Our top ten+ takeaways in Walthamstow – updated Spring 2015



This was quite a controversial post when we published it in January last year. We didn’t realise how passionate our readers are about their favourite weekend takeaway places.  Well one year later things have changed in the Stow with more eateries than ever and of course more takeaway places. We still haven’t been to Bonners – stop shouting please! – despite your cry that they are the best fish and chip shop in Walthamstow. We have however listened to your number one Thai recommendation – O’Cha Thai and really regret not trying their food sooner – we’ve definitely been missing out.

As you’ll see, we have dusted off our original Top Ten recommends, added a few more and removed two places. Food safety is extremely important to us, so we try to only recommend places with a 3 plus Food Hygiene Rating score as awarded by the Food Standards  Agency, the regulatory body for the food industry. We have added the FSA score next to each place listed to give more confidence in our recommendations and save you having to check!

These are our own personal choices and in no particular order.

O’Cha Thai 60 Billet Road, E17 5DN, 5 score FSA
A popular, well recommended place delivering fragrant Thai dishes using good quality ingredients. Portions are on the small side, so order lots if you’re starving!

Five Star Fish Bar, 442 Forest Road, E17 4PY, 4 score FSA
Really like this friendly fish bar. They have haddock to order, lunchtime specials and freshly cooked chips.

Le Delice, 114 Hoe Street, E17 4QR, 5 score FSA
Good pizza, grills and tagines. Loads of lovely cakes and they specialise in made to order birthday cakes. We especially like the Pizza Le Delice – goats cheese, mushroom, spinach, artichoke and sun-dried tomatoes. Free delivery over £10.

Razmins, 22 Hoe Street,E17 4PH, 5 score FSA
Good Indian takeaway – tandooris, biryani and all your favourite curries. Very popular with our friends. Collection and delivery.

Peppe’s Pizza Rose & Crown pub, 53 Hoe Street, E17 4SA, 5 score FSA
Still a favourite despite the wait, and probably the best pizza in the Stow!  A mobile stall outside the pub with a real wood-fired oven. Large, handmade authentic Italian pizza. Good selection of classic and gourmet choices from £5-£8 including our favourite Mamma Rosaria – asparagus, artichoke, speck ham, parmigiana plus truffle oil. Weds, Thurs & Fri from 7pm. Wait and collect only – or eat it in the pub!


New Dragon Inn 57 Hoe Street, E17 4SA, 5 score FSA
Next door to the Rose & Crown. Chinese takeaway menu including tofu and vegetable dishes. The roast duck with vegetables is particularly good. Dishes between £5-£8. Dinner boxes are excellent value for money. The food is fresh and hot. Open 7 days a week from 5pm. Collection takes about 10 minutes, delivery in about 40 mins.

Woo Lot 592 Lea Bridge Road, E10 7DN, 5 score FSA
Well, yes technically it is just over the road into Leyton at Bakers Arms. Wide range of Chinese dishes, cheap (around £5), big portions, efficient service and friendly staff. Eat-in or takeaway. (Not to be confused with Woo on Forest Road) Open 12 – late, Mon-Sat, from 4pm on Sun. Delivery from 5.30pm.


Teras 117 Wood Street, E17 3LL, 3 score FSA
Family-run Turkish charcoal BBQ restaurant and takeaway. Lovely homemade dishes, cooked freshly to order including meze, pide, grilled kebabs and oven-baked dishes. Friendly and welcoming staff and beautiful decor reminiscent of a night out in Istanbul. Main dishes from £7 including bread and salad. Open daily from 12 noon.



Istanbul 154 Hoe Street, E17 4QH, 5 score FSA
Another good authentic Turkish restaurant and takeaway. Homemade daily stews, lamacun and set-price lunches. Good range of grilled meats including a counter full of fresh kebabs and 2 doners. Ice-cream parlour attached. ‘Best Kebab Shop of the Year’ Finalist in the British Kebab Awards 2013.

Neelam’s Sweet Centre 492 Hoe Street, E17 9AH, 4 score FSA
Near Baker’s Arms end of Hoe Street. Wide range of homemade sweets, jalebi and kulfi. We rave for the vegetable pakoras bought by weight. Vegetable curries for takeaway or eat-in. Open daily from lunch time.

Central Chick Cottage 230 Hoe Street, E17 3AY, 4 score FSA
Popular for chicken and chips, but we come here for the Mauritian and Indian curries. Chicken, lamb, vegetable curries and dhal from £3-4.50. Weekend biryani specials. Fresh naan bread baked in the tandoori oven only 50p each. Open daily until late.

The Brothers Fish Bar 122 Wood Street, E17 3HX, 5 score FSA
Serving fresh fish and chips in Wood Street for 50 years. Good quality and traditional – they peel and chip their own potatoes and serve fresh battered fish. Decent prices and friendly service. Opening hours Mon-Sat, 12-9pm.

Out of E17 but worth mentioning for the quality and they deliver to E17:

  • The Tiffin Tin 4 Station Parade, High Street, Wanstead, E11 1QF, 5 score FSA
    Real Indian dishes, first-class quality takeaway – even Giles Coren raves for their food!
  • Sumo Fresh 141 High Street, Wanstead, E11 2RL, 5 score FSA
    Japanese restaurant serving fresh sushi and traditional dishes. Free delivery on orders over £20.20140118_130640(1)

If your favourite takeaway’s missing from our list, let us know and we’ll try to check it out.

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Froth & Rind – cheese and beer in the village

DSCN8022We’re really happy that a particularly sexy combo of artisan cheese and craft beer – East London Cheese Board and E17 Tap Rooms got together to offer another new shop to the people of the Stow – Froth & Rind.

We love cheese and have been regular visitors to the garden at Bygga Bo, the Swedish coffee shop near The Bell, where the cheese guys have been selling from for the past year or so. Now their new shop is just too tempting, I’m finding it impossible to resist popping in to pick up a generous chunk of Ribblesdale goats cheese or a whole Vacherin on my way through the village on a Wednesday evening – not to mention the draw of the crepes that are cooked up on a Saturday, courtesy of award winning Les Deux Amies.

DSCN8025Anthony Bourdain said, “You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.”

We really like the passion that Mark and Fraser have for cheese and I could talk ‘cheese’ for far longer than a quick pop to the shop should allow! They are keen to sell artisan cheese from small batches and assure me that factory flavoured, coloured and fruit cheese (you know the soapy tasting ones) won’t be given house room. There’s often a great local cheese from urban cheesemaker Wildes Cheese in Tottenham. They also serve a choice of cheeseboards to nibble while you sip on a craft beer or a good coffee, plus you can pick up something sweet from another local foodie Eva Homemade. I love this place despite the pleading from my ever increasing waistline!



Froth & Rind – 37 Orford Road, Walthamstow, E17 9NL

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Birthday Banana Bread – let’s see how this turns out!


Birthday Banana Bread

I’ve never tried to bake a banana bread before – so maybe experimenting whilst needing to create a birthday cake wasn’t the best idea! After a lovely slice at Wynwood Art District cafe last weekend, I was inspired by some over ripened bananas and some forgotten cupboard ingredients. It’s risen beautifully, looks delicious (if I say so myself) and smells yummy. Now it’s cooling and teasing me… I won’t be able to try it until the Birthday girl gets home.

You need:

140g buckwheat flour
70g rye, spelt or plain wholemeal flour
70g coconut flour
2 eggs
5 bananas (old, soft brown-skinned)
120g sugar
15 dates (stones removed)
120ml milk (I used almond milk)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
100g walnuts


Heat the oven 190 C / Gas Mark 5.

Set 1 whole banana aside.

Add all the rest of the ingredients into a food mixer. Blend until smooth with no bits – especially from the dates.

Spoon the batter into a lined 2lb loaf baking tin. Slice the whole banana lengthways and place on top of the cake, glaze with a drizzle of honey.

Bake for 40 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Eat warm or cool with ice cream, custard or just a big mug of coffee.

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Yoghurt waffles


A cupboard full of gadgets

Do you have a cupboard full of kitchen gadgets? We do – the rice cooker, slow cooker, pressure cooker, deep fat fryer, juicer, whisk, blender… this Christmas we got an electronic waffle-maker too.


A waffle-maker is for life, not just for Christmas!

We tried it out straight away but were less than happy with the results. So, determined to make sure the waffle maker wasn’t lost to the back of the cupboard we decided to try another waffle recipe. Someone recommended Norwegian chef Signe Johansen’s yoghurt waffles so we started searching for the recipe. We dug into her fabulous ‘Scandilicious’ cook book, but no sign of waffles…


Signe Johansen’s Norwegian baking cook book

After a bit of Google searching we found what we were looking for and after a bit of amendment here’s the waffle recipe. We used Turkish yoghurt rather than buttermilk and swapped the whole milk in Signe’s recipe for soya milk.

Yoghurt Waffles (makes enough for 3-4 people)

You need:

230g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
70g sugar
70g butter
70ml water
150g Turkish yoghurt
100ml milk / soya milk
2 free-range eggs
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
Pinch sea salt


Melt the butter and leave to cool. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, and add the sugar and a pinch of sea salt.  Next add the butter, yoghurt, eggs,  milk, water and seeds from the vanilla pod. Pop the empty pod into a tub of sugar for delicious vanilla sugar.

Gently, but thoroughly stir together into a smooth batter, then set aside to rest for 20-30 minutes if you can wait that long.  Once rested the batter will be thick and bubbly. Heat the waffle-maker, when hot spoon a ladleful of batter on to the iron. Close it tight and cook for about 6 minutes, depending on your waffle-maker and how crispy you like your waffles.

We were happy with the results this time – luxuriously sweet and rich with the flavour of vanilla coming through; fluffy and light inside and crisp on the outside. They were delicious served hot with a generous dollop of homemade berry jam. They stored well for a couple of days in an air tight tin.

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Waffles for breakfast – they didn’t last long!





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Lazeez Lebanese Tapas – Marylebone

Lazeez Tapas – casual Lebanese dining

Just around the corner from Selfridges is Lazeez Tapas, a quiet place to grab a drink and some authentic Lebanese street food after a day of shopping on Oxford Street. Lazeez Tapas is set over two floors with a large pavement seating area popular with shisha pipe smokers. The menu offers a selection of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes with an emphasis on sharing. There’s a good selection of juices, cocktails and Lebanese wines.

We started with the homemade houmous which was light and fresh and we’d soon wiped the bowl clean. The manager recommended the mixed meze which at about £15pp consisted of crispy lamb borek, tabbouleh & salad, rice-stuffed vine leaves, delicious falafel, more houmous and a lamb or chicken kebab. This came served with Lebanese flat bread, a rich aubergine ‘moussaka’, zingy pickles and dips. We drew the meal to a close with sticky baklava and a big pot of fresh mint tea.


Homemade houmous


The mixed meze plate for one!


Zingy pickled cucumber, turnip and chillies


Rich aubergine moussaka

Considering its location in the heart of London this is a taste of Lebanon at a reasonable price. It’s popular with locals and tourists who seem to be willing to pay £30 for a shisha pipe. Lazeez Tapas is open daily from 11.30am offering breakfast egg dishes, lunchtime snacks and wraps, through to dinner, late night coffees and cocktails until midnight.

Lazeez Tapas, 29 Duke St, London W1U 1LH

*Disclaimer: we were invited to review Lazeez Tapas as their guests.

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Turtle Bay – Walthamstow


Turtle Bay’s Rum Bar

Turtle Bay, is the newly opened Caribbean restaurant and bar loudly dominating the corner site of The Scene cinema complex, at the top of Walthamstow’s High Street. Interestingly the owner of Turtle Bay is Ajith Jayawickrema, also the founder of Las Iguanas and investor in Grillstock, the next restaurant due to open on this site.  Turtle Bay is a popular chain nationwide but this is their first in East London.

Their opening in early January was a boisterous night; loud DJ’s, delicious cocktails, enthusiastic staff and spicy party food. We went back on an average Friday evening to see if it lives up to the buzz, and more importantly for us, to get a real taste of the food. This is definitely not the place for a quiet romantic night out, but it stirs up holiday fantasies of warm summer nights on a Caribbean island. Helping to paint this picture is a jerk street food shack, colourful shipping containers, loud reggae and decent rum cocktails. The Jamaican Mule – spiced rum, fresh lime & homemade ginger beer was way too drinkable!

The service is eager and friendly once you get past the door staff, and our ‘server for tonight’ was keen to recommend dishes and drinks. There is a busy bar in the centre of the ground floor where cocktails (2 for 1 every night 12-7pm & 10-12pm) and small snack plates called ‘cutters’ are served plus there are numerous tables around the open kitchen. There is more seating upstairs for at least 30 more diners –  great for a birthday or  event.


Kitchen hard at work on a Friday night

The food like the decor is fun, loud and affordable. We went with the recommended Trini Doubles – 2 puffed roti with curried chickpeas, cucumber chutney & coconut  and Jerk Pit Ribs – marinated, grilled pork ribs with a sour orange chutney (both £4.95). I think our Trinidadian sister-in-law would approve of the Doubles (her Trini chicken puffs is still one of the most popular recipes on this blog!). The ribs were spicy and soft but the chutney tasted like a gooey marmalade mistake. The hot pepper and jerk sauces on the table were not homemade which is not surprising for a chain but disappointing.


Trini Doubles


Sauces & cocktails

The One Pots – curries and stews with rice & peas were tempting, but we decided on Escovitch Fish – whole baked bream in a sauce of tomatoes, scotch bonnet chilli & peppers, with salad, and swapped the rice ‘n’ peas for sweet potato fries (£12.50) and the Double Dipped jerk rump steak with Caribbean slaw and  more sweet potato fries (£14.25).

The fish was well-cooked, moist and fleshy and the fries were a real hit, we’d go back just for them on a cold Friday night!  The steak was cooked as requested, medium-rare, but the spice overwhelmed the flavours of the meat and we felt the portion was small for the price.


Escovitch Fish – not easy to say, easier to eat!


Double Dipped Steak

We loved the puddings especially the spiced chocolate pot with coconut ice cream, and BBQ pineapple with a rum caramel sauce (£4.85). A rum and coffee finished the meal perfectly.


BBQ Pineapple


Chocolate Pot


Rum and coffee – happy days

So what’s the verdict? We are predicting that this place will remain jammed as it appeals to a diverse range of people and serves decent, spicy food at accessible prices. From the ‘lights’ menu you could have a burger, slaw and fries for £6.95 and 2 for 1 cocktails so a night out for less than £25.  It’s a good addition to the Walthamstow night scene, we’ll be back for more cocktails and those sweet potato fries but we’ll certainly have to book!

Turtle Bay Walthamstow, The Scene, 269 High Street, London E17 7FD

*Disclaimer: we were invited to review Turtle Bay as their guests.

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Dabbous – Whitfield Street, London


Homemade sourdough bread, butter flaked with sea-salt & big green nocellara olives

Dabbous, in central London, launched in 2012 to rave reviews. It was quickly impossible to get a table, with a year-long waiting list, especially after winning it’s first Michelin star in 2013. But it’s not about formal fine dining; the decor is like an industrial workshop – battleship greys, rough plaster walls, cold steel scaffolding pipes, bare wood and concrete. There’s no linen tablecloths or flowers, the service is calm and friendly, and wines are served by the carafe. The dining room is on the ground floor, while downstairs is a bar where the well-dressed  drink cocktails.

So, how good is it?

The chef, Oliver Dabbous, trained under Raymond Blanc and worked at The Fat Duck and Noma. The food is balanced, carefully thought-out with a focus on the ingredients rather than fancy foams. The 4 course set menu lunch is short, simple and seasonal, and a real bargain at £32.

We kicked off with a healthy plate of shaved raw celeriac, muscat grapes & toasted hazelnuts and the alternative starter of iced raw scallop with eucalyptus – a savoury granita idea, not entirely convinced but definitely an experience. A dense acorn flour noodles in a rich duck & fenugreek broth  with garlic chive flowers followed. One foodie declared it was ‘lick the bowl’ good while the other really disliked it – bit of a marmite experience, I’d say!

Perfectly cooked, poached cod with warm potted shrimps on a bed of potato puree, pea shoots and a fish broth was the highlight dish. Light and delicious. The roast pink veal fillet with autumnal vegetables & a cheese broth was well executed and interestingly topped with nutty, thinly sliced raw mushrooms.

We felt the burrata and tamarillo: a creamy mozzarella with caraway and a slice of sweet, roasted tomato-like tamarillo was ok, but steep at a £5 supplement. But we both loved the dessert of a miniature warm fig & honey cake, and a chilled, frothed rice milk infused with fig leaves. We’ve been determined ever since to recreate this simple dish at home. Finally, chilli-infused, gold bullion bar chocolates ended the meal perfectly!

So why was it so special? Probably the fact that we’re still talking about it. It was a real treat to be able to have a very ‘London’ foodie experience without a massive bill …. maybe we’ll go back for the eight course tasting menu next time!


Shaved celeriac

Iced raw scallop


Acorn flour noodles in duck & fenugreek broth


Poached cod & warm potted shrimps


Roast veal fillet with autumn vegetables & a cheese broth


Burrata & tamarillo


Fig & honey cake, with a chilled rice milk


Finally, chilli-infused, gold bullion bar chocolates!

Dabbous, 39 Whitfield Street, London, W1T 2SF

Dabbous on Urbanspoon

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Hipster hangouts – the changing food scene in Palma de Mallorca


La Seu – Palma Cathedral

Palma, the capital city of the Spanish island of Mallorca has changed over recent years and eating out now has become an amazing culinary experience which really took us by surprise. There’s a tidal wave of Peruvian ceviche, Japanese fusion and slow-poached truffle eggs.

When we stayed here about 7 years ago we froze in the Hostal Cuba, it was a cheap and friendly but cold and old-style Spanish hostal in the traditional fishermen’s area. Now it’s a boutique hotel complete with a roof terrace, restaurant and bar in the trendy Santa Catalina district.


Hostal Cuba in Santa Catalina

This gentrification has brought the arrival of hipster hangouts across Palma – it’s like Hackney, Dalston and Barcelona, all bearded guys who ride white racing bikes and drink aeropress coffees. We especially liked La Molienda serving designer coffees, cakes and gourmet teas which happened to be just across the road from our apartment.


La Molienda – Carrer de les Caputxines

The Room (Calle Cotoner, 47) is a Santa Catalina pasticerria and restaurant with informal cafe decor and friendly staff. Their lunchtime menu offers 3 courses for 14 . We opted for a cream of cauliflower and cheese soup decorated with steamed greeen beans, drizzled with a rich olive oil, followed by a homemade pasta with a veal ragu, and desserts of banoffee tart and cheese cake accompanied by a glass of Mallorcan red wine.


Veal ragu @ The Room

Across the street is Bros, a Skandi decor restaurant / cafe with bearded hipster staff in designer aprons. Their seasonal foodie menu of the week is only 12.90 €. From the 4 starters and mains offered, we chose the goats cheese salad with piquillo peppers, and the gooey aubergine stuffed with cheese & tomato with a sticky red wine & onion reduction. For mains, the risotto of courgette & shrimp and the grilled pork loin & potatoes with mushroom salsa were well executed. We greedily polished off a rich chocolate fondant with chocolate ice cream.


Seasonal menu @ Bros


Shrimp & Courgette risotto @ Bros

When we arrived in Palma a local friend recommended the new Toque de Queda (Can Cavalleria, 15B) a deli / bar in an historical oven bakery ‘Forn Cremat’. It was so good we went twice. They specialise in local and Mediterranean platters of meats and cheeses and tapas served with cristal tomato bread. They are part of the wave of restaurants reinventing tapas aimed at the new young locals with money looking for the Barcelona lifestyle.


A 1/2 racion mixed platter, cristal bread and oven roasted potatoes @ Toque de Queda


Hot Provolone cheese with mushrooms @ Toque de Queda

Another new bar on the scene is Can Trispol, (Travessa Den Ballester, 6) named after a local Mallorcan red wine. They specialise in llonguets – an artisan bread traditional to Palma. Here they are served filled with anything from quinoa veggie burgers to smoked salmon, cheese and jamon. They boast using local products from the market including the Mallorcan Pep lemonade.


Newly opened Can Trispol


Mallorcan hand-made Pep Lemon

Even the stalls in the old market halls in de l’Olivar and Santa Catalina have been given a makeover following in the fashion of the Mercado San Miguel in Madrid and now are a hive of drinking and eating. Street food, tapas and pintxos is served from small kiosks and stalls. So if you fancy a foodie weekend or longer, Palma is an exciting place to be.

Now get me back to London – I’m dying for a good curry!


Fibonacci coffee stall @ Mercat de l’Olivar

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E17 Cook Book Club – 28 January, Spanish theme


Our next E17 Cook Book Club get-together will be on 28 January 2015, 8pm in the back room at The Bell, 617 Forest Road, E17 4 NE.

The concept for the Cook Book Club is simple: it’s a foodie social evening, each person brings some themed food to share and buy drinks at the bar. The theme for 28 January is Spanish food. We now have a Facebook page, E17 Cook Book Club, so we can all discuss and see in advance who wants to cook and bring what to avoid a glut of cakes as happened at our last one!

Everyone is welcome to join us, just turn up at 8pm. The plan is to meet every 6 weeks and for it to be … well… fun!

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Last minute Christmas food shopping in the Stow

20130522_185627[1]I love to be organised, so you’d think that all our Christmas food shopping would be in hand. Well it’s not. I’ve just started a new job and seem to be spending a lot of time travelling up and down the country, so playing Santa has been neglected this year. But all is not lost. Although I’ll be working right up to the big day I know that our wonderful shops in the Stow won’t let me down.

I thought that I’d share, as we often get asked, some of the places where we’ll be shopping including some of the less obvious shops that we love. This year the meat will be Yorkshire game from home, but last year we bought a duck and an organic chicken from the Sunday Farmers Market. We’ll be picking up some home-smoked salmon from Davies Fishmongers at Bakers Arms – they can also supply fresh lobster and crab if ordered in advance.

DSCN6156We’ll probably get our favourite merguez sausages from Maghreb on Hoe Street as an alternative to pigs in blankets. It’s also the best place for dates to wrap in bacon – a great tapas snack.

DSCN0640We have a regular veggie box from Organiclea which we’ll add to from the Veg Hut on Chingford Road. Herbs, fruit and olives will be from the Turkish supermarket, Akdeniz on Hoe Street. DSCN0644Cheese was sorted by a trip on Friday to what will be the new East London Cheese Board shop on Orford Road. For steaks I’ll be popping into the Brazilian butchers Boi na brasa and wine will be from Forest Wines.

DSCN6567I’ve heard about sourdough from Fluffy’s Bakery on Lea Bridge Road so I’ll be off in search of that, although if I run out of time there are many Polish shops selling great rye bread. I’ll be getting sliced meats and cheese from Gulliver’s the Polish deli on the High Street.

With all these amazing and diverse independent producers and traders, I really can’t see the point of all the rushing and queuing in the supermarkets – the little shops always have more unusual and better quality products. All that remains is for us to wish you a safe, happy and healthy Christmas – see you in the New Year!

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