You may have noticed that I have stopped complaining about the lack of lunch options close to my office. There has not been a sudden influx of eateries around White City, instead I have started a new job and have moved to an office in Portland Place. As you can imagine, I was ecstatic about the myriad of lunch options within walking distance of my new desk and barely let the door shut behind me before I was planning which ones to get to first. With my ever depleting bank balance in mind so close to Christmas, I have limited myself to one lunch out per week – very sensible for such a glutton – and have resolved to bring in packed lunches the rest of the time. So far I have feasted on brie and lingonberry on rye and the best cinnamon buns ever at Marylebone’s Nordic Bakery and trekked over to Grillshack for a sneaky lunchtime burger.
Berwick Street Market is not really that close to my office – it is about a 15 minute walk – but it is the closest street food market and I have not seen one of those at lunchtime for a long time. I love walking down Berwick Street as the old record shops, fabric stores and little cafes remind me of times of old. Ollie and I used to go looking for records before heading off to one of the pubs for a drink when we were first together. The market has been there for many, many years, but the street food is a fairly recent addition. It has been the springboard for some great outlets – Pizza Pilgrims, who now have their own restaurant nearby, and the fabulous Banh Mi 11.
I stumbled across Savage Salads by accident when looking for a slightly healthier street food option. The night before was all about gin and burritos and I was craving some nutrients. The giant bowls of beetroot with quinoa and lentils with pumpkin called out to me from among the grill smoke and hot sauce, a shining beacon of health ready to revive my poor hungover body. Savage Salads offer two options for lunch: a large salad, or a soup and salad, both priced at £5. You can have any combination of the salads on offer which, I am told, change regularly. In addition to this, you get a choice from the grill – on this occasion halloumi or chicken – and some pitta bread. The chicken was beautifully spiced and the roasted pumpkin with puy lentils was a particular delight. It was a very difficult walk back to my office knowing I had such a delicious lunch in my hand. I only just resisted the temptation to open the box and scoff it very ungracefully whilst dodging pedestrians on Oxford Street. It was well worth the wait.