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Breakfast and Brunch London

Frankie Goes To Bollywood

I feel like this has been the longest January on record – probably not helped by an eighty three day gap between pay days – but now it’s rounding off to an end and we’re about to jump into February, I can’t quite believe a month of 2018 has already passed. A new year promises new adventures: long lists of restaurants to visit, new foods to try and travel plans to be made. Whilst travelling to eat is set to be a big part of 2018 as usual, something I’m particularly keen to do this year is eat more locally around my little part of London. There are some fantastic places popping up all over South East London: Peckham has been paving the way with great bars and restaurants for a long time now, Brockley is slowly but surely getting there with the likes of the brilliant new Parlez just by the station, and Deptford is now host to plenty of places I’m dying to try.

Down in SE8 there’s the brilliant Deptford Market Yard, open 7 days a week with a row of great little cafes, restaurants and shops from the most beautiful florist to lifestyle store Win & Ruby who promote local designers. Two friends and I dragged our very hangover arses over that way one morning and after some tense deliberation between Frankie Goes To Bollywood and Archie’s – one arm of the brilliant Cheese Truck that has sadly since closed in Deptford, we opted for the former to help bring us back to life. I’ve thought about the food served that morning regularly since then.

Serving up Western classics with an Indian twist, the menu is inventive both in flavour and name: Frankie’s tandoori fried chicken (or TFC – see what they did there?) is marinated for 24 hours and served with a cumin and garlic aioli; spiced lamb sausages with sweet potato mash and cumin gravy make up the Bhangras and Mash  dish; whilst an Indian version of nachos made with mini poppadoms and classic Indian condiments and chutneys is fondly known as Poppadom Preach. A staple on the menu is Frankie’s version of the bacon naan famously associated with Dishoom, though this one is laced with signature tomato chutney and cream cheese and incredibly moreish. With over half the menu vegetarian friendly, there’s also the Gandhi’s Flip Flop burger made with a red cabbage, coriander and spiced potato patty to keep the vegans among us happy.

Being a huge fan of anything that resembles a pimped up McMuffin sandwich I had to go with the Lawhore. Beautifully named, this bun is the ultimate in filth; so much so it feels like it was designed specifically for you and your hangover in your particular time of need. Sausage patty, slices of black pudding, chutney, a fried egg with a yolk that burst perfectly as you bite into it – this is a breakfast of epic proportions. And all that isn’t even the best bit: a showstopper of a fried, crispy onion bhaji sandwiched inside the English muffin bun rounds off the Lawhore in a frankly genius move.

If this is what the local offering of South East London is like all over, I’ll never have to venture into Central again.

Arch 11, Deptford Market Yard, London, SE8 4BX

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Ganapati South Indian Kitchen

You know the death row meal chat? What would your death row meal be? Well, my main course would be curry – an Indian curry. Don’t ask me specifically what kind because it’s been hard enough to whittle it down to just one cuisine and I can’t deal with that kind of pressure, but curry it is. I would also have mashed potato served with my curry, because mash potato is the ultimate comfort food and it’s my last meal, I’ll have whatever I damn want – please and thank you. After a recent meal at Ganapati South Indian Kitchen, I’m now thinking I should add something from this Peckham restaurant into my fantasy death row meal – specifically, their paratha.

I don’t think I’m overstating this: the paratha is out of this world. My friend who lives within Deliveroo distance of Ganapati said she sometimes orders just their paratha because it’s that good. Buttery, flaky, almost bouncy in its nature it’s so light – it’s certainly the best I’ve tried. Whatever else you order here, the paratha must accompany it.

But let’s go back to the beginning. Luckily there were four of us at dinner, meaning we got to try most of the starters on the small menu, and the vegetarian among us was catered for well throughout the meal – not a hard stretch in a South Indian restaurant, but worth noting all the same. Highlights to start included the duck olathu cooked in ginger, garlic, garam masala and coconut with rice flour pancakes; the kadala cutlet – fried patties of spiced chickpeas and potato covered in breadcrumbs, and the vegetarian street snacks which featured more potato and more chickpeas, fried. The chemeen idiappam – steamed noodle cakes which were filled with shrimp masala – were also good, but I favour all things fried it would seem, so for me I would skip next time and leave more room for the main event.

Whilst we didn’t order it on this occasion, I’ve had the masala dosa in the past and it’s as exemplary as you would expect for a restaurant specialising in South Indian food, and a must order if you’ve never had a dosa before. It’s easy to share a few dishes at Ganapati as you would in most Indians yet we were all set on completely different choices this time around, leading us to order a variety: a couple of fish dishes, one chicken and I myself went for the andhra lamb. Noted to be one of the hotter dishes on the menu, it certainly had a good kick to it but thankfully nothing that left me unable to stomach it, if you’re worried about spice. The meat was tender and beautifully flavoured with onions, tomatoes, black pepper, chilli and garam masala; the sauce thick without being oily, the coconut rice fluffy and light. Ganapati switches up their menu every two months or so, which is good news if you want to keep going back without getting remotely bored with what’s on offer. I just need Deliveroo to extend out a little further to my abode now…

I’d had a terrible day before meeting my friends that evening. Turns out all you need to turn a particularly bad day around are some good friends full of positivity and wisdom, some good wine and a curry at this tiny Indian called Ganapati. Oh, and their paratha.

38 Holly Grove, Peckham, London, SE15 5DF
+44 20 7277 2928

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London Street Food

Horn Ok Please

Let’s get this straight. Street food is awesome. I spent 2011 backpacking, half the time of which I spent in South East Asia. The street food was one of the most enjoyable parts of the region; from Pad Thai in Bangkok, to Pho in Saigon, Murtabak in Sulawesi and these ridiculously greasy amazing pancake things …