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The best ‘top secret’ street food restaurants in London

Psst… want to know the best places for street food in London? Jennifer Joyce, author of My Street Food Kitchen, shares her favourite permanent street food restaurants in the capital, including dumplings at Jen Café; sushi at Atari-Ya; and kati rolls at The Kati Roll Company. Don't tell too many people!

Pop-ups, food trucks and street dining are exploding in our capital and we’ve never been so completely spoiled for choice. They open, close and change locations like pieces moving on a chess board, so sometimes it’s hard to know who’s coming or going. Here are my favourite ‘permanent’ spots that are tried, true and plan to stick around.

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FOR DUMPLINGS   

Jen Café  (48 Newport Place, London, WC2H 7JP)

If you stand outside their Chinatown restaurant you can watch and salivate while your homemade Chinese pork dumpling is being rolled, filled and pleated. They are the best in London, and for under a fiver you get eight crisp, juicy, crescents. Dunk them in the black vinegar or roasted chili sauce provided on the plastic-covered tables.


FOR ROTI  

Roti King (Doric Way, London, NW1 1LH) 

Let’s just say you won’t be coming here for the decor – the outstanding Malaysian food trumps the grim interior. Their flaky, buttery roti canai is carb perfection and is served stuffed with curry, alongside laska or just on its own. It’s cheap and oily-lip-smacking good.


FOR SUSHI 

Atari-Ya (1 Uxbridge Rd, Station Parade, W5 3LD)

Sushi is abound in London – almost too much so. Bypass the sad ready-made boxes and try the original. Since they supply most of the fish in the capital’s Japanese restaurants, you can count on getting spanking-fresh sushi at Atari-Ya. Only a few bar seats are available at their bijoux Ealing location, so arrive early to snag a space. Other locations are open in Finchley and St. James, but this one is special.


FOR KATI ROLLS 

Kati Roll Company (24 Poland Street, London, W1F 8QL)

Not your average boring wrap, Indian kati are paratha-filled rolls with warm fried eggs, curry or cheese. It’s breakfast, lunch and dinner wrapped into a mouth-watering meal. Not many places offer kati, especially as delicious as these.


FOR KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN 

Jubo (68 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3 AY)

It’s a toss up between the fried chicken in spicy kochujang sauce or the grilled bulgogi chicken bun for my favourite, but you can’t make a bad choice at this inexpensive-but-chic Korean. They’ve just opened at Exmouth Market, so it’s getting easier to experience their heat-tingling dishes.


Jennifer Joyce is the author of My Street Food Kitchen (Murdoch Books). Follow her on Instagram, or visit her website here.

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