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.’
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