Saturday, 4 October 2008

Food for The Soul in Holloway.

Food for the soul in Holloway

Finding somewhere to eat in London can present a major problem for the unwary visitor---there is an embarrassment of riches from which to choose. Anyone wandering down any of the main streets in the centre of town will be faced with the usual array of multinational fast-food brand outlets, as well as smaller outlets specialising in a wide variety of foods of the different ethnic groups which have estalished themselves here.
In general, you will find at least one "Indian" and one Chinese restaurant in every locality. Most of them offer a home delivery service at night. While the Chinese restaurants sometimes vary slightly in what they offer, being from different regions, the "Indian" restaurants are overwhelmingly owned by people from the Sylhet region of Bangladesh.
All ( or most) ethnic restaurants have a reputation for cheapness, and recently this has begun to cause problems for their owners. The pressure to keep prices down has meant that these restaurant are finding it hard to recruit and keep staff, considering the low wages which they can afford to pay.
As a consequence, the quality of the food varies from place to place.
One area which is bursting with eating places is Holloway. The area boasts everything from Ethiopian to Korean restaurants. Three of my favourites are located around the Holloway Road-Seven Sisters Road area.
If you come out of the Caledonian Road Underground Station, jump on a bus going towards the Seven Sisters Road (ask the driver), or walk the 10 minutes or so. Cross the Seven Sisters Road, and walk North. A few yards up the road, you will encounter The "Amazon Cafe. " Over here you can have a good, home-made meal lovingly-prepared by the women-only staff. I have only ever had a late breakfast here, but I can assure you that it is marvellous. Everything is freshly-prepared, and it shows...
A little further up the same side of the road you will encounter the Crystal Kebab House. This is a legendary little cafe with good food, and low prices. After early evening, there is always a queue to be served---the high turnover of customers means that customers are assured of fresh Turkish food.
Come back to the Seven Sisters Road , and take the bus 91. Get off at the second stop as it turns into Hornsey Road. Two or three doors away from "The Plough " pub, you will see "Mr.Cee,s ", a very good-value Caribbean Restaurant. Delicious Jamaican specialities await you in this friendly family-run establishment. Their Curried Goat with Rice and Peas is heavenly!!!
After filling up at any of these three restaurants, you can get on the bus 91 back to Trafalgar Square, or continue to enjoy yourself in the Holloway area. Bon appetit!

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