Wobble Day [wob_uhl-dey]
A day where you feel deeply unsteady in the midst of quarantine. Resulting in a refusal to leave your duvet, shocking sadness, anxiety, anger, and full-blown conversations with kitchen appliances.
e.g. On day 46 of lockdown, Jane stood on her balcony and sang the entirety of Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, whilst eating a doughnut. She was having a wobble day.
Comfort order: Sliced raclette comtoise cheese.
Option 1: Posting an Edgar Allen Poe poem on your Instagram story as a cry for help. Option 2: Cheese. All of the cheese. Yes, when you find yourself getting a classic case of the sentimental weepies, we recommend ordering the raclette from Highbury’s La Fromagerie. And the comté. And the morbier. And of course, the sourdough too. This wine bar meets cheese shop is not only delivering a variety of excellent cheeses, but also one of our all time favourite bottles of affordable wine, their in-house red from south of Toulouse. Enjoy.
One Love Kitchen
Comfort order: Grilled jerk chicken wrap.
People say that love is all you need. That’s not true. You also need One Love Kitchen because last time we checked love can’t deliver you jerk chicken when you’re one inspirational ‘new normal’ bank advert away from smashing up your TV. A Caribbean market stall with spots in Crouch Hill, Fenchurch Street, and Maltby Street, their jerk chicken lunchtime wrap is what you really want to get involved in. Packed full of garlic and herb sauce and perfectly grilled, we’re yet to meet a bad day that can’t be made better by this £10 lunchtime hero.
Comfort order: French toast with blueberry compote & crème crue.
Sometimes you know it’s a wobble day before you’ve even opened your eyes. You lie there, big toe twitching, twelve minutes before your alarm is meant to go off, thinking, irrevocably, fuck this. Turn to Hide. More specifically, turn to their French toast that is basically like saying ‘not today satan’ in carbohydrate form. As well as London’s certified Best French Toast, this fine dining spot in Mayfair is also delivering their truffle croque monsieur, eggs benedict, and homemade crumpets.
Comfort order: Macau-style baked pork chop.
If you feel like you’ve been in a sort of conscious, eye-open coma for the past six months, then let us suggest you double down on that feeling in a big, béchamel-heavy way by ordering from Café TPT. The classic Chinatown diner offers a huge range of delicious dishes, from sweet and moist char siu pork on a bed of rice, to beef flank curry, to hot and sour soup. But the Macau-style pork chop on rice - chilli oil fried pork strips, on top of steamed rice, and covered in a coconut flaked, curry tasting, cheesy béchamel sauce with crunch onion for good measure - will make you forget your coma altogether. This is pure comfort.
Comfort order: Pie and potatoes.
Everyone craves something different when they’re feeling a bit meh. But potatoes, a sauce/gravy, and some like, cheese, cream, or unadulterated dairy are a constant, right? Not for everyone, no. But if you are simultaneously nodding and salivating, then let us direct you towards The Camberwell Arms delivery and takeaway offerings. The excellent south London gastropub is ticking lots of the cosy comfort food boxes. Beef, ale, and bone marrow pie: tick. Dauphinoise potatoes: tick. Celeriac, porcini, mascarpone pie: tick. A side of roast potatoes for good measure? Tick.
Comfort order: Chicken curry and rice.
Our favourite way to manage a wobble day is to wobble absolutely everything into our mouth via spoon from either on top of or under our duvet. The spoon is an important detail. Because not only is it the king or queen of cutlery, but because not every order allows such seamless horizontal self-feeding. But Indian Masala clearly get it. With their perfectly packed Tupperwares, their tender chicken curry, and their soft and spiced aloo gobi, this Bangladeshi spot is what you want when you don’t know what’s what.
Fish, Wings & Tings
Comfort order: Jerk chicken with a side of plantain.
It’s grey today. Hot water’s gone mid-shampoo. Fine. Still no answer to that email. Fine, fine. Upstairs doing their 9am Riverdance routine ft. Henry the Hoover. Fine, fine, fine. The nice bread has gone mouldy. Everything. Is. Fine. Only it isn’t of course, but that’s also fine. Embrace the not-fine-ness. Get on the sofa, don an XL hoodie, and order as much as you fiscally can from Fish, Wings & Tings. Our natural starting point is the jerk chicken, because the leg is enormous, moist, and covered in a spiced tamarind BBQ sauce. It’s a cosy blanket of a plate, and the same goes for the curried mutton, and stew oxtail.
Comfort order: Cheeseburger.
Hello. Hi. This is where we’d usually write some funny remark comparing a burger to a double-decker bus with the meat sweats. Or something. But you know what, we’re having a wobble day too. So all we’ve got in us is, burgers are nice. Eat a burger. Order from Meatliquor, and you can have some London’s best mac and cheese whilst you’re at it. They’re delivering from several of their branches across London and you can check your postcode here.
Comfort order: Taiwanese fried chicken bao.
What’s that? You know, that weird feeling? Is it hunger? Is it wind? Oh wait, no. Don’t worry. It’s just existential dread and the knowledge that what may have been the greatest year of your life has gone down the toilet. But, for the sake of sanity, why don’t you just call it hunger and splurge on one of the best takeaways around from Bao. It’s London’s best known Taiwanese restaurant and you can get it for delivery or pick up all over. The menu differs depending on location, but their fried chicken and peanut soft serve are mainstays.
Crosstown Doughnuts & Coffee
Comfort order: Doughnuts. All of the doughnuts.
You miss your friends. Like, physically miss them. Even that one that was always 40 minutes late because, apparently, a Tube rat assaulted them or something. But you know who else is your friend? Doughnuts. More specifically the 12-piece classic selection box from Crosstown Doughnuts. They’re delivering across London if you pre-order, and we’ve got our eye on the six-piece doughnut set that comes with a box of wine from St. John. Be a gem and send a selection to those friends you miss too.
Comfort order: Khachapuri.
Sorry, but do the words ‘gooey cheese-filled bread’ do anything for you? It worked, didn’t it. What was a diabolical headspace has become a slightly less, khachapuri-filled, diabolical headspace. We’re familiar with the feeling, and that’s why Little Georgia is also near the top of the list when we’re looking for a delicious cheesy and carby lift. The Georgian spot is delivering from its Hackney location and we’d recommend getting some blinis too.
Comfort order: A round of dim sum.
You’re outraged. Disgusted. Utterly livid. You just saw a pigeon frolic (FROLIC!) on the pavement with a bunch of other pigeons. No social distancing for you. Way to rub it in. Hope you had a nice time, you feathery shit. Yes, there comes a point in every person’s 2020 when you realise how depressing it is that you’re jealous of a pigeon because it’s still allowed to see its mates. But most pigeons we know don’t have access to exceptional dim sum and guess what, if you live around Queensway or Marylebone, you do. Royal China, home to some of our favourite peking duck and cheung fun, are delivering all of their signature dumplings.
Comfort order: Smokey robinson burger & fries.
Nope. Negative. It is not happening. You know that today is, for the most part, going to be a horizontal scrolling day. Dog memes, emotional overinvestment in Twitter spats, Mark and Jez - the lot. You should know that there’s absolutely no shame in that. Nor is there any shame in combining this attitude with a cheese-covered, caramelised onion-topped, juicy number from Patty & Bun, made by your own fair hands. Because if you’re going to achieve anything today, you may as well make it delicious and burger-shaped.
Comfort order: London’s best cacio e pepe.
Your milk goes off today. You have taken that as a clear and definitive sign that you should text your ex. Why? 2020. Things stopped making sense the ugly side of March. Rather than relying on the expiry dates of inanimate dairy products to decide your mood, order in what is effectively a hug, in the form of La Mia Mamma’s set menu. It includes a selection of antipasti, the best cacio e pepe in London, and their daily dessert for £25. And no, you’re not going to message your ex.
Comfort order: Manti.
The birds are singing, the sun is shining, but when you stare out the window all you see is Mordor. Maybe you shouldn’t have listened to The Wicker Man soundtrack in bed last night. Whatever. There’s nothing warm flatbread, babaganush, calamari, and a kebab can’t sort out. Seriously. If you’re not feeling that great, then Gökyüzü is the way to go. The juicy charcoal grilled kofte, or aubergine, with salad-y meze bits on the side never fails to cheer us up. It’s hearty, healthy, and always a huge shout.
Comfort order: The shiitake mushroom bao.
You, in your bedroom at 2pm, singing along to the A Star Is Born soundtrack. Again: ′Crash through the surface, where they can’t hurt us, we’re far from each other now, in the quara-quara-quarantine, in the quara-quara-quarantine’. Okay, for the sake of your own self-esteem and your neighbour’s sanity, fill your mouth with the kind of bao that’ll give you the strength to put that microphone (hairbrush) down. The shiitake mushroom bao from all-round sweetheart-of-a-restaurant Mr Bao is our favourite in London, and you should definitely get involved in their fried chicken and dumplings. They’re delivering from Peckham.
Comfort order: The TSB.
Yard Sale has fast become one of north London’s (and our own) most reliable friends thanks to their enormous 18-inch pizzas with the chewy centres and crusty crusts. That isn’t the greatest description of all time, but you know what, we’re allowed to have off days too. The point is that one of these satellite dish-sized bad boys - either covered with parmesan and tenderstem broccoli, or juicy Italian sausage - will turn your off da into an on day.
Comfort order: Handmade pasta.
Remember your week one wobble days that involved a tub of ice cream and binging Tiger King. Sweet memories. It’s time to distract yourself with a hit of fresh, handmade pasta. And antipasti. And Aperol. Lina Stores are delivering all of the above, as well as bread, desserts, and homemade sauces. Plus, prepping their pappardelle bolognese will come as a welcome distraction.
Comfort order: A round of oysters and a casual glass of wine.
Sure, you could confront your feelings and the general sensation that the world is falling apart one trip to Durham at a time. Or, you could completely avoid everything that’s happening outside your window and eat oysters instead. The haters (our therapists) might call this dissociation. We call it dinner time. Hit up The Oystermen for whole steamed native lobster, whole cooked Dorset crab, wine, and of course, oysters. Heads up, they’re delivering across London.
Comfort order: Spaghetti carbonara.
Sometimes, despite all your instincts and lack of personal hygiene, you have to be proactive. Yes, you could stay under your duvet all day, nibbling chocolate digestives, and gently weeping as Jeff Buckley soundtracks Marissa from The OC’s final moments. Or, you could get some fresh air. Stick some headphones in. And head central for a change of scene. Towards Circolo Popolare for an order of prosciutto, pizza, and - oh yes - that towering lemon meringue pie. Funk, sorted.