Sunny’s Spicy Noodle Cafe, day before it Tier 4 closed - a model for how we should be doing things and not just talking about what’s in the bowls! Respecting what was before, and evolving. You cannot paint restaurants with one brush, they are like little worlds. Especially the old ones it’s the history inside, look up at the walls.

Sunny took over this English Breakfast Cafe in Balham 19 yrs ago - decided to keep the menu half-English for the customers before. "I’ve seen people as kids come back with their partners, then babies. And people die too". No one comes in there without a nod and catchup before scanning the paper. "We're not trendy like Gails", he laughs. Eat where the builders go.

"We’re surviving" - always been surviving, upward against grain and actually Covid’s just a new turn. Being self-sufficient not gov. sufficient, respecting traditions and blending the new with the old; open 6.45am 3.45pm, dodged the curfew, Eat Out To Help Out - don’t be silly, Sunny’s done what’s best because he knows.

On the Lure of the Underground 80s paintings now a shower curtain shows - another layer of history to later unroll. Batts sauce and ketchup rubbing shoulders with the soy and chilli oil, school dinner double burger egg and chips, wonton soup with a side of hashbrowns or hot custard apple pie - takeaway coffee, fresh aloe vera and kit-kats in the fridge.

"What happens when the older generation retire?" Without these old school migrant heartbeats connecting us will London become dull and cold? Accessibility vs sustainability, ‘Cheap Eats’ pigeon hole (listen to @shoesoffau 🎙!) or is now a chance to break the mould?

“We all have a part to play” ( in dining. It's not about 'saving' but learning as we evolve. Soak and pass on the stories, seek the nuances when you eat out & remember to look up at the walls ❤

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