Sunday, March 16, 2008

Year of Eating Differently - Best of London

So after more than half a year, I had to leave the country. Whether this was because I'd exhausted all possibilities for lunch or not is left as an exercise for the gentle reader. Because everyone likes lists, here's a quick summary of the ten best and worst establishments that I've frequented/endured. (Followed shortly by an analysis of what kind of food I've eaten most and least of).

First, five of the best:
Subway - I can't figure out why, and it really shouldn't be here, but it's a much better example of manufactured food than the other chains - Pret was probably quite close, and Starbucks well behind because of the feeling of impending bankruptcy it induces
Lindsay House - right at the other end of the price spectrum. Simply superlative. (Maybe I'll cross L'Escargot off the list on a visit to Greek Street in the future, which could conceivably bump this down a bit)
Itsu - so good, I had to go to Canary Wharf
Foyles - by far the best cafe-in-a-bookshop I've encountered. Yes, there are lots of Starbucks inside Borders, but quantity is not always the same as quality...
Mr Jerk - I'd include Jerk City too, but it doesn't seem right to have two examples of such fabulously filthy, dirty food. Here's to the majesty of the roti.
Geisya - nervous waiter, great Japanese.

And 5 of the worst:
Govinda - file under trustafarian hippy scum, and with a case of gut-rot to boot
Abokado - not only was this seriously dull, but it provokes somebody to complain that it was much better than I had said. Well, that only makes it worse. (Strangely, the only comments attracted so far have been for Abokado and the aforementioned Govindas...)
Soba - the gloomy reflection of Geisya - best not to eat here if you've recently been to anywhere that can cook Asian food.
Vita Ingredient - for sheer pretension and a badly spelt name. And the food wasn't great
Casa Fresh - what a great leaving present - vegetarian food with added beef - at least the photograph of my wastebin has a certain soft-edged quality to it, like mist gliding across a winter field
Funnily enough, Make Mine is no longer the nemesis that it was when I began all of this. Wouldn't go back there, though, even now. There are other worthy contenders for the crown of worst food, but it would be rather depressing to mention them now.

Statistically top food: Mozzarella (16 mentions), followed by tomatoes (14) and cheese (12), although it's fair to say that these are probably over-represented due to their presence in other food.
First proper meal type (who says they're going to get some mozzarella for lunch, after all?) is falafel (12), although some controversy exists about the correct spelling. Should it be Just Falafs, for example?
burger is next with 11 mentions, and it's interesting to see the almost constant conjunction of curry (10) and expense account (7). Let us be thankful there's only one disgusting on the list - could have upped this score with a few more visits to Charing Cross Road...
Finally, as a well behaved lad, raised by his parents to treat each person as a valuable and unique snowflake, and not just a lump of flesh, I'm proud to report there's only been one instance of needless objectification of women thus far. (This could go up, depending on the cultural surroundings I subject myself to in following months. It's not my fault, it's the pressures of my environment!)


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