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Chef’s Specials: Ben Tish’s favourite spots in Limehouse

The chef’s tips on where to go for old-school pub grub and bargain spices

Isabelle Aron
Written by
Isabelle Aron

In our new series, Chef’s Specials, we ask London chefs for their favourite places to go for food and drink – everything from neighbourhood restaurants to ace caffs and pubs, to always-reliable cornershops. In this instalment, Ben Tish, culinary director of the Stafford Collection, shares his favourite spots in Limehouse.

‘My favourite lunch spot is a local pub, The Grapes. It’s one of the oldest pubs in London and is now owned by Sir Ian McKellen. It serves old-school fish, chips and peas, and pints, which you can have while looking over the Thames and out toward an Antony Gormley iron man. It’s also dog-friendly so it’s ideal for dog owners.’

‘If I’m going for a long walk with my dog, I’ll head down to Ropemakers Fields for some ball-throwing action and a good run around, then head down the canal to another great pub, The Palm Tree. It’s right by the canal bank and is a proper old-school East End boozer. It’s used as a set for loads of films. In the summer, people spill out on to the grass and the canal boats set up bands, bars and vinyl shops – it’s a great vibe.’

‘One of my favourite shops is the Bangla Bazar on Salmon Lane. It’s ideal for super-cheap and fresh spices, exotic fruits and sauces. I’ll buy a whole load and prepare an Indian feast at home. It’s brilliant if you love Indian food – the best place I know when it comes to value and range. I could spend all day in there.’

Check out Francesco Mazzei’s guide to Islington.

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