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Let Us Recommend Where You Should Eat In London This Week

Silk Road means you'll eat well in Camberwell.

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Silk Road is a Xinjiangese Chinese restaurant which until only fairly recently hadn't even bothered producing an English menu or hanging an English sign outside.

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Meaning it was very easy to walk past the steamed-up windows of an evening, wondering what on earth was going within. Well, let me tell you.

First of all, what on earth is Xinjianese?

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Briefly, food from Xinjiang province in China. Famous for charcoal-grilled kebabs, the liberal use of cumin, and lots of chilli to keep you warm through those northern Chinese winters.

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Bring your friends.

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Food like this is always best in a group, and gathering together six or eight of your closest also means you can reserve one of the large bench tables to yourselves. Ideal when noodles and elbows start flying.

So, where do I start?

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After ordering a round of Tsingtao beers, the first thing you want to try are the cumin lamb skewers. These must be eaten hot straight from the coals, before the cubes of fat have a chance to cool down (lamb fat is always best eaten hot). Alongside them, order some of the fried dumplings at £3 for 10 – if you're lucky you may spot them being painstakingly made by hand in a room at the back.

What next?

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It's a big menu, and all of it is good, but there are a few dishes that you can't leave without trying. Home-style cabbage is a plate of thick leaves of soft cabbage, silky with soy and chilli (as well as, I think, some pork stock – it's not listed as vegetarian, at any rate): You will never look at cabbage in the same way again. And the double-cooked pork is another standout – tender chunks of soft pig in a sweet/salty sauce.

Loosen your belts.

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The signature dish is the Belt Chicken, the hearty, spicy centrepiece to any meat eater's Silk Road meal. In a vast bathtub of a bowl swim chunks of chicken on the bone studded with star anise, large halved boiled potatoes, and – of course – plenty of red chillies. This is wonderful enough in itself, but after you've picked all the best bits of chicken out, a waiter will dump into the tub (sorry, bowl) a load of "belt" (named due to their width) noodles, to soak up all the heavenly star anise/chilli/chicken stock.

What's the damage?

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Even if you go completely mad on the beer (and it's tempting when you've gone for some of the more chillified dishes) I've never known the bill be more than £20/head, and it's is often much less. So you can eat some of London's best regional Chinese cooking for about the same as it costs go see Star Wars at the Imax. And while you definitely should go and see Star Wars, you should also definitely go to Silk Road – a Camberwell gem.

Every week we'll recommend a new place to eat in London. Let us know in the comments where you think we should feature next!

Rebecca Hendin/BuzzFeed

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