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Chef Ollie Templeton's top five cheap eats in London

The Curious Pear

Along with his brother Ed and cousins Anna and Will, Ollie Templeton is the brains behind Carousel. The Mayfair joint hosts rotating bi-weekly residencies from some of the world’s most exciting cooks, with lovingly tailored menus served up on bustling communal tables. Ollie cooks alongside each guest chef, whipping up dishes with the likes of Jordan Bourke, Selin Kiazim and Olia Hercules. Here's a list of his favourite cheap eats in London.

Chilli Cool

'The Sichuan restaurant Chilli Cool is a hidden little gem on Leigh Street near Russell Square. I love it for many reasons, not least its proximity to work, but the food is amazing, which is the main thing. Start with mouth-numbing cucumbers in a chilli and ginger sauce (I like to pour the juice over my rice when I run out of cucumber), then go with the cumin chicken, smothered in Sichuan peppercorns and chilli. To finish things off I'd recommend the braised pork belly with its layer of delicious gelatinous fat and its deep umami sauce – it comes with crunchy greens on the side, too. Wash it down with a mix of Tsingtao and jasmine tea.' 15 Leigh St, WC1H 9EW.


'I love a nourishing bowl of ramen and Kanada-Ya is my favourite place to get it. There are a couple of sites now – both are great. I like how they ask you how you want your noodles cooked. I usually go for the Original (medium-hard) with extra egg and a pint of Asahi on draught. I was doing the whole no-meat thing in January but it came to an abrupt end here. No regrets though.' 64 St Giles High St, WC2H 8LE.


TayyabsRob Greig / Time Out


'On a busy day (every day) you will have to queue, but it’s worth it. I will wait hours for the tinda masala (baby pumpkin curry) and the grilled meats are unbelievable as well (try the mutton tikka and the lamb chops). It’s BYOB which makes it an extremely cheap meal, especially given how much delicious food you get to eat. Not advisable for a date, though. You leave smelling like you’ve been grilled yourself.' 83-89 Fieldgate St, E1 1JU.


'ICCo is the spot for thin, crispy, dirt cheap pizzas – some of them are less than a fiver. And they do Hawaiians, which is a massive plus point in my book. A pizza without ham and pineapple just isn't a pizza.' 46 Goodge St, W1T 4LU.

Beirut Express

'Another place besides Carousel that’s close to my heart. I regularly drop in for some mezze or cycle over to pick up a takeaway for the staff. Whatever you order, you always get a basket of flatbreads and some sharp pickles, the perfect addition to some of my favourites. The houmous shawarma with pine nuts always hits the spot. The tabbouleh adds freshness. I usually can’t help myself at this point and end up ordering a mixed lamb and chicken shawarma as well, washed down with fresh mint tea (they don’t do booze).' 112-114 Edgware Rd, W2 2DZ. 

Want more bargain bites? Take a look at the 100 best cheap eats in London.

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