Another day and another blog post about where to eat in Farringdon. I said to Steve last week that as long as I'm working in London I hope I'm based in Farringdon as it really does have the best choice of lunch time delights. I have a list of places that I haven't been to yet, or that I've only been to once a long time ago and I'm starting to feel like I might actually visit them all. But I know that as soon as I make a comment like this something new and exciting pops up. I probably get to a new place once or twice a month (I try not to go too overboard with a non-homemade lunch) so it's a slow (but exciting) process. I wouldn't be surprised if I could make a total 10 lunch time guides so maybe that will be my end (of year) goal.
St. John, Smithfield
St. John is somewhere I have wanted to visit for as long as I've worked in Farringdon but somehow it dropped off my radar. My office is based north of Farringdon station (close to Exmouth Market) so I don't tend to make it down to Smithfield that often, which is probably why it took me so long to visit. The bar is an excellent spot for lunch at it serves reasonably priced lunch appropriate options. St. John is a pioneer in the nose-to-tail movement and there's a lot of meaty dishes on the menu. The plate of bone marrow is heavenly, if not a little indulgent, but it's the simple, and perfectly done Welsh rarebit and green salad that steal the deal for me. As well as the freshly made doughnuts. I'm still desperate to visit the proper restaurant but I think that'll have to wait for a dinner splurge.
Grind, Exmouth Market
Grind have recently opened a new restaurant in Exmouth Market and I was lucky enough to visit during the soft launch, twice. The menu is very European with a focus on healthy ingredients but the options are still exciting and satisfying. With a choice of small and large plates to choose from you can enjoy a small or big lunch, whatever takes your fancy. I personally think some items are a little over priced but I did very much enjoy the grilled octopus and cauliflower small plates. Grind is also a bit of an Instagram dream with it's pink and marble interiors.
I've not managed to visit Moro on Exmouth Market yet but I have paid a visit to their lunch time stall and if my lamb kebab is just a taste of what's on offer at the proper restaurant, I cannot wait to check it out. For £6 you can enjoy a huge flat bread wrap filled with tender and tasty lamb plus a huge pile of fresh, fragrant salad. This kebab was such a joy to eat that I cannot wait to order another one soon.
Caravan on Exmouth Market is somewhere I've visited a few times over the years but always mean to visit more often thanks to the large, eclectic menu. I love the diversity of the dishes with many having middle eastern influences. There's a range of small and larger plates so you can really go for it if you so desire. The chorizo croquettes and Burmese chicken salad really stood out on my last visit but you can rest assured that everything is exceedingly tasty. It's definitely one of my favourite spots.
Panzo has been open on Exmouth Market for a few months and is serving up double-cooked, 26-hour rested dough pizzas. This technique creates a lighter dough, not too dissimilar from sourdough pizza bases like Franca Manco, but with less calories. I enjoyed a Triple P (pumpkin, pancetta, provola) on my visit and I'm looking forward to returning and trying more flavours.
I am always on the look out for an authentic tonkatsu since spending three weeks in Japan last year and Mugen, next to Farringdon Station, might just be one of the best around. The tiny Japanese cafe, with it's kawaii green and pink façade, dishes up all your Japanese classics but it's the pork katsu that has really won me over. Tender, crispy and smothered with that comforting curry sauce, I love it. The menu is reasonably priced and it's always busy come lunch time which must be testament to how great it is.
Check out my where to eat lunch in Farringdon part 1 guide.
Check out my where to eat lunch in Farringdon part 2 guide.
Check out my where to eat lunch in Farringdon part 3 guide.