Filika is situated at the top of Wanstead High Street, across the road from Wanstead tube station, opposite a Marks and Spencer food hall and Wetherspoons The George. Ideal for a cheap drink beforehand and picking up a nibble for the way home if you’re still peckish.
Two of us arrived early and indulged in a pre-lunch G&T in the pub before the third member of our group arrived.
Filika is a Mediterranean restaurant offering a good value set lunch for £12.95. This proved popular with the well-heeled lunching ladies of Wanstead whose husbands were probably having a cheap pint in Wetherspoons.
Having ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (reasonably priced at £23.95), a complimentary, and generously full bread basket arrived with excellent hummus. We all chose a different starter so we could share: felafel (which handily came as a portion of three), tabouleh (which required teeth checking afterwards for green parsley) and aubergine ratatouille.
From the several main dishes listed, two of us opted for lamb kofte (four generous patties of delicious spiced, minced lamb) whilst the third had sea bream. All came with a reasonable sized portion of rice and a dressed simple salad. The star was a fiery home-made chilli sauce, which I loved. Only one could manage a pudding, three large scoops of ice cream, which we could all have easily shared.
Just as the last mouthful of ice-cream was being devoured, the heavens opened, and we were trapped – this was the torrential downpour after several weeks of strong sunshine. The street was flooded and cars soaked unsuspecting pedestrians scuttling along as fast as they could, and across the road, a man in a sand-banked M&S was trying valiantly to keep water out with a broom. We decided our best policy was to sit it out with a second bottle of wine, and subsequently coffee.
We eventually made a dash for it, decided not to pop into Marks as we’d originally intended and made our way through the street stream to the tube. My 30-minute journey home through sodden streets took nearly two hours, which literally put a slight dampener on what had been a splendid lunch.