Food & Drink

Food blogger out to find London’s best eateries — on a budget

A popular Instagrammer and blogger from south west London is determined to continue uncovering London’s best budget meals after recently celebrating her website’s two year anniversary.

Leyla Kazim, who lives near Colliers Wood, has more than 100,000 followers on her page The Cutlery Chronicles.

Growing up on a colourful blend of her parents Mediterranean and Mauritian cuisines, combining her love of food and travel seems only natural for Leyla.

Describing the moment when she hit that momentous milestone, Leyla said: “It was a long time coming! I was very pleased. I was so close to it for so long I kind of knew it was going to happen.”

Alongside regularly blogging and uploading posts of mouth-watering meals, her current project, food budget website London Cheap Eats, has also just celebrated its second anniversary.

Unlike other meal deal websites London Cheap Eats only lists places £8 and under, ranging from street food stalls to plentiful multi sharing dishes, which are all ranked using the Four F’s: Fresh, Filling, Frugal and For a Friend.

Inspired whilst on her eight month travelling trip in 2015, Leyla realised her love for eating out would be less frequent once she returned home.

She said: “I really still wanted to eat out in and around London but I still wanted to eat in good places that are cheap and I realised there’s nowhere that has a record for where these places are.

“I did some research and realised nothing like this existed, so whilst in a hotel in Thailand I secured the URL for London Cheap Eats.”

On the concept of the website, Leyla added: “We try and cover places that do dishes that would cover for a full meal. Like it wouldn’t be somewhere that does a burger for £8, it would be a place that does a burger and chips for £8.”

London Cheap Eats officially launched in 2016 with around 50 recommendations, and now has over 270 places listed.

Leyla also revealed her motivation to launch London Cheap Eats was to encourage Londoners to try more independent restaurants other than well-known chain restaurants.

Having eaten in countless restaurants and cafes across the world and in London, Leyla revealed how she chooses where to dine next, saying: “My stomach leads the way so I tend to visit places where I want to try the cuisine. That influences where I go a lot.

“Social media is great way to discover new places to try by following people who eat out frequently, even if I don’t personally know them I will go out my way to research it a bit more.”

Having been a resident of South West London for several years, Leyla has plenty of places to suggest when trying somewhere new to eat.

Pop-up mall Boxpark in Croydon contains several independent street food and beverage companies, while Latin American café Restaurante Santafereno in Brixton earned praise for their home-cooked meals and soup plus main dish deal.

In 2018, Leyla is hoping The Cutlery Chronicles website will feature more video content.

She said: “It takes a lot of practise and time and I really want to get really good at it. There are many self-teach YouTube videos so I just use that. You should do something that you really enjoy.”

On the best way to find a cheap place eat on the day in London or abroad in 2018, Leyla said: “Try to find out from the locals where the best places to eat are, especially abroad.

“If you see where builders go for a cup of tea for lunch or after work, those places are usually the best to go for somewhere good and cheap.”

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