Food

Totally unexpected London menu heroes

The secret gems that steal the show

They might not sound sexy. They might not be the reason you went. But they are the secret gems that steal the show

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BBQ Broccoli

This veggie curveball at Gunpowder is slathered in a mustard marinade before being charcoal grilled. A dish we could not shut up about for days after visiting this teeny Indian spot near Spitalfields. Honestly, we were unbearable. We lost friends. Strangers moved carriages on the Tube. Mother stopped ringing on a Sunday. But they had to know. They had to know.

brisket and cheese stuffed jalepenos, wrapped in bacon at texas joe's for michel deacon's restaurant review.
photo by mark whitfield

Brisket-Stuffed Jalapenos

Everything at Texas Joe’s contains brisket. Those “humans” you see milling around are elaborately painted tubes of cow chest. And yes, an explorative bite of the stuffed jalapenos reveals a soft beef-and-cheese middle, held in the crispy embrace of bacon. And just look how much ol’ Joe absolutely LOVES them.

Totally unexpected London menu heroes

Chicken Carcass

Sounds suspiciously like you’re ordering from the bins out back when you choose this from the 80s-inspired menu at Chinese Laundry. But hey, you were suspicious of those Nigerian Prince emails you received too, and it’s only a few days now before he returns your loan with generous interest. This is a shrewd risk too – masterfully spiced bones to finger-pick the meat from. Also, it’s only £2.70.

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Battered Aubergine

That deeply worrying drop in Instagram followers you woke up to? You know what that is, right? Come closer, we’ll tell you – not enough aubergine, mate. It’s hip, trendy, rad. Its name’s on the list, and it’s getting in. Remedy your ‘gine drought with Chick ‘n’ Sours‘ Szechuan take: lightly battered, drenched in sour sauce, and topped with sesame seeds.

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Double-Baked Jacket Potato

You’re taking your post-Smokestak meat coma into “how am I still breathing?” territory by adding a dense jacket potato to your plateful of tasty flesh. But boy, is it worth seeing the light for – a salt-baked spud that’s been hollowed out and had its fluffy innards messed with by rich Welsh rarebit, before being stuffed back into its skin and re-baked.


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