Hidden gems for nosh in St Albans, Borehamwood and Edgware

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Hidden gems for nosh in St Albans, Borehamwood and Edgware

Heading north there are so many new and exciting places to dine in 2022


Newly-opened Cloud7 in Whitchurch Lane, Edgware, has a bright mirrored entrance and a small but warm seating area with plush chairs and marble flooring. On the face of it, they offer a brunch menu with full English breakfast (with beef sausages and turkey bacon, which will please some!), shakshuka, eggs Florentine, waffles and pancakes, plus a couple of additional lunchtime dishes with fried chicken.

But it’s so much more than just a brunch place and has a real twist (which I will leave you to discover) – and everything from the baked beans to the hash browns is made in-house. We loved the house-smoked salmon (which is ‘smoked’ flaked salmon and not smoked salmon of the bagel and lox variety).

Everything is served with flourishes you would expect from a top restaurant in town (including fresh mint in the tap water) and prices are really reasonable for the quality. Don’t miss the chai tea and the custard-filled croissants.

Zila Golbert

020 3490 3305

Cloud 7

The Plough

If you’re a fan of The Bull in Highgate you’ll already know that Rob Laub’s new place, The Plough in Sleapshyde, is something to get excited about. It’s ‘sort of’ in St Albans, down a country lane at the end of which it sits, all pretty in white with a huge garden overlooking fields and loads of parking out front and at the side.

It’s a lovely space with lots of character and Rob has spent a small fortune on kitting out a shiny new kitchen, in which his chef is creating dishes that would not look out of place at the two Michelin-starred pub Hand & Flowers (which is where, in fact, he used to work). We nibbled on griddled sourdough focaccia with whipped butter while ordering drinks from an extensive but not overwhelming (in either price or length) list of wines and beers.

The Plough

Bass tartare was a welcome change from tuna and was spiked with wasabi and apple to give it real punch.

The chicken liver parfait was a mighty portion laced with orange and topped with pistachio, and I’m still dreaming about the curried cauliflower velouté with almonds and raisins.

Plough cauliflower soup

Halibut with taramasalata and cauliflower won our ‘prettiest dish’ award; pheasant with leeks, wild mushrooms and polenta leapt into top spot for most interesting dish and lamb with marzipan and black olive got full marks for being a creation that shouldn’t work, but absolutely does.

There was a fantastic burger, a super steak, legendary triple-cooked chips and parsnip and horseradish mash that is definitely one to try at home.

I fully appreciated the magnificence of the chocolate and peanut bar but I was too busy tucking into an outstanding sticky toffee pudding to pay much attention.

We sampled a range of astonishingly good sorbets (just £2 a scoop) – apple, pear and pineapple among them. All this was served by the most delightful staff.

Louisa Walters

Read the Food and Travel supplement


Cacao Bean Restaurant

Well away from the main drag in Borehamwood, Leeming Road until recently had nothing to dine out (or even in) on.

That all changed the day Kushan Marthelis signed the lease on an unassuming workman’s caff, spruced it up with a beautiful glass frontage and quirky lights, and brought his brilliance to the kitchen. Late last year, Cacao Bean Restaurant and Cafe launched the best-value and best-tasting Sunday roast in north-west London, and last week started serving a midweek evening tapas menu Tuesday to Thursday.


Blackened cod with bok choy and miso glaze, Japanese beef curry with edamame, Sri Lankan spicy tuna fish cakes, zaatar-spiced burnt cauliflower with toasted pistachio and date compote, grilled halloumi with cashew pesto… can this really be Borehamwood?

With churros and brioche butter pudding with salted caramel for dessert? Kushan has been a caterer for years and truly understands how to meld flavours into a menu of dreams and serve dishes with a smile. There are beautiful wines to accompany the dishes and they’re explained to you as they are poured. Kushan has big plans for his little restaurant.

Louisa Walters



I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to visit Bhageecha in Elstree (above); we had so many fantastic takeaways from them during the lockdowns. You know those meals where a lot of the conversation is about the food? Well, it was one of those. It’s seriously good, wow-factor, fine-dining Indian cuisine on a par with anything I’ve ever had from any other Indian restaurant (including the much-lauded Michelin-starred ones in W1).


The onion bhajis were the best any of us had tasted before – think latkes plus delicious seasoning and spices – and the Peshwari naan was exquisitely thin and cinnamony. Standout dishes included portobello mushrooms stuffed with potato and cheese, crispy samosas, all food from the tandoor oven, chicken jeera, succulent duck cooked in a Goan coconut masala sauce, spinach saag and lamb madras. The place itself has been gorgeously done out – unrecognisable from its previous incarnation as The Fishery. There is on-site parking, the acoustics are just right and the service is delightful.

Debra Lewis Henry



Paolo’s Italian Kitchen

There was a time when Italian restaurants were popping up on every high street, but they were all the same in their total lack of any authenticity. Paolo’s (below) is the most welcome addition to the pizza and pasta party in years because husband-and-wife chef team Paolo (formerly of The Rising Sun in Mill Hill) and Livia have poured a whole lotta love into their new venue in Borehamwood.

It’s cool, contemporary and stylish with an interesting menu juxtaposing Italian classics such as lasagna and pizza margherita with the temptation of pasta fritta (smoked-cheese stuffed fried pasta parcels) and tagliata di controfiletto (steak cooked in the pizza oven).


There’s plenty for non-meat eaters and super delish desserts and if I can ever bring myself to veer away from tiramisu, I will try the budino di riso, which is a plum and vanilla rice pudding. On a cold night in January, I could almost feel the sun-drenched piazzas of Italy as I took my first sip of a delightfully fresh Gavi. Happy staff, talented chef, gorgeous décor, wonderful food, reasonable prices and easy parking – bravissimo!

Louisa Walters



When I go for dinner with the family the ambience, the service and the food are of equal importance. At Izgara in Edgware, all three elements are absolutely impeccable.


The restaurant is smart, trendy and super cool with buzzy music and the children loved watching the bar staff make amazing cocktails. The service was very attentive and the food was absolutely delicious – definitely not just another ‘standard’ Turkish.

We ordered a few starters for us all to share and it was a pleasure to watch the kids demolish their chicken wings. Portions are huge, but we ploughed on through beautifully succulent mixed shish, which came with salads, and we couldn’t resist the hot chocolate fudge cake for dessert. Izgara is truly family-friendly, but next time we’ll go with friends and try some of those delicious cocktails.

Marc Jacobs



Restaurants in Edgware come and go, but Amaretto has been a mainstay since 2005 – and there’s a reason for that. It’s good traditional Italian cooking that travels well (I had many a takeaway from there during lockdown) and the prices are reasonable.


It’s hard to steer yourself away from the superb pizzas and perfectly-cooked pasta dishes, but there is a lot more on offer, including my favourite zucchini and scaloppine al limone. Any meals here can be nicely rounded off with a home-made tiramisu. Owner Flo Bajari learnt his trade in southern Italy before bringing his expertise to the UK. He worked in several West End restaurants before opening this one in Edgware, followed by branches in Hendon and Golders Green.

Louisa Walters

bennys diner


Benny’s Diner

Benny’s Diner has opened in Edgware on the Mowbray Parade and promises an enticing menu of salt beef, burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches, with chicken soup and chopped liver thrown in for good measure. There’s plenty for children and it’s all glatt kosher. I will visit soon and report back.

Louisa Walters


In other news…

While we can’t always eat out, if we’re eating in, we don’t need to do it all ourselves. Crush & Co offers a superb range of meaty and parev soups, salads sandwiches and loads of other tasty dishes, all licensed under the London Beth Din. These are available at kosher supermarkets such as Hadar, Be Kosher and Kays. Crush and Co will also cater for your family gatherings and events.


Crush & Co

Alongside delicious, healthy, Middle Eastern-inspired kosher food, Jami’s Head Room Café in Golders Green dishes up mental health support. A weekly programme promotes personal and communal wellbeing. Dishes include a signature shakshuka, halloumi salad and salmon teriyaki skewers, as well as brunch classics such as smoked salmon and eggs on sourdough. Friendly staff take time to sit and chat with customers. It’s also great for kids, with a special children’s menu and meal deal offers in school holidays. A great destination for social and professional events, and staff will even present you with a personalised coffee with your company logo or photo on! There’s also Head Room to Go
with takeaway food and drink.



If you fancy channelling your love of food into doing good for the community, there are food-related opportunities at Jewish Volunteering Network (JVN) such as packing at a food bank, managing a café at Jewish Care or helping in the Kisharon kitchen. There are long and short-term and one-off volunteering opportunities available across the spectrum. The benefits of volunteering on individuals’ mental health are immeasurable, offering a path to enable people to feel valued and use their skillsets. It can even be a route to paid work. www.jvn.org.uk

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: