Top 5 Cheap Eats in London (Asian Edition)

11 Oct


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LONDON is considered to be one of the most expensive cities in the world particularly with respect to living expenses and food costs. Having spent some time living in London and exploring various food options, I have found that eating out in London can be fairly affordable once you know which places to go to. There are numerous cuisines to be explored on a budget without having to resort to mediocre fast food chains.

The first in a series of Cheap Eats in London editions, the following made it to the Top 5 for Asian cuisines. If you have more suggestions, please do let us know!

1. Kati Roll Company

I was an avid Kati Roll fan in New York, where it has two branches one catering to NYU students and the other located in glitzy Time Square. When Kati Roll set up shop in London last November, I could not be happier. They serve what can be considered Indian style burritos – an array of fillings such as paneer, spicy potato mix, chicken tikka, mince lamb with green chillies wrapped in thin, crisp parathas. Each wrap costs between £2.50 – 3.75.

Cons: limited seating space, waiting time can be up to 15 minutes in peak dining hours

24 Poland Street

2. Hare and Tortoise

Serving flavorful, affordable pan-Asian cusine, this is an ideal spot for students or those on a budget. I have been to this Hare and Tortoise at least 4 dozen times and I always order the same dish (Malaysian Chicken Curry), which never disappoints. However, I have also visited this place with a range of different friends who be and large have really enjoyed everything from noodles to sashimi. The portions are huge and it’s great value for money. None of the main courses are priced over 8 pounds and generally average £5-7. Appetizers are yummy and reasonably priced.

Cons: long waiting times, noisy, service can be slow

15-17 Brunswick Centre (other locations as well)                                                                                    

3. Raavi Kebab House

This is a personal favourite, located between Euston and Warren Street, it serves home-made style Pakistani cuisine. A main course along with naan or roti and a drink will cost between £8-10. The menu is not very extensive but where the restaurant lacks in quantity it makes up in quality. Absolute must-try dishes include nihari, haleem and daal gosht.

Cons: limited seating space, no alcoholic beverages

125 Drummond Street

4. Tibetan Food Stall, Brick Lane Market

This is only available on Sundays and is located inside Brick Lane food market. My year long craving of piping hot momos was satiated once I discovered these last month. (For more on momos refer to previous blog entry). This family run food stall serves momos with vegetable or meat fillings as well as a small selection of Tibetan dishes. The momos are served with a spicy tomato sauce filled with mustard seeds. You can get them steamed or fried, 6 for £4 and 8 for £5.50 served with salad.

Brick Lane UpMarket, Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane

5. Rasa Sayang

Located in the heart of Chinatown, this food joint offers tasty Malaysian fare at reasonable prices. I’ve tried the beef rendang and roti canai, staple Malaysian dishes and both did not disappoint. I’ve definitely tried better Malaysian food in New York and Boston and even Kathmandu (!) but given the dearth of Malaysian restaurants in London, this is definitely worth a visit. Service is quick and most entrees are priced below £8.

Cons: limited menu, long waiting times at peak periods

5 Macclesfield Street

– R


3 Responses to “Top 5 Cheap Eats in London (Asian Edition)”

  1. Azar October 14, 2010 at 7:31 AM #

    This is quite a list! I thought you would stick to good old desi khana when you said Asian food. My bad. Can’t wait to try out the kati rolls and momos!
    All the best with the blog!

  2. Shivani October 17, 2010 at 7:38 AM #

    I’m bookmarking this for the next time I visit London.

    Ridaji, ab aap please apna camera, pen aur paper lekar Cologne aayein aur aisa hi article yahaan ke baare mein likhein 🙂

    Great work!

  3. Jen October 20, 2010 at 8:41 PM #

    i’ve been all of these but 2 with you! will have to check out them with you sometime 🙂

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