England is a country, where people seldom travel because of the food. But if you're fan of ethnic food, London is a veritable treasure trove. Long history in
colonialism imperialism and the sizable ethnic minority make it possible to travel around the world without even leaving London. Though some offer Michelin star-worthy fine dining experiences, ethnic restaurant are usually great places for authentic and budget.friendly feasts.
Many ethnic communities are located in certain parts of the city, which often means so are their restaurants. One of the most famous concentrations is Brick Lane in East London (closest Tube stations Aldgate East of Liverpool Street), traditionally home to South Asian community. Portions are often so big that one curry feeds 2 (do note, however, that pappadums and all the other accessories they so obligingly bring to the table cost extra!)
If it's Turkish food you're after, head off to North London and Harringay Green Lanes (Tube: Manor House or Turnpike Lane) If that's too far for your liking, head over to Antepliler in Isington instead (Tube: Angel), home to best pides and lahmacuns this side of Bosphorus. Everything else is good, too, but what ever you're having, make sure you leave room for their heavenly baklavas!
If Middle East has stolen your heart, too, Lebanese Yalla Yalla in Soho serves good and inexpensive meze (what to have? Lahmacun's Lebanese cousin arayes and their chicken liver in pomegranate molasses!). If you fancy something a little more exotic, get on the bus 16 to Kilburn, where you'll find Ariana. They don't serve alcohol, but like many simiar establishments, they operate BYOB policy. Try aushaks, their meat-filled dumplings.
London Chinatown moved to its current location in Soho in 1970s and is massively popular tourist trap. During Chinese New Year celebrations you can't even breathe in there! I suggest you skip the main street Gerrard Street and head over to dim sum heaven that is the adjacent Lisle Street. Dim Sums are served daily until about 5pm. My favourite is Young Cheng, popular among the Chinese, too. Extensive selection boasts variety of treats such as marinated duck tongues (!)
You won't find similar clusters of Japanese restaurants in the city, but owing to the ramen boom there are good Japanese restaurants all over London. Nobu is a world-famous gourmet francise, but since the biggest hype has died out, these days it's fairly easy to get a table there. For a more modern take on Japanese cuisine there's Roka. PS. Their Aldwych branch, located at the heart of London's Theatre Land, offers a reasonably priced pre-theatre menu!
Most of the African restaurants in London are specialized in the cuisines of North and East Africa. For Eritrean food you should check out Mosob in Westbourne Park close to Notting Hill.
ANYONE FOR SECONDS?