You know how you’ve always heard that the food in London is bad? Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s a lie. It’s actually really, really good. London being the multi-cultural metropolis that it is actually offers lots of delicious food. It’s basically a paradise for a foodie like Andy.
We decided to take advantage of all the delicious foods our new city has to offer and have challenged ourselves to try a different cuisine each week. Most of these cuisines we’ve never had before but some we may have tried back home but have never had here in London (curious to see if there are any differences). Based on our current list, we estimate we have roughly six weeks of new/different cuisines to try.
We kicked off our little experiment last week with Georgian food. If you have no idea what Georgian food is like, don’t feel bad because we didn’t either. However, we were intrigued to try it when we stumbled upon a Georgian restaurant minutes away from our house.
Tbilisi, named after the capital of Georgia, is located on Holloway Road in Islington and is claimed to be one of the oldest Georgian restaurants in London. It was also very highly recommended on the internet and seemed like the perfect place to try this new food.
The outside is unassuming but the inside was simply but nicely decorated with beautiful wooden tables and leather chairs.
But, you know we weren’t there for the decor, we were there for the food!
We started with a bottle of Georgian wine. Being a huge fan of red wine, I’m always curious to try wines from different regions. This bottle of Mukuzani red served as my intro to Georgian wine. It was easy drinking, reasonably priced and very much enjoyed.
We read so much about the hachapuri – a cheese stuffed flat bread – and how it was a “must try” so we decided to order it. Fifteen minutes later this massive, thick bread filled with a mild cheese (think ricotta) arrived.
Being that it was our first time having Georgian food, we wanted to get a good sample of the cuisine and so we decided to order the badrijani starter. Badrijani is dish made of pan-fried aubergines/eggplants with a walnut and onion sauce and garnished with pomegranate seeds and coriander (aka cilantro). It was delicious and probably my favorite thing from that meal (after the wine of course).
Now to be honest, I was already stuffed after a few pieces of the massive bread and the eggplant but I am committed to giving you a glimpse into our life abroad so I carried on and ordered a main (the things I do for you guys…).
Since we had read so much about Georgian dumplings, which are called khinckali, we decided to try them. They are steamed dumplings filled with beef and spices. Tbilisi gives you five large dumplings per order and it’s plenty, trust me. We also opted for the lamb stew, called chakapuli, which came with a tomato/cucumber salad and more bread (oh yay more bread). Neither was spicy which should come as a relief to you spice fearing people.
While we both thoroughly enjoyed our mains, we both agree that we liked the lamb stew better than the dumplings. I’d also say that I actually enjoyed the starter and the cheese bread most and would have been happy with that alone.
We had to skip out on dessert since I forgot to wear my stretchy pants (amateur!) and absolutely could not fit another bite of food. However, I did notice an apple dessert and a Georgian style rice pudding on the dessert menu (yes, I just had to look).
To anyone looking to try new foods, Andy and I would highly recommend Georgian food. The herby and nutty flavors aren’t quite like anything else we’ve ever tried before but were really nice. I would also recommend that you do a bit of research and come prepare with a list of a few dishes you want to sample if it’s your first time.
We still haven’t decided which cuisine we’ll try next and are open to your suggestions! Leave them in the comments section below and we’ll be happy to try it out and post about it.