Thursday 17 June 2010

Doukan - Old York Rd SW18

In in the interests of full disclosure - you should know that Doukan is one of my locals, so I am biased.  However I do think it's a restaurant that anyone would love to have nearby.  It is on Old York Road, the cute shopping strip to your right as you come out of Wandsworth Town station.  This area is called "The Tonsleys" and is a prime example of how crazy London real estate can be - it is only a few blocks but house prices here are nuts (unfortunately our place is not within this grid of streets...we call ourselves the "Tonsley borders", which doesn't seem to be catching on).  Anyway - back to Doukan.  There are some really good places to eat in this small street - The Pantry is great for breakfast, Brady's does good fish and chips and there is a decent Thai and a Pizza Express (which has its place in the world).  Doukan was a welcome addition - it serves really great Moroccan food at all times of the day.  Their breakfasts are really inventive and a change from the standard fry-up fare - I particularly like the toasted muesli, yoghurt, honey and poached fruits, full of cinammony Moorish flavours.  We had a great dinner there this week - we shared a chicken bastilla to start which was amazing.  I had eaten these tasty parcels in Marrakesh but there they were called pastillas - so which is it, bastilla or pastilla?  Anyway it doesn't really matter what it is called, it was delicious - the combination of the savoury filling, the golden crispy pastry and the sweet dusting of sugar and spices is right up my street.  I had sea bass for main, which was pan fried with a crispy, herby crust and sat on a nutty chick-pea pancake thing with two little nuggets of spicy sausage sitting on top - how interesting does that sound?  It was super tasty and I wolfed down every mouthful.  The waitress (who is a legend) tried in vain to get us to order the bread and butter pudding made with croissants and white chocolate (we just weren't in the mood - but we will definitely be back for it) so we shared a chocolate truffle tart instead (which was divine).  According to their website Doukan has been on Gordon Ramsay's F-Word - I missed that, mainly because I went off Gordon's TV shows quite a while ago.  So all in all Doukan is a gem of a neighbourhood restaurant but also a truly excellent restaurant in its own right - so if your travels ever take you to SW18 (don't make that face you north Londoners) then check it out.

Doukan Deli, Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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