Having turned heads over the past few years with her brand of heartfelt and infectious soul, Qendresa’s been busy holding down her NTS Radio show and DJ’ing for rising star Jimothy Lacoste. We sat down with Qendresa to get the full scoop on the best food spots her neighbourhood has to offer.
So to start off, do you perhaps want to give yourself a little introduction?
Hi I’m Qendresa, I’m a singer, producer and DJ – I’m going to be taking you around my favourite food spots in my area tour of my neighbourhood, Kilburn – North West London.
Have you always lived in Kilburn?
I lived there since I was born, basically. I moved out for about seven years – but now I’m back again!
You couldn’t stay away eh?
Nuh uh. It’s a love and hate relationship.
How is Kilburn for good places to eat and drink?
It’s really good, it’s got a multitude of cultures – so there’s a big selection of different types of food. It’s also really affordable which is nice.
What are the main cultural cuisines you’d find there?
You get a lot of Asian food, a lot of Thai food, Turkish grills, and a bunch of fast food.
Are there a lot of staples in the neighborhood? Or is it somewhere that a lot of new, jazzier places have opened up?
There’s quite a lot of places that have just stayed open for ages. Not that much in terms of new places, there’s a pretty new cafe which has just opened up – it looks quite funny on the old Kilburn High Road. No Pret A Manger’s thankfully..
So where are some of your favourite food spots?
A lot of people from the area always hit up Spicy Basil. It’s a Thai spot. You basically get a massive plate of tasty authentic food, for like £5.50. It’s got all the classics, Pad Thai etc. That’s the go to place for the hangover etc. Their line is always busy, so if you try calling on Friday evening to order, forget it – they’re not going to pick up.
Oh there’s a really good Indian place called Bawarchi too. They’re not on Deliveroo or anything, and they’ve had the same workers since we were kids who kind of remember you. They’ve still got their old ways of working which is cool to see, the food amazing and really cheap.
What’s your order?
Depends. They have a flat po phun noodles, with basil, chilli and garlic with king prawns. It’s heavy.
Any other places we should know about?
There’s also Kaipiras by Barraco. It’s a Brazillian restaurant, kind of hidden away on a back road. So not many people know about it. It’s amazing, really good food for a good price. They do Caipirinha’s for £3.50. Good bang for your buck.
There’s a cool spot in Notting Hill called Books For Cooks, which is a cookbook spot. You have to try and get there before 11 on the weekend, but they do a 3 course meal for £6.50. All really good stuff. They pick a book off the wall, pick a recipe and get going they do a starter, main course and these amazing cakes – they come with a kind of yoghurt thing on them. So good!