FEASTING IN FINCHLEY
Kate Posener finds no need to go hungry in Finchley
Moving to Finchley nearly eighteen years ago from the ‘chi-chi’ environs and cafe society of Belsize Park filled me with dread at the lack of local gastronomic options.
But slowly, slowly famine is turning to feast and all tastes are now catered for. Finchley Central is home to Indian old favourite Cochin (relocated from East Finchley) and Ballard’s Lane now boasts not one but two authentic Japanese restaurants, Izakaya and Sakura as well as one one of London’s few Vietnamese restaurants, Vynam. Carnivores will not go hungry at Ishtah (formerly Izgara) and bird is the word at newly opened Chicken Society*. Surprisingly here you can even grab yourself a vegan burger if chicken is not your thing! New kid on the block Falafel Feast is a vegetarian cafe and deli and Finchley Kitchen also offers various vegan and vegetarian options.
Decent local cafes are springing up too. Bites, Tintico and Totally Espresso have been joined by Margot Bakery* on East End Road, which is keeping the locals happy with their many loaves of spelt or sourdough, Instagram worthy cakes and even sourdough croissants. At Bites you can even treat yourself to a fancy, velvety nitro cold brew.
Slightly further afield, if Thai cuisine is what you fancy, Nah Ling* on the High Road will satisfy those cravings. Knidos* is a great new Mediterranean all-day cafe and restaurant on Fortis Road, N2 around the corner from Chris Honor’s original Chriskitch cafe on Tetherdown (N10). We have also heard good reports of authentic French restaurant Table du Marche further up the High Road, so if you are craving authentic onion soup, steak frites and tarte tatin you know where to head.
If we want to stay in, Chilli Tuk Tuk is a great Indian takeaway on Woodhouse Road – food that delivers. An original menu with simple choices and delicious food (see one of the dishes picture above).
Even Waitrose has acknowledged the demands of the local foodies and is opening a Little Waitrose in August at the junction of Ballard’s Lane and Regent’s Park Road. But my favourite new local opening is Shahi Pakwaan*, a delightful new Indian on the Aylmer Parade, N2 serving up delicately flavoured and beautifully presented Indian fare. The name of the restaurant means royal cuisine and here you will both feast and be served royally.
* Nah Ling, Knidos, Margot Bakery, Chicken Society, Chill Tuk Tuk and Shahi Pakwaan all offer discounts to Restaurant Club cardholders