Chef-owner Adejoké Bakare described herself as a home cook before winning a competition that landed her a coveted dining space on Market Row in south London’s Brixton Village. And while Chishuru is better known for Bakare’s creative take on West African cuisine than its tight and well-curated wine list, the combination makes it an unmissable experience. Where else can you marvel at how the light creaminess of a Burgundian Aligoté tames the scorching heat of Scotch bonnet sauce, or the way a blend of Languedoc red fruits plays with the spicy depth of jollof rice ?
One can walk into this Hackney stalwart in the middle of the afternoon to grab a bottle of excellent wine to take away, but it’s not advisable if you’re on a tight schedule. Because this small wine merchant-slash-bar, inspired by the dining cellars of Paris, has a particular gravitational force. Maybe the staff offers you a serving of the bottle you’re considering just to make sure it’s to your liking. Maybe you strike up a conversation with another buyer and, well, if you’re both going for another drink, you might as well order a bottle, right? Before you know it, the kitchen is open and small plate menus from a cast of guest chefs are handed out and, wouldn’t you know it, you could use a snack. P. Franco is a must stop for anyone on a London wine tour. Don’t expect to leave on time.
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Ali Dirik opened this ocakbaşi, a Turkish style restaurant focused on charcoal grilling, in the mid-90s and quickly gained a following. Fast forward nearly 30 years and his sons Ferhat and Sertaç are at the helm, with a revamped menu – think grilled sourdough bread topped with shaved lamb heart and raki-battered purple broccoli – and a mostly naturalness that sets their place apart from other more casual stores in Dalston.