Wednesday, 22 December 2010


Long time no blog! So, the lack of posts lately is due to my new job, which is pretty full on but fun and in Soho so I now have the opportunity to explore a multitude of potential new lunch spots on the rare occasion that I actually get to take a lunch break!

I've tended to grab something on the go but when I can take that bit longer and actually eat something hot at a table that is not my desk I've found myself drawn to Pho. Just across the road from the office and just what the doctor ordered in these cold cold months. I've mostly stuck to ordering the pho, it's quick, filling and pretty good, especially the Bun Ga Hue, hot and spicy chicken. With the below average temperatures we've experienced over the last couple of months this has been my top lunch spot though it is rather pricier than your average lunch venue and as it is a chain. It's only my idle nature that stops me from finding a cheaper independent version in the area, there's a challenge for January.

Bibimbap is another must go place, rice served in a clay pot for that crispness that develops as you eat your way through the dish. I particularly like the seafood option with squid, mussels and prawns with added miso and chilli sauces this is the perfect one pot meal. Again good for the winter months with fresh veggies and your choice of meat, seafood or egg toppings.

I've also called upon my old favourite Byron on a number of occasions as well as checking out the new branch of Wahaca on Wardour St. I continue to enjoy the food at both establishments.

Special mention to Shelley's Sandwich Bar on Dean St where I grab an essential jacket potato fix every so often, or if I don't quite know what I fancy I invariably find myself loitering around until something on their extensive menu calls to me.

I am still yet to try Fernandez and Wells, purely out of laziness I think, but that's next on my list as again, it's just down the road and I'm quite possibly the only food blogger in London to never have sampled any of their wares. To be continued....

163-165 Wardour Street, Soho

Pho on Urbanspoon

11 Greek St, soho

Bibimbap on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 7 November 2010


When I first moved into the N19 area I had a meal at local thai restaurant Charuwan (no website) and I forget what I had but I was decidedly underwhelmed. A Sunday night craving for Thai coupled with my usual feeling of idleness come the weekend meant that I was unable to venture further than 3 doors down the road in search of dinner. As luck would have it Charuwan offer a takeaway service with a 10% discount to boot if you collect the order yourself.

I was so impressed by the quality of the food that it's become our go to takeout over the last month or so. My favourite dish is the fresh spring rolls, tightly packed rice papers, filled with vermicelli rice noodles, carrot, mint, lettuce, bok choy, fish sauce and topped with larb nua (diced beef). I've been craving these on a regular basis since first tasting them.

Other dishes I've sampled include prawn tom yum soup, laksa, pad kee mau (poorly pictured above), som tam (papaya salad), chicken pad thai, 'weeping tiger' (or chilli marinated beef), pad med ma muang (chicken with cashews) and moo ping (pork ribs with garlic and sesame). Everything I have had has satisfied and I'm happy to announce I have found a local gem. N19 - quite the foodie hotspot boasting my faves Del Parc and the nearby 500

110 Junction Road


Charuwan on Urbanspoon

Friday, 15 October 2010

Buen Ayre

Having dined at A La Cruz a few weeks back, I was keen to try John Rattagan's other, more established eatery Buen Ayre. One evening after work we ventured East, met Patrick and Grace and settled in for a meaty treat.

We opted for the Choripán con morrones y chimichurri to start, kind of like hotdogs, we split 2 between the 4 of us. Nice home made sausages, good bread and a slice of piquillo pepper thrown in for colour and sweetness. The accompanying chimmichurri sauce was a tasty addition.

For main course we had the Parrillada Deluxe. A Parrillada is a table top grill upon which was served a selection of Argentine sirloin and rib-eye steaks, pork sausages, morcilla and provolone cheese. I'm always a bit wary of sharing platters, fearing I'll not be sufficiently sated but this really was more than enough meat for all of us. Despite not being a huge fan of black pudding, even I must say the morcilla was excellent. The cheese is an interesting idea, obviously it melts on the hot plate, it does seem like a slightly odd addition but what's not to like about melted cheese?

Side orders of chips and a green salad were sound though I severely burnt my mouth on the former. Service was very pleasant and even on a Tuesday evening the atmosphere was vibrant and the restaurant full.

With a couple of bottles of red this all came to a reasonable £35 a head. I'd have to say I still prefer the meat at Goodman though, it my preferred venue in London when it comes to steak though I will undoubtedly revisit Buen Ayre, that morcilla in particular begs my return.

Buen Ayre
50 Broadway Market


Buen Ayre on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Oktoberfest at Beglo

Resigning myself to not visiting Munich for the annual beer festival this year was tough but made that little bit easier by an invite to preview the Oktoberfest menu at Belgo Centraal. It's a curious concept given that Belgo is a Belgian beer house specialising in moules frites but I was willing to keep an open mind and see whether what they had to offer was anything like the real thing.

The dinner was held in the far corner of the Covent Garden restaurant, in a cavernous nook of the main room, very snug if somewhat chilly. The food was served between 2 with a beer to accompany each course. Starters were ginger and parsnip soup, duck terrine and classic moules marinières. All very good and served alongside some dark moist rye bread.

Main courses were beef carbonnade, mushroom bouchée and moules portugaises. The standout dish for me was the mussels, served in a rich paprika and chorizo sauce with basil and new potatoes. The shellfish being the speciality of the house this was no surprise, but I was too full from all the beer to even eat many of them. My fellow diners seemed to feel the same way with much of the final dish remaining unfinished. Perhaps they were just saving room for dessert, again 3 of those to sample.

Of the poached pear, Belgian waffle and Belgian chocolate pudding I preferred the latter, more of a fondant with an oozing centre served with fresh cream, the traditional Belgian dishes were definitely the stars of the evening.

To my disbelief, I am a convert to pleasures of fruit beer, having previously found it sickly and bloating, I was most impressed with the Floris apple beer, served with the poached pear and lemon sorbet, and also the raspberry beer I was served as a welcome.

This menu is available each Wednesday throughout October, 3 courses with 3 specially paired beers for £33. A right bargain but really not a patch on the real thing though this is billed as a celebration of Oktoberfest rather than an attempt to emulate the Bavarian festival. The atmosphere is recreated with long communal dining and tables offering the chance to meet other beer enthusiasts. Quote 'Wednesday Night Pilgrimage' when booking.

I dined as a guest of Belgo Centraal.

Belgo Centraal
50 Earlham St
Covent Garden

Belgo Centraal on Urbanspoon

Monday, 4 October 2010

Boo in Germany - Dallmayr

In the centre of Munich stands the grand delicatessen Dallmayr. I'd liken it to London's Harrods food halls, but it's much more welcoming and accessible, more like Fortnum & Mason perhaps, yet it's grander and less stuffy.

The Munich institution has been in existence since the late 1700's and through it's various incarnations has served the people of the city and beyond with fine food and refreshments. There's a 2* Michelin restaurant, a coffee house and they also pioneered the use of vending machines throughout Bavaria in the 1960's. During my last trip I dined at the Lukullus Bar situated amongst the hub-bub of the shop floor. Service is swift as there are a limited number of tables though we were seated within 10 minutes. Impressive that all tables were full on a Monday lunchtime.

We were on holiday so as a treat we ordered the half lobster with seafood sauce, half a dozen rock oysters and a couple of glasses of prosecco. We were given a selection of bread, rye and sourdough, both excellent, and a small layered bread and cheese sandwich, for want of an accurate description. It was malty and creamy, very moorish and the prefect start.

The oysters were split between us and served 3 per plate with lemon. We were slightly miffed to not have the option of chopped shallots in red wine vinegar as is often served with them but have since learned that this was originally only presented as a palate cleanser to be eaten with bread between molluscs. When considering the swift turnover of tables here the presentation is acceptable (i.e. no bed of ice), there's little time to linger, it seems to be a quick refuel type venue though this does seems slightly at odds with the epicurean ethos of the place.

Anyhow, the oysters were excellent, we had 2 Australian and 1 French each. The French fine de Claire's again stood out in terms of depth of flavour.

To finish our lunch we had the half lobster, served cold, in the shell with seafood sauce presented prettily in an oyster shell. There's little to dislike about the acclaimed crustacean but this particular beast was served slightly too cold for my liking. The sauce was your typical prawn cocktail marie rose concoction, I favoured the simplicity of a squeeze of lemon over the sweet claw and tail meat.

With all that bread we were surprisingly full and head out into the rain for a spot of shopping impressed, as always, with the first class service offered at Dallmayr. Great shellfish and prosecco at a fraction of the prices in London, about €50.


Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Boo in Germany - Bürgerstuben

My recent trip to Germany to visit Thomas' family did not, unfortunately, coincide with Oktoberfest. After I'd sufficiently sulked about this and daydreamed for hours about the meat and the beer that we were missing out on this year, I got over it and more than made do with visiting several traditional Bavarian restaurants instead.

Some of the highlights were dining al fresco in the gardens at Schloss Schleißheim or Schleissheim Palace, a stunning Bavarian castle with incredible grounds, tree lines walkways and spectacular fountains. The restaurant Schloss Oberschleissheim marks the scene of my very first Wiener Schnitzel, here served with sauteed potatoes and a cranberry sauce. There's also more informal dining available at the biergarten. I neglected to take a photo as I was feeling rather delicate following a night out which began at 4pm the previous afternoon at the Englischer Garten in the centre of Munich and ended rather hazily at the curiously named Paradiso Lustbar, fun times.

One of the nicest meals out was at the Bürgerstuben in Garching. Suprisingly not the best burger in Germany but the restaurant at the town conference facility! I've had some great food during previous visits to Germany but this time around I completely fell for the local cuisine of Bavaria, potato dumplings and delicious gravies, there are many similarities to English meat and veg dishes.

One of my faves is Spätzle, at Bürgerstuben I had spinach infused dumplings in a blue cheese sauce, perfect comfort food, typically served in the dish in which it's oven baked. Served with a tomato and onion salad with a tart vinegarette.

Another classic dish available all over the region is Weiner Zweibelrostbraten, translated roughly as onion roast, this is usually in the form of a steak topped with crispy fried onions, here it came served with potatoes but the waitress happily swapped it for Kasespätzle upon request. Service is super friendly and we even had the chance to try some Wies'n beer, the first of the annual brew made for Oktoberfest and often available at local establishments a week before the celebrations commence.

Here diners are also presented with an amuse, we had a mouthful of smoked salmon on a disc of bread. We dined on a Monday evening and the place was full yet the service remained excellent throughout the night.

I also, for the first time, sampled multiple Bavarian desserts, the highlight of which was Kaiserschmarrn or 'Emperors mishmash' which is chunks of sweet batter which has been caramelised and is served with either apple or berry sauce. I also loved the Bavarian Cream which I would liken most to a pannacotta, a set cream with a base of fruit puree.

I cannot wait for my next trip.

85748 Garching
Citizens place 9

Sunday, 26 September 2010

A La Cruz

A couple of Thursday's back I spent an evening celebrating Argentinian beef and wines at A La Cruz. The restaurant is situated just behind Exmouth market and the event took place in their cosy wood panel lined private dining room. The night comprised of a 7 course menu pairing different varieties from Mendoza winery Bodega Septima with different cuts of steak.

Welcome drinks were served next to the impressive fire pit, unique to this venue. A La Cruz owner and head chef John P Rattagan also runs Broadway Market's Buen Ayre where I have also dined recently, blogpost to come. He spoke passionately on the evening about his love of Argentina's culture and flavours having lived there until 1990, his introductions to each course were all too brief for my liking, I wanted to hear more though John was keen for the focus to remain on the wines.

Our first drink was an intro to Septima's brand new sparkling wine giving us a taste of the quality of wines to come. Septima's reds grace the menus of most of London's Argentinian restaurants including both of John's ventures, Santa Maria Del Sur, Garufa and Gaucho.

We were seated and the first course was served, fillet carpaccio with capers and parmesan. This was my favourite dish of the night. The matched wine was Septimo Dia Chardonnay 2008, the sole white offering, it was full bodied and aromatic with strong citrus and vanilla flavours.

Next up was the seared fillet with a mustard and white wine sauce, this was matched to the Septima Noche 2009, a pinot noir. Visually a lighter hue which comes from a briefer colouring using the grape skins late on in the 8 month ageing process. There was a strong cherry flavour. Again the steak was excellent.

I'll be briefer from here on as the wine began to take effect and my notes suffered as a result. Also for fear of this post becoming an essay. Next up was a mini sirloin with salsa criolla and Septima malbec 2009, a darker, elegant smoky red.

Moving on to the Septima Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, a stronger, longer lasting finish, spicier and smokier than the previous examples. There were cubes of ribeye with chimichirri sauce to match the intensity of the wine.

The premium wines of the evening were the Septimo Dias. Grapes from a higher altitude offering more character and depth of flavour. The Malbec 2008 made the gold list in the 2010 Sommelier Awards and we were each given a bottle to take away with us. The steak match for this took the form of rump mini sandwiches with ciabatta and rocket.

The final beef dish was flank with a cherry tomato and rocket salad. This was completely overcooked which was a bit of a disappointment though I was full anyway, the wine kept flowing, this time the Septimo Dia Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 peppery with blackcurrant notes.

Last up was the flank of lamb cooked on the pit served with mint sauce, new potatoes and carrots. This was almost sickly sweet, lamb's not my favourite meat and after all the beef it seemed an odd end to the menu but the cooking method is spectacular and I'm glad to have had the chance to try it.

The last wine to sample was the Icon wine Septima Gran Reserva 2008 which is floral and sweet. All wines sampled (save the new sparkling variety) are available at the newly re-opened Wine Rack stores across the South East and London for less than £15, very reasonable, I'll definitely be seeking them out.

Should you wish to sample some of these pairings, A La Cruz and Septima are launching a special tasting menu on the first Monday of each month. Beginning November 1st for £36.50 you'll get 3 cuts and a glass of the Septima Malbec.

Thanks to John Rattagan and Relish PR for hosting the evening. I dined as a guest of A La Cruz and Septima

A La Cruz
42 Northampton Road

A la Cruz on Urbanspoon

Monday, 20 September 2010

Hix Selfridges

Shopping on Oxford Street can be an arduous experience. On a Saturday afternoon you virtually need to be wearing a suit of armour to negotiate the crowds. We did this a couple of weeks ago (brave it that is, not don body plates) as I was buying a new handbag to replace my stolen one :(

Weaving your way along the street sure works up an appetite so once I'd selected my new prized accessory we head for Hix Champagne Bar. We requested seats up at the bar on the restaurant side of the establishment and ordered a bottle of Moet & Chandon (Epernay) Brut Imperial and a dozen rock oysters (again, not the correct month for natives).

Red and green Tabasco's were offered alongside the standard lemon and vinaigrette. These were Cornish oysters the waiter informed us, a helpful friendly chap, he later gave us a free strawberry daiquiri each because we were the customers who had been seated longest at his bar. Perhaps a ruse to get us to buy another bottle the cynic in me was nice nonetheless.

We also had the chorizo with romesco sauce for just under £6, this was excellent, we ordered another after devouring the first portion right away. This followed by a loaf of warm bread with butter and we were set for an evening of boozing at The Lock Tavern with some friends visiting from Australia.

I really enjoyed the couple of hours we spent here, fellow diners were an interesting mix of families, groups of friends and couples, snacks and main meals are available, or just drinks of course, in the bar area. Both sections are accessed by a grand winding staircase leading from the beauty hall and the venue overlooks the ground floor of the store. Perfect for people watching. I'm certain that I wouldn't have head here were it not for the planned shopping trip though, much better to relax and dine away from the somewhat frantic atmosphere of a department store. That said, I was impressed with the quality of the food, drink and service, shoppers seeking replenishment could do far worse.

Hix Selfridges
400 Oxford St


Hix Restaurant & Champagne Bar on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Wright Brothers

A few weekends ago, fools that we are, we visited Borough Market, on a Saturday afternoon. Needed a rest pretty much as soon as we got there and went for a celebratory oysters and champagne treat at Wright Brothers following some good work related news.

We went for a selection of half a dozen rock oysters (our visit being at the tail end of August shortly before natives are at their best) consisting of 2 Speciale de claire (French), 2 Carlingford Lough (Irish) and 2 Dorset rocks (British). These were served with the usual accompaniments of a lemon wedge and diced shallots in red wine vinegar.

Our preference from the selection was the French, far right in the picture. These were visually very different, a deeper shell and a fatter mollusc, the depth of flavour was incredible, they were very creamy and we were off to an amazing start, the Irish and English varieties just didn't live up these.

The selection was reasonably priced at £12. we also ordered a couple of glasses of rose prosecco, and some lovely rye bread, sourdough and ginger bread was also presented.

Browsing the menu online I am really looking forward to my next visit to sample some of the other offerings, I really liked the relaxed yet luxurious vibe of the place and note with interest they're soon to open a new restaurant on Kingly Street, that bit closer to work.

11 Stoney Street
Borough Market


Wright Brothers Oyster & Porter House on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Dar Fez - Boo in Marrakesh

We asked the lovely owners of our riad, Riad Clementine, to recommend a nearby place to eat on the second evening of our stay. They did offer food where we were staying but guests need to inform the kitchen of their dining intentions during the day in order for the chef to purchase sufficient ingredients. We'd neglected to do this so sampled the delights of the nearby Dar Fez.

We were told we would be greeted by one of the waiters as the place is located off the main street down a little alleyway (pictured top). As is the case with most venues in Marrakesh but we thought this was a very nice touch. The sight that met us upon entering the dining room was awesome, a massive tree is situated in the middle of the space with branches tangling all the way up the length of the walls making for pretty spectacular surroundings.

We both went for a set menu option of a selection of salads to start, tagine for main and some melon and traditional biscuits served with mint tea for afters.

The 'salads' for me were the highlight of the meal, more of a Moroccan meze selection really with a variety of dishes including aubergine, courgettes, olives, lettuce (dressed with rosewater), spicy tomatoes, lentils, red cabbage all served with the obligatory flatbreads. I love this type of eating.

This time I opted for the lamb tagine with prunes. I didn't really notice a huge difference from venue to venue, and having tried multiple versions over our 4 day trip I would conclude that I prefer the red meat tagines, the chicken we tried tended to be fairly on the dry side despite being served on the bone whereas the beef and lamb are typically cut into smaller chunks to ensure they are moist and tender. Dar Fez's take on the dish was very heavy on the prunes though, I left many of them. They were very generous portion sizes.

Next up was a plate of melon. Water, galia and cantelope this was good and a nice light alternative to dessert. We also had mint tea and this came with 3 types of traditional Moroccan biscuits, served on a tiered serving dish there were loads of them, far too many for the 2 of us to get through.

We'd opted for the 4 course menu, there were additional menus which added a pastilla course and/or a cous cous but we found this to be more than enough food. We paid about £30 each and had a bottle of rose, very reasonable. We were the only diners throughout the evening though, I always find that slightly unnerving.

Dar Fez
8 Rue Bousoouni
Bab Doukalla

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

La Maison Arabe - Boo in Marrakesh

On our final night in Marrakesh we opted for something a bit fancier and tried out the legendary and long established Maison Arabe. This place was a real trailblazer in that they were the first hotel to open up to the general non staying public, serving tourists traditional Moroccan food with a modern twist, they also have a cookery school. The building is luxurious and the decor plush, fully air conditioned with a piano bar in which to enjoy a pre dinner drink and a terrace restaurant overlooking a beautiful and romantically lit outdoor pool.

Upon arrival I had a Prosecco whilst Thomas opted for a mojito and we nibbled on some complimentary almonds whilst listening to the piano player. He took requests! We did however feel slightly rushed, having arrived early and finding the restaurant far from full we were surprised to be hurried into looking at the menu and ordering whilst sitting in the bar. It felt like the waiters were watching us as we finished our drinks, waiting to pounce at the very moment our empty glasses hit the table. We had asked what would be the best time to book for dinner, 9:30 was suggested so we were a little taken aback by this.

As we sat down the starters and some bread arrived, we'd barely had time to unravel our napkins but I enjoyed the food. I had ordered the pastilla with chicken and almond and Thomas the pastilla aux de mer, on that day with monkfish but the fish varies by season. We soon realised that we preferred each others and swapped, the fish was perfectly cooked with just the right amount of citrus, the pastry was crisp yet holding it's shape and I enjoyed this take on the dish far more that the previous one I'd tried at the Djemaa el Fna.

There is a choice of menu here, you can opt for either the national cuisine or a choice of dishes from around the globe, no brainer really, for main course I had the beef tagine with oranges which was perhaps a tad too sweet for my tastes but the meat was succulent and flavoursome (served on the bone, I don't recall the cut) and there was some candied peel on top adding a bitter edge. Thomas had a chicken tagine and this time we skipped the cous cous side order, feeling that end of trip bloat. There was plenty of bread to mop up the tagine juices with.

Feeling full we requested a break before dessert and retired poolside to finish our wine (house white) and enjoy the music courtesy of Badaoui & Isbah Khalid (see some of their work here on YouTube), it was really quite mesmerising and created an amazing relaxed atmosphere, we took away with us one of their cds. By the end of the night it was just us and 1 other couple enjoying the music, it felt like a private intimate gig and made the night for us.

However, once again the mood was scuppered slightly by the hurried service and our desserts were served after around 5 minutes instead of the half an hour break we'd politely asked for. I really liked the passion fruit souffle but I just couldn't find room to finish and I rarely leave food. The music did make up for it though and I would recommend La Maison Arabe, it's a blissful haven of tranquility amidst the hectic alleys of Marrakesh. As a reflection of the superior food they serve, the prices here are a lot higher than we paid anywhere else in the city but it was well worth it for the entertainment in particular.

p.s this is not to be confused with Cafe Arabe, a place we frequented daily for the duration of our stay mostly because we loved the water spray system they have on the roof terrace. With temperatures soaring into the late 30s we sought refuge here to cool down and enjoy a drink. Again, it's a tad on the pricey side by Marrakesh standards but we would always make the most of the complimentary bowls of olives and bread sticks. They do a mean bloody mary too.

La Maison Arabe
1, Derb Assehbé
Bab Doukkala

Cafe Arabe
184, rue Mouassine

Monday, 16 August 2010

Djemaa el Fna - Boo in Marrakesh

I'd been warned about the culture shock factor one travelling to Marrakesh is bound to experience but nothing can prepare you for the mayhem and disarray of the Djemaa el Fna, Marrakesh's central market place where by day you can hang with monkeys, drinks some cooling freshly squeezed fruit juice or watch snake charmers working their magic. By night there are hundreds of food stalls, each trying to entice the tourists with sheep's head stews or kebabs for the more faint hearted!

I'm not typically a fan of fruit juice, I find it quite heavy and they're rarely 100% pure juice but these were irresistible, and about 10p per glass. There are dozens of stalls set up during the day, we inadvertently found ourselves here about 2 hours after touching down in Morocco, having got lost in the souks on a stroll around to find our bearings. Within seconds there was a monkey attached to my neck and a lady had grabbed my arm and attempted to temporarily tattoo it. It's absolutely crazy, you really need have a purpose and stick to it when visiting, if you amble around aimlessly (which is precisely what you want to do on holiday) then you will be accosted.

To gain brief respite from the madness we ducked into Cafe de France and tried our first of many tagines. Chicken for me, with preserved lemons and green olives. The chicken was a tad dry and the sauce a little oily.

I liked the tang of the preserved lemon but the dish was a little disappointing, I'd arrived with enormous expectations and I suppose I expected to be bowled over by the quality of the food here. Thomas' beef tagine with prunes, sesame and almonds was better but the vegetable cous cous we chose to share was a bland mound topped with soggy insipid vegetables.

We were disappointed to conclude that we'd probably been too hasty choosing to eat here. We head back to the peaceful tranquility of Riad Clementine.

A day or 2 later we returned to the market at night when it is really quite a spectacle. Groups of locals gather dancing and telling stories, the air is thick with smoke and aromas from the numerous food stalls. First stop was for pastillas, traditional Moroccan meat pies, pigeon for me and Thomas had chicken.

I really liked the delicate pastry, the meat was good but I found the sweet and savoury combination a bit too different for my palette. We moved on to sample some skewers of mixed grilled meats and vegetables at a different stall. At each stand you are first served a flatbread and some chilli sauce, often olives too. I found myself mindlessly tucking into these whilst absorbing the atmosphere and was quite full after this times 2.

Here we were also served a tomato salad. The chilli sauce was great, very salty with a hefty chilli kick, the kebabs were nice but nothing out of the ordinary.

It really is quite unlike any other place I've ever visited, there is such a buzz, donkeys, mopeds and small children vying for right of way and demanding your attention. There is so much choice at night that it's hard to know whether what we had is representative, I was thinking about trying some of the sheep's head stews but seeing so many of them on display was not particularly appealing.

Everything is ridiculously cheap, the stallholders are all super friendly and you'd be hard pushed to find a more entertaining eating environment than here.