Fancy Italian, Danish or Vietnamese?
In a sea of burger pop-ups and fusion food, it’s sometimes nice to go back to basics with some quality, authentic dishes from your favourite destinations. I’ve taken 3 restaurants from 3 corners of London with authenticity at their core…
The Authentic Italian
For a girl who doesn’t have any dried pasta goods in her cupboards, an Italian specialising in just that might seem like my last choice but quite the opposite. If I’m going to have it, I want the real deal. Fresh, preferrably stuffed and smothered in home made sauce. Luckily, Pasta Remoli does just that and it’s just around the corner from me in the up-and-coming part of Finsbury Park (keep your peepers open peeps!)
After 4 years training as a chef in Rome, Simone Remoli honed his skills in traditional Roman cuisine. He took his knowledge straight to London where he cut his teeth at several high end Italian restaurants. Not quite satisfied with the quality he was working with, he started making his own pastas and selling them to top restaurants in London using the best ingredients from Italy. They were so well received that he opened his own restaurant so that everyone could try it. Well thank you Sir.
Simone offers up simple, quality pastas and sauces but lets you ‘build your own’ so that you have your say in what combo ends up on your plate. You can watch the chefs squeeze out tagliatelle and observe how they really make tortellini and then pick the strangest shaped pasta from the wooden trays. I went a bit off-menu (there are recommendations) and chose an aubergine filled ravioli with beef bolognese and parmesan and some arancini on the side. Rich, tasty and perfectly cooked pasta. You’ll never reach for a dry packet in Sainsbury’s again.
Pasta Remoli / Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park N4 & Westfield Stratford /
Psst – Head to Pasta Remoli on Twitter for the chance to win a Kenwood mixer!
The Authentic Danish
If I told you that Snaps & Rye was the only Danish restaurant in London you’d think ‘say whuut?!’ right? My thoughts exactly, and it’s a shame as food this fresh and tasty should be available all over. Husband and wife duo Kell and Jaqueline Skött describe their cuisine as ‘contemporary Danish’, using carefully sourced ingredients that re-enact their beloved Copenhagen food scene.
Head chef Tania creates twists on classics in their seasonally changing and sustainable menu using British and Danish produce, some of which you can buy on their beautifully arranged shelves. I got to try out the brunch menu but I’m hoping I’ll find myself near Notting Hill again soon so that I can give the lunch and dinner a shot! Their breads are all made in their kitchens, as is the home-cured herring and infused Danish spirit, Akvavit.
I wasn’t hugely adventurous with my choices but man, those rye Smørrebrød’s are delicious (so fresh and light) and the pastries are a no-brainer. Snaps & Rye is the place where you feel Hygge (look it up). You’re so welcome you could stay all day and watch the beautiful people grab their morning coffee and avocado rye bread, read the paper and go. Definitely one for chilling the Easter weekend away!
Snaps & Rye, Golborne Road, W10 5NL / Brunch, lunch and dinner on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, closed Mondays / Take a look on their Instagram for more!
The Authentic Vietnamese
‘Pho Mile’ on Kingsland Road is famous for it’s Vietnamese restaurants so to be fair, I probably could have featured any South East Asian soup-serving establishment along the strip but none, that I’ve seen, look quite as good as Viet Grill. And you know, I care about appearances (particularly when they’ve got this French Colonial palm style going on), ok?
Viet Grill is part of the Vietnamese Kitchen group which includes my Soho fave, Cây Tre, all owned by Mr Hieu Trung Bui who likes to order herbs and spices from Vietnam but keep meats local. Instead of moving back to Ho Chi Minh from London after his degree as planned, he decided to stick around and help raise the reputation of Vietnamese food in the capital. It seems to be working out!
Order a fish dish and it might just come out on its own little flammable plate, set alight by a waiter and left for you to marvel at (and snapchat). I’ve had their famous 18 hour made Pho which is customisable and tasty but their curries (I’ve tried chicken and duck) are my indulgence. Watch out though, the latter is delish but super rich.
Next time, I’m eager to try the deserts, and the rest of the menu but with salads, banh mi’s and noodles yet to try, there’s plenty of excuses to come back!