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We’re On Holiday Break

Friday, December 19, 2008
Posted By:  Rebecca Katherine Hirsch
Photo:  Norman Ibarra

NFT Shop
So please don’t take offense at our encroaching lack of Radars. We’ll be out of the office till January 5, doing the things we do best: poaching, loafing and loving. In tandem. We wish our loyal NFT fanatics a Merry Vacation and hope for the best in the new, mysterious year to come–a year in which Barack Obama will be knighted, Slovakia will adopt the Euro as its national currency and a new constitution will be instituted in the Falkland Islands. But before we light out, a friendly reminder that we are seriously poor and hungry. If you choose to stimulate the economy by buying our products from the NFT Shop, all we have to say to that is amen

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Websites • All London

Tight Fit

Thursday, December 18, 2008
Posted By:  Michael Kasparis
Photo:  Michael Kasparis

Afghan Kitchen
“We’ve waited for half an hour in the cold for microwaved food and it’s not even hot. I’m sorry, but that’s enough, we’re leaving.” These are the first words we hear as we enter the cramped Afghan Kitchen. Two disgruntled people brush past us, a-fluster and righteous, and we take the place they’ve just vacated. It’s Saturday night, in Islington, and we’re grateful for the seat and promise of food, microwaved or not. Huddled in close quarters with six other diners around a table, we wait the customary 30 minutes and are eventually served our microwaved curry. I can only guess that people come here (and they come here in bulk) for the novelty of having Afghan food, or at least the idea of having Afghan food. When it does arrive the yogurt chicken is actually pleasing, in a creamy, fruity way, and the thick bread is oily and filling. We’re distracted by eating, but once the food settles we realise we’re still sitting in the path of the continually opening door and within flu-contracting distance of a fellow freezing diner. The bill, for three people, would easily buy them another microwave to speed up the service.

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Restaurants • Angel / Upper St

Japanoodles

Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Posted By:  Anne Seymour
Photo:  Anne Seymour

Taro
It’s always reassuring to see lots of Japanese diners endorsing a Japanese restaurant. The Brits, of course, have such deadened and whorish taste-buds that we’ll cheerfully trough down whatever muck’s in front of us with no clue how to distinguish the authentic from the MSG, so it is much to Taro’s credit that many of its customers are homesick Japanese looking for a little respite from our transfats. Eating here will make you feel like you’re a busy business-person in Tokyo, chowing down some cheap and tasty grub before heading back to the office for the evening (unless you’re like me, laboriously spearing one grain of rice at a time with that impossible utensil–the chopstick–before heading out for the evening with beansprout down your front). The food is prepared expertly in open view by cantankerous chefs whose bandanas, scowls and sinister moustaches have convinced me they’re pirates on community service. Taro won’t confirm this, but they do make delicious sushi and serve it efficiently (they’ll want their table back sharpish though, so don’t enjoy your food TOO much).

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Restaurants • Piccadilly / Soho (West)

Game Well Poached

Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Posted By:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow

The Spurstowe Arms
The Spurstowe Arms sits proudly on the corner of Wilton Way and Greenwood Road just a hop and a skip up from local favourite The George. And like something out of a Will Self story, The Spurstowe overlooks the Wilton Estate–how very E8. However, once inside the bare-bricked homey interior you could be anywhere but Hackney. The wine list is impressive as is the selection of beers on tap and there’s a suntrap garden in which to sup and smoke or indulge in a jug of Pimm’s. Last time I had dinner here there was a pleasingly gamey menu–I opted for pheasant although intrigued by the mallard; unfortunately I couldn’t help thinking about whether it was poached from the less-than-clean nearby Regent’s Canal. I hear that the breakfasts and bloody marys are pretty spiffy too. This place ain’t cheap, but it ain’t too spendy either and you’ll either love it or hate it. Still, it makes a change from The George.