Six of One 16/6/2023
Triple One Café and five other recommendations
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Six of One is a new column dedicated to London restaurant recommendations. In each newsletter, we send out six tips from six writers for six different restaurants, bakeries, cafes or takeaways that deserve to be better known.
You can find previous Six of One’s below:
Todays recommendations are from Sam Wilson, Jonathan Nunn, Fatima Pabani, Katie Randall, Alice Kemp-Habib and Zahra Al Asaadi
1. Triple One Café
On a sweltering day, there’s only one reason to leave my high-rise Lewisham crypt: šaltibarščiai, the Lithuanian dayglo-pink, kefir-based chilled beetroot soup, bobbing with cucumber and teeming with dill, a chopped boiled egg lurking beneath. I need it.
Luckily, just a Niles Crane throw from my flat is Triple One Café, a Lithuanian and Pakistani cafe co-owned and run by Rasa and Kasha. The Pakistani part of Triple One is a display cabinet packed with Tupperware of chicken biryani, carrot halwa, keema, haleem, nihari and mutton samosas, all cooked from scratch by Kasha’s mum in the back. The ‘Desi Breakfast’ is also formidable. But to combat June’s ungodly heat, Rasa, in an expression of her maternalism, has made šaltibarščiai as a salve for me and one other person. The piquancy of the kefir is augmented with sour cream, earthily sweetened with beetroot. The addition of milk balances it and creates a viscosity and throat-coating chill similar to that which makes a Yop so satisfying.
There’s also dessert. “People make a special journey back for it,” she says, beaming over a fat wedge of medutis, a Lithuanian honey cake of gently-spiced sponge layers with intervals of sour cream frosting. Rasa is tentative but passionately optimistic about bringing Lithuanian food to an area otherwise totally bereft of it and is planning to expand her own offerings considerably, ideally in the next month or so. But she needs to be sure there’s adequate (and frankly, deserved) clamour for it first. Whether you actually enjoy the summer heat, or like me detest it and suspect it’s trying to kill you (because you should, and it is), then get the soup. Not just for our sake, but for Rasa’s too. Sam Wilson
111 Loampit Vale, SE13 7TG