• Sin Fronteras
A slow Colombian place, with a decent empanada, the crust on the light side and not grease-logged. Microwaving was uneven, with a few cool spots. Beef and potato filing was hearty, but I longed for more onions.
Out of sancocho; I got braised chicken in a tomato-based (criollo?) sauce. Not bad, not great. Side of unripe avocado that was better with their salsa (on the acidic side). Nice potatoes. Alas, they don't serve Colombian fruit juices anymore, and my request for lula was futile. Might go back for the sancocho just because, but certainly not a destination if the food I had was representative.
Basic Peruvian, but also out of chicha morada. Papa a la huancaina was ok (potato slices with a sauce made with eggs, cream, cheese, aji ammarillo, herbs etc..), just not the finest example ever. The sauce just wasn't as complex as the best of them. Makes me suspect that their aji de gallinha isn't going to be exemplary either.
Lomo saltado (a stir fry of beef stripes with onion, tomato, parsley, served with rice and french fries) on the other hand was actually pretty good, homey and basic in its own way, the dripping flavours soaked up by the rice and fries. Proper balance of tomatoes and parsley, but as always, needs more sauteed onions.
Pretty full and passed on dessert menu, with standards like mazzamora morada (purple corn pudding) and alfajores (short bread with dulce de leche).
• Shake Catering and Sandwich Bar
A small corner NIgerian place with a lady in the back that makes good, intensely beefy flavoured meat pies that are baked on premises. Not necessarily a bad alternative to Manze's on Tower Bridge Road
Red spicy jollof rice, very good vegetable sides. A creamy puree of spinach with dark spices; mashed beans dotted with kernals of corn, with a smoky backdrop of flavour; another type of mashed beans, this one with groundnuts, mingling nutty flavours with a certain spicy earthiness. Fried balls of cassava flour are as addictive as donuts, with their spongy texture and light sweetness. Beef and tripe were only ok, fried and then cooked in a stew, they remained tough, jerky-like.
• The Cut at the New Vic.
Bad. Ordinary eggs florentine, ok coffee, soury overtones on the sticky toffee pudding, where flavour has yet to penetrate the density of the pudding..