Faltering Fullback – Finsbury Park, London, UK

Hidden away on a residential street and covered in Ivy and other plants, is the Faltering Fullback Pub.

As you walk in, there are two bar areas and seating areas like any normal little pub (although there are loads of random trinkets hanging on the ceiling), but as you continue your journey through the pub you find yourself in a large open plan room full of picnic benches, a stage for a live band, a little kiosk for Thai food served by a lovely Thai family, a pool table and then beyond this is the beer garden which is like a tree house and goes up on lots of different floors. One of the Harry Potter films was apparently filmed in this beer garden (beer tree house?) – if it wasn’t, I believed it.

I love how hidden away and surprisingly large this pub is and I love that it is really well priced, there is a pool table (hard to find a pool table in a London pub because of space) and there’s decent food.

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Vegetable Spring Rolls
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Thai Chicken Red Curry
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Prawn Kwey Tiew

The food is decent if you are in the area and craving some well priced Thai food – it is a fairly simple menu and they serve all the popular Thai dishes that we are used to in the UK. From the menu, I would recommend the Kwey Tiew noodles, which are surprisingly really really good!

http://www.falteringfullback.com

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Que Me – Stroud Green, Finsbury Park, London

One of my current favourite cuisines is Vietnamese. It is fresh, healthy, full of goodness, but also it is so full and rich in flavour. I will finally let you in on my current favourite Vietnamese restaurant – it is called Que Me on Stroud Green Road in Finsbury Park.

It is really well priced, always busy so the food is always fresh, it is absolutely delicious and it is so authentic. The owners are Vietnamese who have been eating pho since they were 3 years old and who use a family recipe – and you know I love a family run, independent restaurant where people are really passionate about their food.

I would recommend: The “Mama” Rolls, the Prawn Summer Rolls, the Vietnamese Pancake, the Lemongrass Prawn Bun, and the Special Beef Pho. I have tried all of these here and they are all amazing!

Definitely one to try!

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Summer Rolls and Mama Rolls
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Fresh Prawn Summer Rolls
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Lemongrass Prawn Bun
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Prawn Bun once I mixed in all the sauce and the salad
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Prawn Mama rolls – reminds me of Chinese Dim Sum
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Vietnamese Pancake
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Vietnamese Pancake
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Special Beef Pho
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The side dish with all the bits to add to the pho soup
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All mixed into the soup

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http://queme.co.uk/

Fink’s Salt and Sweet – Highbury, London

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I know I have written about Fink’s previously, but I only wrote about brunch there. Plus it is such a gorgeous little independent cafe that does such simple fresh foods and I just love it in the sunny weather as it is on such a pretty little street tucked away from the busy roads. It is also great in the winter if you are looking for a great place for a good slice of cake and a coffee in a cozy, homely vibe.

We recently came on a sunny day and sat outside with our salad and sandwich just taking in the weather and taking our time to enjoy our freshly made food.

If you haven’t been before – then do go.

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Salad and Sandwich for lunch
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Gorgeous mozzarella salad
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Fresh toasted sandwich in the sun

 

http://finks.co.uk/

Salvation in Noodles – Finsbury Park

When we found out there was a new noodle bar in Finsbury Park, Renata, Emma and I just had to try it out. It was a grey day with the rain spitting down consistently and we thought what better than a large bowl of noodle soup for dinner just a short walk away from home?

I actually had never heard about the Salvation in Noodles in Dalston but the one in Finsbury Park is its new sister branch. Its got a very chilled out vibe with bar stools and benches to sit on.IMG-20150812-WA0022

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IMG-20150812-WA0023We chose a couple of starters to share – a bowl of Vietnamese dumplings and some fresh summer rolls.

The dumplings were serve hot and tasted very much like a Chinese Won Ton served in a mildly spicy sauce. As you bite into the dumpling wrap, all the flavours of the stuffing come bursting out. The Prawn and Pork Summer Rolls were refreshing and tasty. Summer rolls are always my favourite at a Vietnamese restaurant.IMG-20150812-WA0020I had a bun which is rice noodles in a salad with some grilled prawns and I mixed it all together with some chilies and fish sauce for taste. A lovely, healthy, fresh meal!

The girls stayed true to the grey and rainy weather and had bowls of hot pho – a rice noodle in broth. Most of the broths on the menu were made of ox tail – which was full of flavour, but very different froma  normal Vietnamese pho, so as to add a little twist to the dish.IMG-20150812-WA0021

IMG-20150812-WA0019We ended the meal with a Hazelnut Gelato from Hackey to share. It was lovely and not too sweet so that it didn’t ruin the meal.

Overall a very tasty and flavoursome meal. Definitely a must try on a rainy day.IMG-20150812-WA0018

http://www.salvationinnoodles.co.uk/

Pizzeria Papagone – Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, London

papagonesWe had been meaning to try Pizzeria Pappagone for quite some time, but finally one Friday night, it was THE night. Just up from Finsbury Park station, on Stroud Green Road, this pizzeria always has a queue of people. We were lucky and got a table after only waiting for 5 minutes.

It is definitely a lively restaurant and all the waiters shouting things in Italian to one another gives it a very authentic feel to it.

The menu is ridiculously long, but this means that there is something to everyone’s taste.
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20150807_201549Jack had the PIZZA CAMPAGNOLA £8.40 which is a pizza covered in spicy salami, olives and artichokes and I had the LINGUINE AI FRUTTI DI MARE £9.90 which is a linguine with a tomato, garlic and white wine based sauce with seafood.

The pizza is similar to the pizza in italy, with its doughy, chewy bread and wood fired oven baked.

The pasta was stunning – al dente – and rich with flavours.

They were not mean, stingy portions. They were definitely for an Italian with an appetite. Gorgeous food, lively atmosphere, and very well priced.
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http://www.pizzeriapappagone.co.uk/

Jai Krishna – A Southern Indian Vegetarian in Finsbury Park, London

Emma and I have lived in Finsbury Park for over a year now and since moving in, we have kept saying that we needed to try Jai Krishna, the Southern Indian Vegetarian BYOB Restaurant. I am not the biggest fan of meat curries but I absolutely love vegetarian curries – plus the fact that it is BYOB (and let’s be honest now, who doesn’t love a Bring Your Own Booze establishment?) – just made it sound glorious.

Finally, one year later, on a Friday night we decided to try it.

Across the street is an off-licence that sells all sorts of craft beers, normal beers, ciders and wines from all over the world. So we got a couple of interesting beers and crossed the street into this authentic Southern Indian gem.

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It is a small restaurant with a very chilled out vibe. As we sat and looked through the menu at all the vegetarian delights, I no longer felt like I was in the middle of London but instead felt like I was back in Asia at a local family run restaurant.

We started with the Masala Dosa £4.95 which is a thin, fried pancake filled with spiced potatoes and onions and it came with a coconut sauce and a chutney on the side. It was very flavourful but very filling.
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We ordered a Spinach Dal £3.55, a Chilli Paneer £5.25 which tasted a bit like a sweet and sour mixture with paneer (not really my thing), a Malai Kofta £4.95 which was a curry with kofta made out of paneer (had quite a potato-like texture to it), a Pilau Rice £2.25, and a Garlic Paratha £2.25.

There were lots of burst of great Indian spices and flavours that were absolutely gorgeous. The spinach dal was without a doubt my favourite thing. I could have just had that with some plain rice – but obviously (as when trying any new restaurant find) we had to order a few dishes to try them all out first.

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With everything that we ordered and our bellies full to the brim – it only cost us £14 each. I definitely recommend for an authentic South Indian food experience.

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d719381-Reviews-Jai_Krishna_Indian_Vegetarian-London_England.html

La Fabrica – Finsbury Park, London

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There are actually quite a few good restaurants around the Crouch End/Finsbury Park/Highbury vicinity which I have been discovering since I have moved into the area last year. It’s an area that has been slowly gentrifying and I am absolutely loving exploring it.

La Fabrica opened towards the end of last year – and Renata and I recently went one Thursday evening to try it out. The interior has warehouse/industrial type decor but still feels cozy with it’s dimmed lights and has a great buzzing vibe.

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We ordered a variety of different dishes – Pan Con Tomate with Jamon Iberica, Padron Peppers, Grilled Squid, Croquettes and Lamb Chops.

My favourite was the Pan Con Tomate with the fresh and light taste of chopped tomatoes mixed with the saltiness and denseness of the ham (YUM). Everything was delicious and bursting with great flavours – so I would recommend it all.
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We were so full from all the little plates – but when the dessert menu came and we saw churros with warm dark chocolate sauce – we just had to order them. I am so glad that we did. They were cooked to perfection, with a crunch on the outside and a slightly gooey on the inside, and the sauce went so well with them.

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Everything (along with a bottle of flavourful red wine) cost just under £70 total for both of us – and we were full to the brim with great food and drink.

http://www.lafabricastroudgreen.co.uk/

La Fabrica, 5 Stroud Green Road, London N4 3EF