Tuesday 3 June 2014

Cheap eats in Westfield Stratford, London

There is a wide array of food choices at Westfield Stratford; it makes a mockery of the food court options available at The Trafford Centre. This post is a summary of cheap eats which can be had for around a tenner, as explored by yours truly during some recent work trips. It’s not all fine dining and it helps to balance out the more expensive meals.

The hierarchical structure of the food options at Westfield Stratford are quite defined, on the top floor you can find the usual chain restaurants such as TGI, Nandos, Giraffe along with an All Star Lanes. Outside in ‘the Street’ area more interesting options include Wahaca and Busaba Eatthai. The second floor will be the main focus of this post with good low to mid end options at affordable prices. This post does not cover the Great Eastern area around Waitrose with the likes of Umai by Japan Centre and Arancini Italian Deli as I simply haven’t got round to trying them yet.

There is an abundance of different types of cuisine at the ‘World Food Court’ area as the name would suggest. The pick of the bunch for me would probably be Pho (both the name of the store which multiple sites in London and the Vietnamese national dish). Here I tried the Pho Chin, beef brisket in a rich stock soup and rice noodles served with beansprouts, coriander and chilli. The broth was deep and meaty although the beef was not as tender as advertised. To accompany this I had a side dish of Nem Hai San, a spring roll filled with tiger prawn, crab and pork. This was better than the main event and I could have happily polished off a couple more.

For pizza Franco Manca is the obvious choice, sporting two wood fired ovens. I was impressed from my visit to their Chiswick pizzeria but was let down on this visit. I ordered the Gloucester old spot ham, mozzarella, buffalo ricotta, wild mushrooms and little tomato. The sourdough base this time was undercooked and this was magnified by the lack of tomato, probably due to the fast moving nature of food courts but no excuse to make sure that quality isn’t maintained.

Rhythm Kitchen serves up Caribbean fare and there was only going to be one choice for from the menu for me, jerk chicken. I chose rice and chips from the optional sides, however the chicken was only luke warm, quite disappointing as there is a visible grill smoking away with meaty goodness to entice customers. The jerk sauce also didn’t pack enough of a kick for me, which maybe toned down for the mall audience.

A fast food area can be found on the ground floor with the usual suspects of international chains along with a favourite of mine, Olive Oil & Oregano, a Greek chain. For less than a fiver I had a pork pitta wrap that equalled any of the above for comfort food. If only they had a branch up North next to my office, I think I would be there every day for lunch.

All of the above was paid for in full by myself and is in no way an advertorial for Westfield Stratford or any of the named eateries despite what it might seem. It is simply my experience of eating around the food courts.

Pho on Urbanspoon

Rhythm Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Franco Manca on Urbanspoon


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