Cook's NestSam Perry

Bananaleaf comes recommended by Roshni of the Cambridge University Sri Lanka Society and Kirish of the Tamil Society, offering food from South India and Sri Lanka. Enthusiastic in my ordering, unperturbed by the warning about the sheer amount of food coming and hungry from the walk to Milton Road, dinner at Bananaleaf was a delight. My personal favourite menu item was the koththu roti, available at varying spice levels with different accompanying vegetables or meats to the chopped paratha, but koththu with string hopper or pittu instead of paratha are also available. My love for paratha was also well catered for in its own dedicated menu section, while various dosa form the bulk of the House Specials, all of which are as satiating and delicious as they are intimidating when they turn up first as one of the 4 dishes you have ordered for 2 people.

The Cook’s Nest is home, admittedly one on wheels, to the best gyros in Cambridge and what they lack in permanence is made up for with flavour. Found in various locations through the week, but always between 6pm and 9.30pm between Tuesday and Saturday under the bridge on Walnut Tree avenue, this food truck may not look out of place on the liminal places bot, but The Cook’s Nest’s great strength though is it knows exactly where its space lies.

“A silver lining of lockdown was the pivoting of chef to pizzaiolo from Oscar who now runs the eponymous Oscar’s Lockdown Pizza”

The menu is uncomplicated; pork, chicken, Greek sausage and halloumi gyros are all £6.50 and a gyro without meat (a patatopita) is £4.50. For this price you receive a perfectly toasted, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, pitta bread filled with a mountain of well-seasoned oregano and paprika chips, tzatziki, onion and tomato (for health) as well as the filling of choice. After this process comes an effort to make the gyro look as if it could be eaten straightforwardly, an effort only less ridiculous than your expression that you do in fact need a bag because you don’t plan on eating it straight away. For those craving another experience of the pita, an additional one is available as a side with paprika and oregano or with tyrokafteri, tzatziki or houmous, with the same accompaniments available with chips as well. The Cook’s Nest experience is only soured then by the inevitable chip you’ll lose on Midsummer Common on an overly ambitious bite.

Oscar's Lockdown PizzaSam Perry

Honourable Mentions: Hakka Chinese Seafood Restaurant, Stir, Barbarella, Kerb Kollective, Dulcedo, Cambridge Cookery + Café


A silver lining of lockdown was the pivoting of chef to pizzaiolo from Oscar who now runs the eponymous Oscar’s Lockdown Pizza. The atmosphere and company in which one eats are proven to be influential in the enjoyment of a meal, and while only a takeaway business, meaning that much of this is out of Oscar’s control, it is a testament to the quality of his pizzas that I thoroughly enjoyed eating his first pizza.


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This took place during the long first forty minutes of England’s semi-final against Denmark in the comfort of my own room halfway through a ten day quarantine, but the pizza was notable for much more than just not being the fried aubergine “katsu” I was brought from the college on previous nights. The sourdough base had a springiness I had never before experienced while the simple toppings on my vegan margherita shone in perfect balance, the cashew-based vegan cheese alternative bringing a creaminess without the overpowering attempt at a cheese flavour that vegan pizzas are often dogged with. The attention to detail is also clear in the vegan tarragon and garlic mayo dip that comes with each pizza, a far superior version of the Dominos crust dip, and it is notable that with each bite, each ingredient can be tasted. There are of course many more adventurous pizzas available, with meat and vegan specials coming and going, all of which reflect the meticulousness of Oscar’s craft. Since writing, Oscar has also started serving pizzas at the Blue Moon pub on Norfolk Street.

Honourable Mentions: Aunty Pam’s