Cheap Eats in Greenwich
Posted: Sunday, February 26, 2006
Word Count: 987
Summary: An exercise I did for the Journalism class -short Restaurant Reviews modelled on the ‘Guardian Weekend’ monthly ‘Readers Restaurants’ column
Goddards Pie House
45 Greenwich Church Street
Greenwich SE10 9BL
020 8293 9313
Open Monday –Friday 10am to 6.30pm
Saturday and Sunday, 10.am-7.30pm
This pie and mash emporium of Dickensian fascia and quasi- workhouse atmosphere – narrow marble-topped tables and benches with wooden boards underfoot – was founded by Alfred Goddard in 1890. Order at the counter from a range of baked-on-the-premises, traditional pie and mash, (liquor made to a secret recipe) pasties and sausage rolls, plus jellied eels, mugs of tea and ribsticker puddings like spotted dick and plum crumble and sweet pies, all with custard, if you can find room. No gourmet experience, but solid, filling traditional ‘Olde Englisshe Fayre’ in the heart of Greenwich. They even have a vegetarian ‘Banks’ pie named in honour of late MP Tony Banks, then Sports Minister, who saved this and other shops from demolition in the run-up to the Millennium. To eat in or take away. Wine and Beer is available. Function details on request.
Taste of India
43 Greenwich Church Street
0208 858 2668 or 0208 858 1380
12pm-12am daily, buffet 12pm-3pm
If, like my husband, your fancies are more upmarket than your means - prince’s tastes, pauper’s pockets, as my mum used to say, you will enjoy the pristine surroundings and starched napery of the quietly unpretentious Taste of India. Located a few steps away from Ottakars Bookshop, and in the shadow of the Cutty Sark, it offers an every-day lunch-time buffet meal for £4.95. Silver-covered hotplates to the rear of the white-walled salon open to reveal an assortment of meat, chicken and vegetarian curries plus chutneys, puppodoms and rice. Beer and Wine are available from the polite waiters but a glass of tap water is readily supplied on request. For the footsore and weary there is no finer restorative , on a summer’s, or even winter’s day, than to watch the tourists go by from a window table in this air-conditioned oasis of calm. You’d swear you could hear the quiet breathing of the punkah wallahs
Fountain Food Court
Greenwich Church Street
Open Saturday and Sundays in summer
Handily situated next to the antiques and collectables market in Greenwich, and sharing the same air of tacky charm, this is the place for tasty food at rock-bottom prices. Order from any one of the open-sided vans where food ranges from French Crepes with a selection of fillings to Thai, Indian and Chinese dishes, from green chicken curry and rice to spicy Singapore noodles, served on polystyrene platters with plastic forks, costing from £3.50. There’s a fresh-fruit juice bar and tea, coffee and fizzy drinks as well as an ice-cream and hot dogs stall. Very popular with families, you’ll need to skirt around the baby buggies and ignore the screaming toddlers. Add whatever sauce takes your fancy from a plastic bottle and then take a slatted seat at one of the tin tables. The choice is yours – out in the courtyard near the fountain (no water, but comes with statue) if the weather suits or, my favourite when the mid-day sun is hot on the neck or I can feel a spot of rain, under the plastic awning of the ramshackle shed at the back. Enjoy a ringside view of Hawksmoor’s imposing St Alphege’s church opposite and, for even more casual dining, perch on the low wall of the raised municipal flower bed. You won’t be on your own.
Tai Won Noodle House
39 Greenwich Curch Street
London SE10 9BL
Tel 020 8858 1668/2688
Open every day 11.30am-11.30pm
My personal favourite, with a clientele of studenty couples, and a staff of lively youngsters, the bright yellow décor of the Taiwan Noodle House is only a hop and a skip away from Ottakers bookshop and the DLR. Service is efficient and food is plentiful, tasty and cheap. Dishes, printed on your paper table mat, are based on different kinds of noodles, in sauces or soups, and rice plain or boiled with a range of proteins and vegetables. My personal favourite is number 10, comprising a dozen large succulent prawns with noodles in a flavoursome broth, topped with fresh chopped coriander, served in a ‘Tai Won’, or ‘big bowl’.The food is fresh and the surroundings clean, but you can become addicted. There are 60 or so main dishes costing either £3.40 or £3.95, and some cheaper starters, but you are unlikely to manage two courses. House wine is available at £8.00 a bottle, as is Chinese or Carlsberg beer, but the fresh fruit juice drinks are a popular choice and for me the Japanese tea at 80p is the prefect accompaniment.
The Gate Clock , JD Wetherspoons Pub
Cutty Sark DLR Station
Greenwich SE10 9RB
0871 984 3696
There are plenty of crowded, dirty and overpriced pubs in Greenwich named after naval heroes or maritime battles, but tucked away in the passageway where you access the DLR station is one of the best pubs in the JD Wetherspoons chain , housed in a new building that was part of the small-shop complex built for the Millennium. The tourists don’t seem to know it’s there, or maybe they get waylaid by McDonalds. This is our favourite when we have the grandchildren in tow, as it has a family area and a kid’s menu. The food offers a variety of choices, a two-for-£5.99 special adults deal plus a fine selection of real ales. Walls are decorated with paintings from local artists and informative prints that rival those in the nearby Greenwich Observatory. On a hot day you can sit at one of the tables on an outside terrace with an overhang for welcome shade, and a hangover in the afternoon if you are not careful. The drinks are around half the price of a regular Greenwich pub and the Thursday Curry Club is cheaper than any other South London JD's.