Posts Tagged ‘Harringay’

Resto 59 Boon Noon, Harringay

October 31, 2017


Boon Noon’s been at the end of my road for a while so I was glad to finally pay a visit with my Mum after a tough day’s scouting a walk. It was 6 pm on a Monday so I wasn’t surprised that we were the only patrons, although they seemed to be doing a decent trade on the takeaway side of things. So the room felt a bit sparse, decorated in vaguely Thai style (I haven’t been) and a plethora of feel-good slogans that reminded me of Lester Nygaard’s home in Fargo.

The menu is a straightforward Thai offering at a reasonable price (c. £5 starters to share, c. £8/9 mains). We shared tempura veg and prawn crackers. The tempura was good – crunchy veg inside a light batter. Crackers were, well, crackers. My Green Curry was excellent, a proper amount of heat that was just the job for a wintry day, with generous amounts of chicken and veg and a dome of rice that filled me up for the rest of the evening.

Singhas at £3.50 washed it down and we were served by a cheery young feller. Several restaurants have bitten the dust in this location since I first moved to the area twenty odd years ago but I hope this one survives. It’s good to have a bit of variety on Green Lanes.


#Food #London

To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016/7 check out my GoogleMap

Review #107 Hanoi Phø*, Green Lanes

December 13, 2016

After another afternoon on the baize we were two hungry chaps in search of some non-kebabisch sustenance on Green Lanes. What luck then that another Vietnamese has opened on the high street. This Hanoi Phø is a more upsacale beast than its canteeny namesake across the road with comfy chairs and big linened tables. It being Sunday teatime it wasn’t especially busy but we didn’t care.

I was struck by the music. Elton John crooning Your Song wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. This was followed by a further smattering of syrupy ballads and then a John Williams megamix (the guitarist rather than the Star Wars guy).

The food on the other hand was authentic Vietnamese. We started off with some nem – crunchy crisp prawn filled shells with a bold flavoured dip. So good I wish I’d ordered a whole plateful for myself. A main of phø had a rich stock and good lumps of real chicken as well as the usual accoutrements. I was rather jealous of the sizzling goat across the way and will have that next time. A couple of Saigon beers went down very well and this was another bargain dinner, coming in at less than a score each. Definitely on a good run of eating in December.


*Okay, so this is getting confusing now. I went to Hanoi Phø on Green Lanes for review #43 but at that point it wasn’t listed on GoogleMap so I just used their other branch in Mare Street. Now there’s another Hanoi Phø on Green Lanes but that one isn’t listed on GoogleMap so I’ve had to use the first Green Lanes Hanoi Phø’s location which has in the meantime been listed. Confused? Well, the #43 review is next door to The Salisbury, while the one I’m concerned with now is further towards Finsbury Park, next to Hot Nuts. That’s not the first branch of Hot Nuts, which is nearer to the railway bridge, but rather the second branch of Hot Nuts which is closer to the snooker club. All clear?

#Food #London #Harringay

To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016 check out my GoogleMap

Review #52 Indika, Green Lanes

June 12, 2016

Indika has always been our standby for Indian takeaway so I was confident that the food would be good on our latest visit after a bout of snooker.They don’t have a licence so beverages can be purchased in the Turkish convenience store a couple of doors up. While getting our Zywiecs we were witness to a classic of gentrification in action. A gentleman of hirsute appearance and sporting a Rapha top had a bottle of Schweppe’s tonic in his hand but he clearly wasn’t happy.

Hipster to the till guy, ‘Have you got any other tonic?’


‘Like, cos you know Schweppes … they like have additives and it’s just not cool.

Squint-eyed confusion.

‘You know, like you should get some Fever Tree … have you got any Fever Tree?’

‘You want tonic?’

‘Yeah, Fever Tree?’

‘No Fever Tree’

‘You know this Schweppes, it’s really not good.’

‘You want Schweppes tonic, £1.49, thank you sir.’

Capitulation on the part of the hipster who slunk out to smirks from the other customers after coughing up the cash.

Indika was a bit empty when we got there but it was quite early and started to get a few customers by the time we’d hit the mains while orders for takeaway were flying out of the door fairly consistently. A mixed starter for two got us off to a good start – lamb kebabs, onion bhaji, samosas, all the standards that you’d want cooked very well. I had a prawn chef’s special for main that was presented more elegantly than expected and tasted good. The boy took a vindaloo and it appeared to have the desired effect.

For about 15 quid a head it was spot on, if you’re a Harringay resident I’d see no reason to travel further for your curry fix although I have heard good things about a place on Turnpike Lane.


To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016 check out my GoogleMap

Review #43 Hanoi Phô, Green Lanes

May 2, 2016

After delivering a thrashing at snooker it was to Green Lanes to find some dinner with the family. As far as I know Hanoi Phô is the only Vietnamese within strolling distance of Harringay and thus offers a bit of variety from the kebab avalanche (kebabalanche) of high street eateries.

The small room is bright with bucket seats not exactly ergonomically designed for our brethren – it was somewhat akin to sitting on a Chopper.* Maybe it’s a Vietnamese thing. There’s also good people-watching to be had through the floor to ceiling window. I don’t think they have a licence – there was no alcohol on the menu – and I didn’t find out if you could take your own as we’d already had a couple of Efes baize-side followed by a cheeky one in The Salisbury (a good pub) and it was time for a rest. So I had a sparkling water.

We shared starters of one portion each of spring and summer nem. The spring nem (prawn variety) were packed with fresh and aromatic crunchy herbs and lettuce while the summer variety was a deep fried pork’n’stodge thing that wasn’t quite as appetising.

A big bowl of prawn phô was my main. A dozen or so good-sized prawns were swimming in a too subtle broth with ribbony noodles. So I livened it up by lobbing in the entire side veg and a liberal dose of Goose Island Sriracha Chilli Sauce. Yum.

Service was efficient, perhaps a bit too efficient for a relaxing Saturday evening, so I’d say Hanoi Phô is more suited to a quick pit stop than a baggy evening dinner.


*The classic low-slung 1970s bike, not some hardware from Apocalypse Now.

To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016 check out my GoogleMap

Review #26 Kata, Green Lanes

March 15, 2016


Another snooker match, another pair of ravening beasts scouring Green Lanes for cheap eats. Kata, which is hosted by Brouhaha bar on Green Lanes (I think they have a branch in West Green too) offers standard Japanese food of the type that Wagamama has popularised the length and breadth of the U.K.

On an early Friday evening the bar was already starting to fill and we were lucky to grab a table in the front room. You pay for drinks at the bar but for food at your table which is a bit of pain if you’re all walked out from frame after frame of top snooker action.

The food was good. A beef teriyaki had a terrifically deep flavoured sauce and plenty of meat/veg (lots of crunchy broccoli, yum), although the beef wasn’t exactly melt in the mouth. But at about seven quid for a main that’s forgivable – I’d expected a cheaper cut. On the side some veggie gyoza were good sized crunchy bites.

With generous portions and cheery staff Kata is well worth the ten quid a head that we paid.


To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016 check out my GoogleMap

Review #15 Café Tramp, Green Lanes

February 14, 2016

Tramp took an age to arrive on Green Lanes, construction and fitting out seeming to operate on a geological timescale over the past year or so. Located opposite the heroically shambolic Beaconsfield pub (and at the end of my street) it’s a bold entry into the Harringay dining scene, attempting to bring a touch of upscale bistro-style dining to the Kebabisch Karnival that is Green Lanes.

Such an unorthodox proposition in this part of London had deterred me from visiting previously but a happy confluence of an empty nest and the chance to catch up with old friends tempted us into a Friday night feast. On the whole Tramp exceeded expectations. The room, Tardis-like, is bigger on the inside  than it appears – long and thin with a mezzanine cunningly slotted in near the front window. It wasn’t too busy on a Friday night (I guess people were saving themselves for Valentine’s) but the busily eclectic décor worked well to make the restaurant feel homely even with only a smattering of customers.

To the food. Standard bistro fare of soups, seafood, steaks and fish. I feared carrot and coconut soup might be a bit on the sweet side but it was actually delicious, as was the rib eye steak which came with a generous portion of chunky chips which I was able to share with the rest of the table (who’d forgotten to order stodge as it’s extra). For once I went for a dessert too and tried out a crème brulée, always a good test. I despatched it in about twenty seconds with a Calvados on the side.

Wines are of good quality but those on a budget won’t find much change from twenty quid if going for the cheapest option, which seems a mis-step. While Harringay is gentrifying (slowly at the Sainsbury’s end of the ladder) I don’t think its diners would automatically pay £20 plus for a house white. This meant that the bill was slightly north of what I would have expected, pushing Tramp into a mid to upmarket West End price bracket.

And now I feel a bit of a churl because it was a really good meal, helped by the staff being very friendly and obviously aware of the need to generate some repeat custom. I’d recommend Tramp for locals who are looking for something different to the usual; whether you’d travel to visit is another question.


To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016 check out my GoogleMap


Review #11 – Bun&Bar, Harringay

January 31, 2016


After a morning of snooker myself and the youngest child were ravenous. Fortunately Bun&Bar is located just across the road from the Empire of Baize and I was in the mood for a burger.

B&B claim to make the best burgers in Harringay and since my only other burger-munching takes place in the McDo down the road I wasn’t expecting them to fail on that score. They didn’t. My burger was cooked to perfection, a good juicy lump of meat in a brioche bun and plenty of flavour. Rosemary salted fries on the side went down well and they have an impressive selection of beers on draft or in bottles.

Custom was brisk on a Saturday lunchtime and it’s not difficult to understand why. With a friendly welcome and good food at a reasonable price Bun&Bar can easily compete with the myriad kebab restaurants if you need a meaty fix on Green Lanes. I’m tempted to invoke the Nando’s Escape Clause* to be able to return for a snooker-burger one-two but I’ll try and resist so that I can try out more new options in Harringay.


*For the purposes of these reviews I define a restaurant as somewhere where the server brings you the bill at the end of the meal. Meaning that places where one pays up front (like Nando’s and Bun&Bar) can technically be visited on more than one occasion according to the rules of 2016.

To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016 check out my GoogleMap

Review #2 – Devran, Harringay

January 6, 2016

Devran Restaurant – Hopper goes East

So, you’ve just finished an hour in north London’s noisiest snooker club and you’re famished.* What to do? While the eating scene on Green Lanes is getting more and more diverse sometimes only a kebab will do. Devran was recommended to me by my mate Muza as being the best Turkish restaurant on Green Lanes so I was happy to give it a go and see if it could surpass my usual haunt of Petek in Stroud Green.

We went in the early evening on a Tuesday so I didn’t get that authentic Harringay Friday night atmosphere of having to queue for a table and then barely be able to hear myself speak over the chatter of hungry diners and pumped up to 11 Turkish pop music. Which is a good thing. The Turkish pop was still there (but at a tolerable volume), the obligatory scatter of TVs were slightly diverting and a smattering of customers made for a convivial rather than a raucous ambience. On the walls Devran’s frescoes of scenes from Istanbul are less kitsch than some (I’m thinking especially of Rakkas’ grotesquely unerotic nudes) but still deliver a satisfying level of tack.

The menu has the full range of hot and cold mezze with mains from the grill. We dove straight into mains, rightly anticipating that we would get bread and salad while they were being prepared. The salad was fresh and the bread warm with a selection of humus and condiments on the side. The chicken shish was perfectly cooked with a good grilled spicy pepper and pilav. With an Efes beer to wash it down and prompt, friendly service this was the perfect way to celebrate a thrashing on the baize. And at under fifteen quid a head too. I’ve got about another thirty restaurants on Green Lanes to try before I can establish whether Muza was right but if there’s anywhere better than Devran I’ll be very surprised.


*What would Joe Davis have made of a snooker club where you had 8 televisions pumping out daytime MTV and a couple of Polish guys playing ping pong off the baulk rail?!

To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016 check out my GoogleMap


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