Oasis

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Neasden

Aptly named given its position just off Neasden roundabout in the barren uplands of NW10, Oasis injects bright-orange vibrancy into a drab shopping parade.

Behind the plate-glass frontage, things are just as cheerful, with the spick-and-span interior decorated in simple wooden furniture, orange walls and candles on tables. Polish chatter comes via the satellite TV and the bunch of expats who’ve become regulars since the May 2009 opening.

The real thrill comes from reading a menu packed with enough Eastern European ballast to see off the harshest of Gdansk winters – at prices to put the first day of spring in your step.

Perhaps start with a gloriously tangy barszcz beetroot soup harbouring uncommonly delicate mushroom dumplings, though lustier appetites might embark on the vast bowlful of beef stroganoff or the tripe soup.

There are dozens of choices to follow – from fried trout with rosemary to great knuckles of pork – many served with three different salads (gherkins, sauerkraut and coleslaw, say).

Bigos is an immense helping of sauerkraut hiding chunks of chicken and wonderfully smoky bacon nuggets, with juniper berries adding piquancy. It costs £3.80, and virtually nothing costs more than £8.

There are nalesniki-filled pancakes for pudding, if you can possibly fit it in, and a choice of Polish beers (try the Tyskie) for lubrication.

Friendly service comes from slender young Polish women – has a fried dumpling ever passed their lips?

Venue name: Oasis
Contact:
Address: 236 Neasden Lane
London
NW10 0AA
Opening hours: Meals served 10am-10pm Mon-Thur, Sun; 10am-11pm Fri, Sat
Transport: Tube: Neasden tube
Price: Main courses £3-£9
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