth a chat in advance. Menus up on a board, we went overboard on excellent oyster selection which digs a hole in the wallet. Excellent cured salmon and fennel; Miso fish collar (yup, amazeballs); seabass tartare with Japanese dressings; mackerel with lardo...decent selection of wines by the glass, wine list feels a bit toppy, not contemplating corkage at this early stage. Total bill with couple of glasses and bottle of Pedra Macabeo/Parellada and stripping out the oysters was about £60 a head...only one dessert but fun clementine thing. Home - Lyon's - Seafood & Wine Bar Will upload pics if I can 20191011_192907.jpg 20191011_185806.jpg 20191011_185320.jpg 20191011_201701.jpg 20191011_192910.jpg 20191011_192910.jpg
20191017_192003.jpg Halle-blooody-lujah, we may be seeing the advent of a decent Chinese restaurant. Went last night in soft opening phase of new place, Bund, on Fortis Green....coming from East Finchley, in row of shops just past Majestic, used to be Knidos Greek place. Quite formal settings with pretty decent glassware, sort of old Shanghai vibe. Chef from Malaysia, Chinese/Nonya background I guess, ex-Hakkasan, so slightly eclectic menu. Excellent crispy wild mushroom salad and salt'n'pepa tofu (see wot I did there?), belly pork and tea smoked lamb shoulder, decent greens, all very smartly presented. Only slight disappointment was Ma Po Tofu where spicing was dialled right back as opposed to botty burn level you need for this dish. But all in all very creditable. Some dishes not available yet so didn't try their xiao long bao. Nice complimentary mango and pomelo dessert. Hosts Andy and Ching very welcoming and keen to ask for feedback. They admit they are experimenting with wines at this early stage but perfectly decent Pascal Jolivet rose for about £23 and I noticed Murrieta Rioja 2013 for about £30, so not gouging prices at this stage. Total bill for two was about £90 and we ate well. My one concern would be they are quite upmarket so question whether the local expectations will drive them to more mainstream/predictable fare. Think for contacts need to use FB page bundrestaurant
Couple of additions:

- we went to the reopened Bull & Last on Saturday, on their 3rd day of service since renovation. Ridiculously good meal - we shared pappardele with chicken livers and mushrooms; a board with various types of smoked fish, and crab mayo; tempura mushrooms with bonito dip; smoked eel smorrebrod; and two types of chips. We then shared some excellent ice cream with a chocolate peanut fondant and rum-glazed banana. All delicious. Total including drinks was £90, which we is the same amount as we recently paid for a delayed, slightly cold delivery of Chinese food. Just a shame that the thin pickings in the area mean it's impossible to get a booking (we were lucky walk-ins after a morning on the Heath).

- first visit to Quality Wines. These guys can definitely cook as well, but I just had the sense that it's more based around random trendy small plates, and seeing/being seen, than there being much focus on the actual food and wine. Noble Rot does the same thing with more credibility.

- Berber & Q Shwarma had a lovely atmosphere and incredible food. I am definitely plannng to go back and eat my way through the menu.
Couple of long-overdue updates:

Lyon's Seafood & Wine Bar - I suffer dreadfully from restaurant promiscuity, most probably FOMO-based, so the greatest compliment I can give Lyon's is that my lunch there on Sunday was my 6th visit since it launched last Autumn. I can only echo Alistair's comments above that this is a seriously good restaurant. The food is beautifully presented and just on the right side of cheffy. Despite numerous mentions of Fat Duck this and sous-vide that, at no point do they lose sight of the primary objective guiding any half-decent restaurant, namely to provide an environment in which delicious food is served in a convivial manner. A stunning bottle of Gaia Wild Ferment Assyrtiko was typical of the thoughtfully compiled, flavour-first approach to both wine and food. Highly recommended. Almost certainly a good venue for offlines :)

Oak N4 - This is a decent, smartly presented, although (if I am being a little uncharitable) by-numbers wine bar at the back of Finsbury Park station. The cheese and meat platters are of decent quality and are ridiculously good value. The list has a wide selection with a good mix of old and new world, classics and more modern/natural/orange styles. With the greatest respect, this is perhaps not a place which warrants a special trip but well worth a visit for locals or if in the area (it's close to Park Theatre, for example). Also of niche interest is the Sunday family club, during which the back area is turned into a kid-friendly zone with games and drawing pads, allowing parents to abdicate their responsibilities for long enough to throw back something like the zesty and enjoyable Al Cantara 'Occhi di Ciumi' I had at the weekend.

The Brave Sir Robin - this is a craft beer pub but don't hold that against it. The kitchen is rotated on a pop-up basis with new operatives every 6-12 months. The peerless Kjot and Eldur have recently made way for current occupants Fat Sabbath who are doing a good job with their on-trend but thoroughly delicious modern pub fayre. Obviously there is no shortage of choice if palate-fatiguing 8.5% hop-jus is your thing but mercifully there are also plenty of solid options for those sensible souls who like to drink their beer in the slow lane. This is a cracking boozer if you're not overtly offended by the genre.
New discovery on Upper Street near my abode. Excellent Puglian cuisine, this restaurant has been up and running for 15 months, and is right next to the Almeida Theatre.

TerraRossa Restaurant | TerraRossa Restaurant

Actually not that new because I have been meaning to flag it. I have struck up a good relationship with the manager, Francois.

Last night Chris, Younghwa, Fletcher and I dined there. The idea was to go there after the J&B Piedmont tasting but it got pulled. But we went ahead anyway.

Last night we had to implore him to accept some extra gratuity for the four bottles we brought along.

I am thinking of arranging an Italian-themed tasting there in the Spring, recognising that the offline calendar is already filling up. But Francois is very open to the idea.
Zaffrani, the Indian on Cross Street, Angel, is doing take away as normal but have just got themselves set up for delivery too, including Deliveroo. My favourite Indian in the area, will definitely be supporting them.

Zia Lucia the great pizza place on Holloway Road also delivering via Deliveroo as normal
I got takeaway from the Bull & Last this evening, not cheap but delicious. They were also selling a few basic provisions - bread, butter, pasta, apparently more to come from Monday - and all their wines to take away. No delivery, but very good if you're nearby.
Just to expand on Farang, they have a short menu of available items on their website. You call up with order and they agree a pick-up time (5 minute gaps) and take card details. The food is provided cold with heating instructions. At the appointed time, mid afternoon in our case, you shout/wave/gurn through window, they pop your food on table outside door and you mime vigorously to convey your thanks. Salivating already.