Re.[CH] Chile in London?

Paul Richards (
Tue, 26 May 1998 20:40:44 +0000

 "J. B. Cattley" <> asked;

>I'm off to London later on, and I was wondering whether there were any
>suitably volcanic eating-places in that grungy, wet place. Also spice
>merchants/hotsauce suppliers. There aren't any at all here, so things can
>only get better... Hey, with a line like that, I could even run for PM!

Restaurants; I haven't been eating out a lot lately, so I can't recommend
anywhere in particular. (I also don't know what area you are staying in).
But a general recommendation for fiery foods are Indian & Thai places.
(Vindaloo & Phall are the hottest things on the Indian menu). You'll
usually find at least one of these restuarants in most areas, but Tooting
in south London, Southall/Hounslow in the west, & Brick Lane in the East
have large Indian/Pakistani communities, & therefore authentic food. Brick
lane is especially good for grocers selling imported fresh ingredients.
(Algate/Algate East or Shoreditch on the tube).

If you happen to wonder down to South London, you will find a few Carribean
restuarants/take-aways - two that spring to mind, are Smokey Joe's, West
Hill in Wandsworth - a very small unlicenced restuarant (bring your own
booze). The Jerk pork or chicken is good - big portions, cheap & HOT. They
also do excellent Pepper Prawns (prawns/shrimp in a spicy soup). There is
also the Bamboula Jerk Kitchen on Acre Lane in Brixton, (just round the
corner from McDonalds) - they are sponsored by Walkers Wood. There are
plenty of other West Indian take-aways around, most are reasonable.

While in Brixton, you should wonder around the market. You can buy fresh
Scotch Bonnets (sold as extra hot peppers), and the grocers along Atlantic
Road & Electric Avenue sell a decent variety of hot sauces (mostly Caribean
or Asian).

On the subject of Hot Sauces, you could investigate the various food halls
that are part of the more famous dpartment stores (Harrods etc). You can
get Dave's Insanity in Selfridges food hall for example.

China Town in Soho, is a good place to get Thai ingredients (and others
from that region of the world).

A visit to Portobello Market (Portobello Road - Notting Hill Gate or
Ladbroke Grove underground) on a Saturday might also yield some interesting
finds. Plenty of interesting stalls. Just off the market (Blenheim
Crescent/Talbot Road) is THE SPICE SHOP - a huge range of dried spices,
chiles (all the Mexican dried varieties - but not cheap). They also stock
occasional fresh produce & interesting things in jars or cans.

There are some Mexican or Tex-Mex places - but these are variable (someone
posted info about this to the List a week or two ago).

And BTW - until yesterday, we had been enjoying a spell of hot sunny
weather - now it's wet again - but in that more summery sort of way. So
don't refer to my home city as a "grungy, wet place." ;-)

Hope this helps


ps - you could always try a kebab with lots of chilli sauce. Some of the
kebab places in North London (particularly Stoke Newington) sell a range of
kebabs that are really good, cooked over a charcoal pit (called an Okak
Basi) - served on big half rounds of flat bread, with big, pale green, mild
chillies that have also cooked over the flame. There are a couple of good
ones in Streatham too.