Question: This is probably outside the scope of your column,
but do you have any suggestions for London restaurants? I’ve heard it’s supposed
to be a great restaurant town, but I’m going to see a week of theater, and I
have no idea where I should eat.

—Julie, Los Angeles

Answer: Bring money. Nahm, the superb
Thai restaurant in Belgravia, may serve dishes unmatched since the 19th-century
heyday of royal Thai cuisine, but the bill is approximately 10 times higher
than at Thai restaurants in Los Angeles. The entrées at Sketch, Pierre Gagnaire’s
restaurant, run to the equivalent of $125. (I actually made a reservation once,
then fled when I saw the menu.) The famous Ivy serves what tastes like banquet-circuit
cooking at prices close to those of actual charity dinners. But John Powers
hipped me to the Kenyan-Indian-vegetarian restaurant Kastoori in Tooting
a few years ago, and it has never failed — try the curried bananas, which come
complete with peel. The unspeakably massive breakfast fry-ups at the Borough
Café are remarkable in their unreconstructed way, and you get to visit the Borough
Market afterward.
And there is no restaurant anywhere like St. John: heaps of sizzling
marrow bones, great slabs of rare-breed pork, and skewered eels broiled with
gammon. And this time of year, there is tons of game: snipe, hare, woodcock,
pheasant. Don’t forget to eat the tiny brains, or the waiter will admonish you.
Nahm, The Halkin, 5 Halkin St., London; Kastoori, 188 Upper Tooting Road,
London; St. John, 26 St. John St., London.

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