Five Of The Best: dishes in Leyton and Leytonstone

Some of our favourite things to eat in the neighbourhood

Little introduction is needed to the area’s increasingly vibrant food scene; however this round-up is by no means a definitive list and our choices are in no particular order. It’s simply a  snapshot of a singular moment in the (currently sweltering) neighbourhood.

Pea stalks in cashew milk and fermented tofu, Singburi (pictured above, centre top)

We apologise to readers in advance for again raving about Singburi – we know how difficult it is to land a table (we’ve only managed two bookings all year). But the simple reason for its overwhelming popularity is that the cooking is phenomenal. Always order the chalkboard specials for the most impressive plates, and take your pick from corkers like clams with basil and garlic (pictured top right), a rich creamy jungle prawn curry (pictured top left) – and, my personal fave, this deliciously umami-packed vegan bowl of earthy stalks in a velvet-smooth garlicky sauce, an unexpectedly strong dish that’s always fought over at the table. Tip: call between 1030am-1pm to have the best chance of getting through. 593 High Road E11, @singburi_e11

Red prawn toast, Filly Brook. Photo: SE

Red prawn toast, Filly Brook
After Sho Foo Doh’s uber-popular easygoing menu, newcomer Tangy’s is more challenging, but also offers a greater selection of plant-based dishes. Having said that, on both recent visits they were outshone by the non-vegan plates. Curried bone marrow with Malaysian beef and a roti is a fiery, savoury smash, while fried chicken with sriracha echoes the menu of old. Halloumi fries, Chinese cabbage with gochujang, crunchy coated cauliflower and broccoli all tick boxes marked ‘interesting’ and ‘flavourbomb’. But the absolute highlight is the masterful red curry prawn toast (above): it’s somehow fresh but fishy, chewy and yet addictively melt-in-the-mouth. You’ll order another round straight away. 392 Grove Green Road E11, @fillybrook

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Mora
Wild Boar pappardelle served at the window counter in two cute bowls. Photo: SE

Wild boar pappardelle, Mora
Leytonstone High Road’s Sardinian restaurant Mora has been open since 2016 and, though often busy, still feels underrated. Yet its cooking quietly delivers on all fronts, while service is unobtrusive yet attentive. For example, the other week we wanted to share two pasta dishes, so a half-portion of each was presented in its own shallow bowl; a memorable touch (see pic above). A must-try is the mouth-watering slow-cooked wild boar with silken home-made pappardelle, subtle but distinctly moreish. 487 High Road E11, @mora_restaurant 

Morny
One bite you’ll be hooked: Morny. Photo: SE

Reuben smoked pastrami croissant, Morny
We all know that Francis Road’s Morny has levelled up East London patisserie to crazy new (and Time Out award-winning) heights: if I wasn’t of a certain age I’d be there every morning devouring its beautifully ornate and photogenic sweet treats. But one weekly indulgence I enjoy is the Reuben, arguably the finest filled croissant in the capital: warm, golden (made from dough over a 2-day period), and buttery-rich, the generous filling is a riot of juxtaposing flavours – thick dark pink smoked pastrami, Swiss cheese, fennel, sliced gherkins, sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing, and tomato jam. Oh my. 216b Francis Road E10, @morny_bakehouse

Bamboo Mat
Seabass ceviche at Bamboo Mat. Photo; SE

Sea bass ceviche, Bamboo Mat
Over by Leyton Midland, this Nikkei menu – the cuisine that fuses Japanese recipes with Peruvian ingredients – has been created by chefs Denis Gobjila and Victor Rosca, who met working at one of the capital’s only other Nikkei restaurants, Chotto Matte. Try the the hamachi hot maki – sushi rolls filled with sweet romano pepper and topped with yellowtail kingfish ceviche – but don’t swerve a classic Peruvian starter: sea bass ceviche in a vivid orange tiger’s milk (pictured above), fresh, textural and zingy. 625 High Road E10, follow @_bamboomat

Leytonstoner founder and editor Stephen Emms has written about food & drink for The Guardian Travel and Time Out London since 2005.

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