HellamWe meet to enjoy eating out in good company.

Group Coordinator: Wendy Hellam (click to contact)

The group normally meets on the first Tuesday of each month, in the early evening.

In local restaurants in Islington and beyond.

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Future Events 2024
May — Turkish/Kurdish/Greek Cuisine at Gem Restaurant
June — Lunch in Canterbury

Events for the rest of the year will be planned in conjunction with other group members. If you join the World Cuisine group your name will be added to the mailing list and you will receive regular emails with details of all future events. You will then be able to sign up for those events that interest you.

Recent Events
April — Argentinian Cuisine — a return visit to ZOILO in Marylebone
March — Indian Cuisine at the new branch of Masala Zone in Piccadilly Circus
February — Afghan Cuisine at the recently opened Mihan in Highbury Park
January — Keralan Cuisine at Rasa in Stoke Newington

December — A Turkish Christmas at Kilis Kitchen
November — Korean Cuisine at Hanwoo Village
October — Argentinian Cuisine at Zoilo
September — British Fish at Prawn on the Lawn
August — Cuban Cuisine at Escudo de Cuba
July — Lunch in Rye at Marco’s Mediterranean Kitchen
June — Spanish Cuisine at Llerena
May — Peruvian Tapas at Mr Lobo
April — Caribbean Cuisine at Jam Delish
March — Malaysian Cuisine at Sambal Shiok
February — Georgian Cuisine at Little Georgia
January — Vietnamese Cuisine at Nem Nem


December — A French Christmas at La Petite Auberge
November — Ethiopian Cuisine at JOJO’s Kitchen
October — A return visit to Japanese favourite, Yida Sushi (last visited in August 2020)
September — Japanese Cuisine at Tenshi, Akari and Sanjugo
August — Lunch by the river in Kingston at Persian restaurant Narenj
July — Russian Cuisine at Zima in Soho
June — Members' Choice Month with visits hosted by group members at El Rincon, JIJI and Salut!
May — Italian Cuisine at Little Sardegna, La Vita é Bella, Noci and Santore
April — Greek Cuisine at The Kollossi
March — Syrian Cuisine at Imad’s Syrian Kitchen, Carnaby Street, Soho
February — French Cuisine at Patron Cave à Manger, Le Sacré Coeur, and Pierre Victoire
January — Scandinavian Cuisine at SKÅL in Upper Street

September — Spring Restaurant and The Terrace at Somerset House
August — Cajun and Creole Cuisine at Plaquemine lock
July — Polish Cuisine at Ognisko Restaurant
June — Contemporary Asian Cuisine at the Ambrette Restaurant in Margate (see below)
May — Georgian Cuisine at Iberia Restaurant
          Plus — Turkish Cuisine at Gallipoli Again
April — Indian Cuisine at Masala Zone
March — We started meeting on Zoom again and had a couple of meetings while waiting for restaurants to re-open on the 27th April

November — The group went into hibernation for the winter due to the second and third lockdowns
October — Mexican Cuisine at Plaza Pastor
September — Portuguese Cuisine at Volta do Mar
           Plus —  Lunch at The Albion
August — Japanese Cuisine at Yida Sushi
July — Italian Cuisine at Terra Rossa
April to June — Restaurant outings were replaced by Zoom meetings due to COVID lockdown
March — Turkish Cuisine at Iznik, Pasha and Gallipoli
February — Peruvian Cuisine at Tierra Peru
January — Spanish Cuisine at Llerena, La Farola and Meson Callejon

Recent Meetings
A selection of photos from our recent visits:
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In June 2021 in perfect weather the World Margate 1Cuisine group visited Margate for an Anglo-Indian fusion lunch. We also took time to visit the Turner Contemporary gallery and a walk around the old town.

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Our December meeting was Moroccan themSouk Dec 2019ed. Twelve of us met in Souk Medina in Covent Garden and enjoyed the Xmas Feast menu. At £28.95 per head this included a selection of starters (hummus, falafel, vine leaves, halloumi cheese), main course dishes (chicken tagine, couscous, chickpea sauce) desserts (a selection of baklava and Turkish delights) and Moroccan fresh mint tea. The dishes were all served together for sharing. We were entertained at one point by a belly dancer, perhaps not to everyone’s taste but definitely adding to the authentic atmosphere. The restaurant has six Moroccan themed rooms, each seating between 20 and 45 people, so we were able to have half a room to ourselves, overlooking a balcony. People gave the restaurant an overall score of 3.5 out of 5, with service, ambiance and décor scoring higher than food.

You can read more about Moroccan Cuisine here and see a list of local Moroccan restaurants here.

Ten of us met in November at the German Cuisine 2German German Cuisine 1Gymnasium in King's Cross. The restaurant is located in a beautiful building. Designed by Edward Gruning, the German Gymnasium was the first purpose-built gymnasium in England and was influential in the development of athletics in Britain. It was built in 1864-65 for the German Gymnastics Society. The building cost £6,000 and was funded solely by the German community in London. The National Olympian Association held the indoor events of the first Olympic Games here in 1866. These games continued annually at the German Gymnasium until the White City games in 1908. The building was opened as a restaurant in 2015, styled after the grand cafés and brasseries of Europe. Many of the original features remain, such as the vast laminated timber roof trusses, and the original cast iron hooks from which budding Olympians swung.

People chose from the set menu, £25 for two courses or £30 for three courses. Dishes chosen included Black Forest ham, Chicken schnitzel and Apple strudel. The group gave the restaurant an overall score of 4 out of 5, with service scoring slightly higher than food. The highest scores were for décor, cloakroom arrangements and toilets! The lowest scores were for value for money and how likely to recommend. Some people felt that the vast size of the restaurant affected the noise levels and ambiance; others commented positively on the service. The sommelier was very helpful in our choice of the right wine. Our coats were taken and placed in a special wardrobe. Extra cushions were brought for people who requested them. On the whole, the feeling was that the food was nothing special (except for the ham and celeriac salad and the fig ice cream) but the building was spectacular and well worth experiencing.

You can read more about German Cuisine here and see a list of local German restaurants here.

Our theme for October was Thai CuisinThai food Oct 2019e at Farang in Highbury Park. Farang began in 2016, trading at street food markets throughout London. A year later it took up residency in the former home of the Italian restaurant San Daniele. Chef Sebby Holmes began his career at the age of 13, training in British cuisine before falling for Thai food during a tour of Asia in 2008. He has written a book Cook Thai, which brings his south east Asian food to cooks of all levels. We were given two round tables of six and five, which made it easy to talk amongst ourselves during the meal.

On my table we shared starters and desserts but each chose our own main course. I ordered Miang Goong as a starter (salted prawns, foraged fruits, pomegranate, apples, toasted peanuts & coconut in a tamarind & palm sugar caramel, served with betel leaves). As it was served on three leaves the waiter suggested that I order two portions and share them with the rest of the table, which we did. It was delicious and everyone enjoyed it. Dessert consisted of ice cream with a choice of unusual flavours. Each portion was two scoops so some of us shared these.

The group gave the restaurant an overall score of 4.29 out of 5, with higher scores in the categories of Food and Overall Experience and lower scores for Décor and Ambiance. Some group members commented that the restaurant was quite dark and that it became more crowded and noisy later on (we were there until 9 pm). Positive feedback included the following comments: One of the best Thai restaurants locally I think, staff went out of their way to be helpful and It was a great evening, both socially and the food. A good choice of restaurant.

You can read some background information about Thai Cuisine here and see a list of local Thai restaurants here.

In September the grogroup in restaurantup met for the first time to experience French Cuisine at Le Mercury in Upper Street. Dishes sampled included Moules Marinière, Magret de Canard, and Crème Brûlée. Most people rated the restaurant as average, giving scores of 3 out of 5 for food and 4 out of 5 for service. People who had been to the restaurant in the past felt that it was not as good they remembered it. However, one group member commented: I enjoyed the company at the table and particularly enjoyed talking about food. There are similarities between northern French food and the Lancashire diet with which I am familiar. Le Mercury offered average food but good red wine. I look forward to our next World Cuisine gathering.

plate of foodYou can read some background information about French Cuisine here and see a list of local French restaurants here.

If you have any queries about joining this group please contact Wendy using the above link.

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