Hot and Dry Noodles, MarketSam Perry


The Cambridge Market is a blessing for those attending central colleges or who find themselves travelling across Cambridge in the late morning to mid afternoon. Favourite among the many varying options are Africfood, a stall offering nutritious and filling Nigerian food in many different formats including mixed boxes, the vegan variation of which includes jollof, boiled black-eyed beans, yam and fried plantain on top. Bird Thai Noodle Bar, known also as just the Thai food truck, and the seemingly permanent queue which demonstrate its popularity, offer a quick and well-priced lunch, with Zi Ling of CUSEAS recommending the no.2 (Fried chicken with rice) in particular. Jian Bing House offers sterling Bánh mì and Scallion Pancakes as well as the Jianbing from which the stall derives its name but my favourite is the Hot Dry Noodles, vegan as each menu item can be. For £5.50 you get a bowl of noodles with a spicy soy and sesame based sauce, all topped with chilli, coriander and chives to cut through the richness, resulting in an immensely sustaining and warming lunch. Mormor’s Swedish Kitchen is a new addition to the Cambridge market landscape and while offering at present a limited menu, a Kardemummarbullar (cardamon roll) goes down a treat before a particularly gruelling library session or as a reward for the completion of one. Azuma is a purveyor of Malaysian and Japanese cuisine, also seemingly always behind a large queue that is worth navigating for dishes like Bak Kut Teh and Nyonya (Malay-Chinese) Curry rice that are not available elsewhere.

Honourable Mentions: Arepa Station, Shelley and Sarah’s, Eastern European Cuisine, Pinchito

Mill Road

Arjuna Wholefoods on Mill Road, the real co-opSam Perry

Often lauded as the best escape from the student bubble, the reality of Mill road is much more complex, and that it is so is evident from the first restaurant one comes across on doing battle with Mill Road. While I’m sure that the small plates, and the tasting menu at newly opened ‘Fin Boys’ deliver on its promises, it serves as a paradigmatic example of the kind of new ‘bubbling food and drink scene’ in Cambridge. The role that food plays in this transformation is evident from Eliane Thoma-Stemmet’s article, on the subject in which she is told by one shopkeeper that ‘It’s becoming a food place. The old shops can’t last anymore.’ While the lifespan of the Costa Coffee mentioned in Thoma-Stemmet’s article was short-lived, supermarkets now take up space on both sides of the bridge on a street blessed with international supermarkets far superior.

“Often lauded as the best escape from the student bubble, the reality of Mill road is much more complex”

Understanding this shift from shops and services to cafes and restaurants does not mean one should not visit the excellent restaurants Mill Road has to offer, but rather, it is worth being aware of this when on returning you need some groceries and are confronted between a choice between Ocean, Cho Mee, Al-Amin, Arjuna Wholefoods, Seoul plaza or the two Co-ops, Sainsburies or the Tesco Express. One is also confronted painfully with the harsh reality of the staff shortages facing the hospitality industry most pressingly on Mill Road, with many of the restaurants in this list adopting signs in the window advertising the need for staff. Mill Road then acts less and less as an escape and more of a sign of the depressing reality of living in Nadine Dorries’ cultural landscape.


Mountain View

Lifestyle Reviews: Isolation Café

With that being said, Noodles Plus + 八方小厨 serve excellent Xiao Long Bao at 6 for as many pounds, radish and vermicelli filled steamed buns that bring immense umami satisfaction, 15 dumplings for as little as five pounds and some outstanding noodles with scallion oil and soy sauce for the same price. Bibimbap House performs particularly well when tasked with Bibimbap and Kimbap (often compared to Japanese maki inasmuch as it is vegetable in rice in seaweed), leaving room for Little Seoul Restaurant on Regent Street whose Bulgogi shines. Shakshuka from Bedouin is a delight, as is the Betenjal bel tahina (Grilled Aubergine flavoured with chilli, garlic, coriander, tahini, pomegranate and toasted sesame).

Honourable Mentions: Eclipse, Modigliani, Tradizioni, Little Petra, Edge café, Café Blue Sage, Liutaio Music Restaurant, Kingston Arms, Carlos BBQ, Garden kitchen, Tom’s cakes, Urban Larder