Archive for the ‘food’ Tag

Optimist, Upminster, Essex   Leave a comment


Why is this pub called the Optimist? I hoped the fish and chips would be edible but I didn’t expect them to be good (which, it turned out, they were). By the time my food arrived my glass was half empty (see what I did there?), and I was convinced one of these obese fellows creaking around the grounds was going to have a heart attack at any moment. I just wasn’t getting into the spirit of the pub name.



I finished my lunch and headed out. I needed to cross the road to rejoin the trail and was dashing toward it when I heard the clip-clop of the horse-drawn hearse, stopped at the kerb, and removed my cap until the entire cortege had passed. I hope the passenger deserved this minimal show of respect but I bet he was a complete and utter bastard. Crypt half full, and all that.

Loads of ale (and more guests to come), cheap (my meal and drink was about £7.50), and it was where I was when I got hungry and thirsty.  Not much to complain about, for sure.



Halalhalal Fish & Kebabs, Morden, London   1 comment


On my way to the park in Morden, I stopped for some nourishment in the form of a ‘small’ cod at the Halalhalal Fish & Kebabs.  Remarkably good stuff — firm, perfectly steamed within the tasty batter, and neither too salty nor oily.  Well done.  Perfect for a rainy day out.  Might be found by looking up “Morden Fish & Kebabs,” but I was going by the sign.


Posted May 22, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Fish and Chips, Food

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Royal Oak, Chingford, London   1 comment


The day’s run included a typical, unexpected route change (maps and explicit directions only help if you are any good at using them, I’m beginning to realise).  The additional mileage and the lack of any nourishment — save for 4 beers at other pubs and an experimental algal soup at the Greyhound a few miles back — left me famished as I climbed the hill toward Chingford spotting the 3-dimensional pub sign at the Royal Oak.   For once, the siren song sung by the pub sign was voiced by the ‘GRILL,’ not the “PUB &.”

I hobbled my way to the door expecting to be shown back to the street.  Instead, I was greeted as a long-lost relative.  “You look hungry, sir.  Are you dining?”

“As a matter of fact, yes.  But, let me grab one of these, first,” I said moving toward the bar.

“No need, we’ll bring it over to you.”  Christ.  Good service and I’m welcome here in my sad state of decay and dishevelment.  What is WRONG with these freaks?




The choices that interested me were beef steaks and at the lower price range I had to vote between rump (generally to tough for shoe leather) and sirloin.  “How would you like your sirloin cooked?”  I said as rare as legal and she returned in a moment saying, “you can have grey, pink, or blue,” this last option being where the steak is shown the grill as a threat and to bring it to room temperature.  I went for pink with a jacket potato.

I would have inhaled the plate in less than a minute once it arrived but the first bite was so succulent and perfect that I lingered a bit.  There’s nothing special about the menu, here, but a good kitchen makes a world of difference.  And, had I just hit the bar I would have thought (and probably written) that this was a typical, family style restaurant with a pub theme.  It’s not at all typical…and I bet it was packed an hour or so later (in more traditional dining hours) as it had already started to fill by the time I used the potato skin to mop up the last of the dish residue and washed it down with the last of my pint of AK.

Posted May 21, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Bob Carver’s Fish and Chips, Hull, East Riding   Leave a comment

On my way to the Inkerman Tavern to check in to my room, I came over quite hungry and grabbed the lunch special at Bob Carver’s, a perfect batch of haddock and chips.  I had a recommendation  (from a native with whom I work) to add the ‘spice’ to the fish and chips.  The spice is some sort of paprika and other red powder mixed in with salt and is another of the peculiarities of Hull culture.  And, I can kick myself for not buying some to bring home with me.



Posted May 17, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Fish and Chips, Food

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Best Kebab, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire   2 comments


I had a long journey home and knew I wouldn’t fancy cooking so I looked around for dinner near the station.  The runs today and yesterday had taken their toll on me and I felt I could eat just about anything and absorb the worst it had to offer.  The worst that the Best Kebab had to offer was an insidious saltiness that had me at the water tap all night but the kebab wasn’t too fatty and it tasted more like actual lamb than filler.  I’ve definitely had worse.



Posted May 15, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Food, Kebabs

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Mount Fish Bar, Coulsdon, Surrey   2 comments

Cooked fresh, my small cod took ages at the Mount but it was worth the wait.

I asked the cashier if there was a bridge over the tracks at the rail station not ¼ from here.  “No, you have to go around.”  I showed her my map and pointed to the sweat blurred area next to the rail station.

“That’s not a bridge?”
“No, there’s no bridge. You have to drive around through Coulsdon.”
“Where do I get a car, then?” She didn’t get it. “I’m afoot,” I added making the international hand gesture for walking.

A moment passed. “Oh, then you should take the foot bridge.”
“What’s the best route for that?” I asked, certain the floor show would continue. Instead of looking at the map or pointing to either of the two roads just outside the shop window, she whipped out her phone.

“Where are you trying to get to?”
“The Smugglers bar.”
The owner interjected, “you need to drive down through Coulsdon.”

“He doesn’t have a car,” cashier informed him. To her phone she said, “get me from here to the Smugglers.”
A moment passed and a map turned up. “It says it will take 4 hours if you drive.”
“That’s the Smugglers in Dorset. I want the one at the bottom of the hill. Just the other side of the foot bridge across the rails.”

“There’s no bridge,” interrupted the cook, handing me my snack.
“I’ll take my chances. Thanks!”


Posted May 13, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Fish and Chips, Food

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Carp and Trout, Hampton Hill, London   1 comment


It was rapidly becoming a drinking day and suddenly I craved protein, carbs, fat, and salt in that order.  Just across from the entrance to Bushy Park I got a spectacular chunk of cod at the Carp and Trout.  The day was going well…I am living the dream.


Posted May 12, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Fish and Chips, Food

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