Newbie Food Recommendations

Neil asks:

“We’ve just moved to Greenwich – and we love it. Church bells chiming the time, the park, the river, the university, the museums. Don’t tell anyone else how nice it is! (your secret is safe with me… TGP)

One thing we’re struggling with though is finding a special restaurant – eg for birthdays, anniversaries etc.

We tried The Hill which had an ok atmosphere with nice staff but poor delivery of the actual food.

We’ve also tried a few pubs & cafĂ©’s but need guidance – can you recommend anything? – even if it’s a short drive away – we live just around the corner from The Feathers – which is actually the best place we’ve found so far.

We like any kind of cuisine – although my wife especially likes sushi / oriental – like Royal China in Canary Wharf or Moshi Moshi in Waitrose in Canary Wharf. We have a three and a half year old, so family friendly recommendations are best.”

The Phantom replies:

I’m answering this one here as I’m sure everyone else will have recommendations too.

Firstly, I’d say you’re in pretty safe hands at the Feathers. The food is good, service friendly and the atmosphere nice and local, despite its close proximity to the park.

I also like the Vanbrugh Tavern, which went up even further in my estimation the other day when I wasn’t drinking and very miserable about it. The bar lady made a huge effort to make my lime and soda into an interesting drink – with real, pulped limes, umbrellas, stirrers – you name it. Camp as Christmas and I loved it. There was so much food on my plate it was spilling over. Sadly they don’t seem to have resolved the dispute with the neighbours over the pub garden yet, so most of it is immaculately cared for – and roped off.

The Yacht in Crane Street is good for pies, and although I’ve heard the odd ‘not as good as it was’ tale recently, I’ve not noticed any real drop in quality myself. Best for winter, as no balconies onto the Thames. I also like the pies at the Nevada St Deli but it’s not really ‘celebration’ stuff…

For slightly upper-market fare, I recommend the marvellous Guildford, run by lovely French people with excellent, slightly pricey food and a very good garden.

I like Inside, too, which, being just outside the tourist triangle, can afford to cater just to locals – and get them to return again and again.

Depending on how authentic your wife likes her sushi, Ginza is definitely the Japanese place to go to in Greenwich. It looks unpromising from the outside and is at the ‘wrong’ end of Woolwich Road – but the food and the welcome are always fantastic. Japanese friends tell me it’s not wildly authentic, but who cares when the food’s as good as this?

Other places that deserve a nod are Kum Luang (enjoyable Thai food and a good fallback for Christmas parties as lots of room) – Mr Chung for Chinese and Ghurkas Inn for curry. For decent takeaway fish and chips, you’ll do a lot worse than The Golden Chippy.

Further afield, I have a couple of recommendations. Buenos Aires Cafe in Blackheath is fabulous, but you need to book well in advance. The service can be, ahem, quirky, but the food is superb. Not really one for kiddies.

My favourite Chinese restaurant round here is actually in Woolwich, believe it or not. Favourite Inn is round the back of the station, on the dodgiest-looking street imaginable. The place doesn’t look much – but the food is great and the service mother-hen like.

But for a real blow-out, second-mortgage celebration, try the Spread Eagle. A controversial choice, I know, but I have to say the decor is excellent (worth going for the art collection alone…) and the food very good indeed. It’s a place where you would feel like you were celebrating something important, and that counts for a lot.

I could go on – but I’m not going to. Other people will have their two penn’orth to add in – and there’s always the Eating Out section on the blog…

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