Today, Folks, I bring you something a little out of town – but a secret that if you don’t know it already, you will thank me for sharing with you…
We were talking recently about the lack of decent Chinese eateries, but when Henrietta asked me the other day about places to live, I was reminded of one that really deserves a mention.
Round the back of Woolwich Arsenal train (and soon to be DLR) station, lies the intriguingly-named, somewhat tatty Spray Street. And in the middle of Spray Street, about two minutes’ dawdle from the station, lies The Favourite Inn. Brightly-lit, which makes it especially welcoming on a dark rainy night, you really can’t miss it.
Don’t expect anything glamorous – simple decor, with the ubiquitous plain-walls-bar-and-strange-fairy-lights combo – but what it lacks for in ambiance is more than made up for by the welcome – solicitous and attentive – and the food.
I have never eaten a bad meal at this place. I’ve had things I preferred to others – the King Prawns with Cashew Nuts were a hit where I wouldn’t particularly order the Scallops with Ginger and Spring Onion again (nothing awful about it, just nothing exciting) – but it’s always been well-cooked and nicely flavoured.
But the real ace in the hole for those with vegetarians in the group (as we often have) is the Crispy Aromatic Duck. It’s wonderful – and for once the veggies don’t have to sit around watching the carnivores with their tongues hanging out. I have no idea what is actually in the Crispy Aromatic “Monk’s Duck” – but it’s totally vegetarian and just as tasty as the real thing, so everyone can sit around together with piles of wafer-thin pancakes, dishes of hoi sin sauce and shredded spring onion, fighting over the last shreds of crispy seaweed.
Give it a try. This is an honest, simple place that has always come up with the goods when I’ve been there. I don’t know what will happen to it when the whole area gets regenerated, but it’s survived so far…