Moderately hidden gems
I don't think there is any point in detailing some of the great places to eat in London that are well known so here are a few others.
Jai Krishna - if you live in London and like food and haven't been here then check yourself. It's essential. Cheap, pure veg menu and used to feel like you were sat in somebody's front room having a curry and looking out onto Storud Green Rd. Now slightly done up but the prices don't seem to have risen and you can pick up a beer from the nice chap in the offy over the road to bring in and drink. Ten minutes walk from Finny P tube.
Curry & Rice on Whitecross St is a true lunchtime gem. Canteen, home-style Indian food. You can get a good lamb biryini for five quid with gravy, shredded salad, raita and chilli sauce. The amount of rice is a bit OTT for lunch and it isn't packed with huge chunks of meat but I don't think you really need it in the middle of the day and the flavours are spot on. It's got some heat in it and big bits of cinnamon. The descriptions of the meat curries don't really get beyond 'lamb' and 'chicken' but you can get rice and channa for three pounds and rice with two veg curries for four. Also available is the underrated egg curry which is nice to see. All good hangover busters.
Spice & Grill in Clapton is a similar canteen type place. I've only had a samosa on the hoof but the curries look good and tasty.
Silk Road, Camberwell - ok maybe it's not that hidden if you read many food blogs but believe the hype, this Xinjiang restaurant is amazing. Their medium plate chicken is going down as the best thing I ate in 2010. A massive pot of savoury liquor - red-brown and with aromatic anise steam rolling off it. The meat is in there on the bone as it some veg and chilli but it's really the flavour of the stock that is so incredible. When you are most of the way through some gummy noodles made in the back are introduced to finish off with the liquid. Cheap too (bit of a theme emerging here!).
Cafe East does the business in proper Vietnamese style worthy of Kingsland Road's top tier in the bizarre surrounding of Surrey Quays leisure park.
Maltings Cafe is the epitome of a modestly sized cafe doing a small menu of food extremely well and at good prices. I had a delicious sliced onglet with caponata for lunch for eight pounds! Respect due, more places should be like this. Big sister Zucca also good.
Railroad on Morning Lane in Hackney deserve a shout for their baked eggs. Good addition to Hackney Central area for when curry club at 'Spoons ain't going to do it.
Confirmed favourites Chilli Cool, Mangal, Tayyabs, Bread and Wine, Anchor and Hope and Great Queen St all satisfied and delighted this year in various ways, as did other places new to me - The Drapers Arms, Koya and Barrafina. I've now tried all but one of the Vietnamese joints on Kingsland Road and have found them usually pretty good. I'd go to Tay Do cafe for a cheap BYOB job and Viet Grill for a posher do but would be pretty happy at any. Bellaphon has a nice write up of the 'Pho Mile'.
For supper clubs The Shed delivered to the max with the holy combination of generous portions, cheap prices and amazing home-cooked food, Fernadez and Leluu served up some delicious stuff over a whole evening (I missed the last and best two course of lamb and chocolate pudding by accidentally drinking a massive amount of wine and being so drunk I left the table and stumbled off without paying (rectified soon after naturally!)) and the excellent host of The Claptonian Arts Club gave us a nice Scandi breakfast and a friendly natter about the current state of the art scene in London to boot.
Give us a shout if you think I've missed anything crucial and thanks for reading as ever.