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The Mockney Cook’s top five funky restaurants

Posted at 4:30 pm, August 30, 2013 in Top 5


Hungry? We asked turns to the marvellous @themockneycook for some pukka supper suggestions…

‘Bosh! Back when I was considered hip, I could simply bounce up to the front door of any old grub-gaff of my choosing and they’d let me stroll in like some sort of lisping Bono. Now London has proper gone birdo with decent nosh-joints, and since I wept openly on the TV they don’t tend to give me free feeds anymore, but here are five of my funky favourites anyway. Choice.’

The Seagrass, Islington

‘Gary Rhodes once told me ‘Never ever eat in a restaurant you wouldn’t gladly burn down.’ I’ve no idea what the Christ he was on about but he’d have to be out of his tiny mind to attempt his anarchic brand of arson on this awesome little grub-palace occupying a 19th Century pie & mash shop in the heart of fruity Islington. They don’t muck about here, yeah? The food focus is firmly on banging British grub, mostly game and seafood, and, like a funky house party in the 90’s, it operates a BYOB policy, which means I usually end up getting well mash-up and rudely demanding seconds of everything. Gluttonous.’

Upstairs Bar & Restaurant, Brixton

‘When people used to mention Brixton I would often think of getting ripped-off with cheap home-grown and pretending to enjoy bolshie great funky sound systems. That was before I discovered the well-wicked Upstairs, late one night, after shafting Will Mellor at one of his weekly poker nights. This funky little bijou bar-meets-restaurant, located behind a clandestine sign-less door in a pimped out flat, knocks out some of the best grub in the capital, and with the smart-as-you-like nosh-list getting mixed up every two weeks you can return as many times as you bloody want without getting well bored, innit? Variations.’

Phat Phuc Noodle Bar, Chelsea

‘Goooood morning Vietnam! Back in the day, I used to cruise around Chelsea on my Vespa, checking out the vibes and acting like a proper mug, and I hadn’t visited that part of London since Dean Gaffney nearly got us both nicked when he urinated at a cashpoint after horsing back a hat-trick of ice-cold Sols in the summer of 2007. Imagine my surprise then, when I was introduced to this hidden little beauty a few weekends ago.

The Phat Phuc Noodle Bar, which my wife hasn’t stopped talking about, is a wicked outdoor canteen, which bangs off an endless stream of pukka Vietnamese grub, and I can’t go near the place without being compelled to speed-snuffle a couple of rustic bowls of their bad-boy Pho noodle soup, which always sorts me right out. Restorative.’

Paul Rothe & Son, Marylebone

‘If, like me, you’re constantly trying to impress your groovy z-list celebrity friends, you could do a lot worse than bounce them over to this well-good family run deli-café mash-up located right in the pumping heart of the city. If rustic shelves packed full of gob-slammingly decent jam and home-bashed condiments wasn’t enough to have you lisping like a mentalist, the service is top-notch, and the food superb. The father and son team that run the gaff knock out some seriously gobble-worthy nosh whilst firing off sweet old banter like nobody’s business. I often rock up and sit right up in the window, bashing back their legendary bacon sarnies with M-People’s greatest hits on my discman, and a steaming mug of rosie. Kosher.’

Plum + Spilt Milk, King’s Cross

‘When it comes to big bold dishes and cooler music than I would ever listen to, there’s nowhere quite like the newly opened Plum + Spilt Milk, situated in the recently pimped-up Great Northern Hotel. The place feels proper posh, yeah, and it reminded me of bopping around inside one of those well-serious BBC dramas my missus loves so much. The first time I went there, with a rather hung-over Delia Smith, we spent an afternoon swift-thumping ourselves full of amazing grilled spatchcock poussin with well-controlled slags of zingy lime juice, and followed up this gobble-crazy onslaught with a cool set of funky old-school desserts, including bread and butter pudding and a wickedly indulgent caramelised tarte tartin with sexy vanilla bean ice-cream. Sophisticated.’

‘There you have it, right? That’s five of my favourite funky London grub-halls revealed. Now strap on your urban sandals, leap onto your retro-style moped and check them out for yourself.

Peace Out x’

Savour more of the Mockney Cook’s scrupmtious satire on Twitter @themockneycook. To find out the latest openings, follow @TimeOutEatDrink.

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