East London Food & Culture

Francis Road’s new sushi joint. Plus Asparago, Arts Trail & Street Party

Two new Francis Road openings, plus two community summer happenings

Nasi Isda is open

So what do we think of the new sushi place on Francis? Called Nasi Isda, it’s the second branch of a Romford-based Japanese restaurant – and a more casual offer than nearby newcomer Bamboo Mat. As well as nigiri, katsu curries and ramen, there are bao buns, donburis and a host of sides and street food bites. We popped in on Sunday and chose a classic salmon sushi set, pictured above. Four salmon maki, three pieces of sea-fresh sashimi, and four roe-crusted salmon-avocado rolls clocked in at £10.75 (although they were operating a 25% off opening discount at the time). It was fresh and delicious: we look forward to ploughing our way through the menu. Nasi Isda is at 191 Francis Road, Follow @nasi_isda

Chicken skewers at Asparago. Photo: SE

And so is Asparago

At the other end of Francis is another new arrival. Asparago – Italian for asparagus – is a slightly interesting name choice for a new takeaway whose emphasis is on suvlaki, skewers and other Greek specialities (although it does serve pasta, too, almost as a menu afterthought). Occupying the abandoned site of the short-lived Burger Yardz, prices may at first glance seem on the steep side, but you can still get a chicken souvlaki, halloumi or lamb kofta wrap for £7 including fries and a drink. Elsewhere the mains hover at about £12 for lamb cutlets, meaty skewers and grilled sea bass, with spicy vegan, veggie and fishy stews at a similar price. Our chicken skewers with rice and salad (above) were chargrilled beautifully, the thigh meat tender. There’s 50% off until next Thursday, which meant the dish was only £6 (rather than £12). 92 Francis Road.

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Venner: one of the Arts Trail locations with the 2022 display installed. Photo: Lucie Beeston

The return of the Trail

The awesome annual Leytonstone Arts Trail is back from tomorrow, Saturday July 2nd until Sunday July 10th. As ever, dozens of artists are displaying their work in venues all around Leytonstone and Leyton, from Gravity Well Brewing to Arch Deli, with a cluster along Francis Road and Leytonstone High Road, of course, too. To help you to navigate your way around the trail, listings are divided into two areas, Leytonstone High Road and its surrounds; and Grove Green Road, Upper Leytonstone & Leyton. Pictured above is the install at ace Francis Road store Venner. Find out more here.

Big local party

Finally, you’ll have seen the posters everywhere, but the annual Francis Road Street Party, which promises a tombola and raffle, live music and DJs, as well as market stalls, craft beer and generally top people-watching, is a local institution. It takes places between Claude & Albert Rd E10 on Sunday July 17th, 11-4pm.


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