Eat your way through the credit crunch - bring your own booze! £5 bottles of wine in hand we bring you our guide to the best of the BYOs.
The outfit: Bintang, 93 Kentish Town Road, NW1 020 7813 3393
The hours of business: 5.30-11.30 daily
The bottom-line: An intimate (read: tiny) Indonesian cafe-restaurant done out like a bamboo hut. A good selection of Indonesian staples on the menu, buttressed by pan-Asian dishes.
The local market: A short trot from Camden tube or Kentish Town overground, Bintang is in a great spot at the south end of the main Kentish Town drag, ideal if you require some value-for-money nosh after taking in the excellent local watering holes. Via the sauce aisle at the nearby Tesco Express, of course.
The bread, chips and gravy: We kicked off with a Bintang platter between three, enjoying morsels of chicken satay, tuna pakoras, crispy seaweed and prawn toast. A delicious Roti Chanai astounded with freshly baked bread to smother in a fresh and delicious, yogurty dip. One main course baffled - Ayam Gili Gili - henceforth known as 'Glittery Chicken', which consisted of batter-coated fried chicken pieces in an intense, sticky cream heaving with garlic. We gallantly polished off half of the generous serving among us, but all memories of that dubious dish were obliterated by a sturdy Ebus Rendang (curried lamb on the bone, with rich aniseed flavours) and more chicken satay. We got carried away and ordered delicious curried chickpeas and pak choi on the side, as well as plenty of rice, all of which stood up well.
A capital choice for... A guilt-free, mid-week indulgence with friends when you can face neither a barren fridge nor the collected takeaway-menu debris by the front door. At busier times, the small proportions of Bintang make prior booking essential.
The damage: £53.90 including service & corkage, corkage is a £2 flat charge per party (of up to 10 people), average price per head at around £15.
By Carolyn Butler & Lindsey Clarke. Image by Dean Nicholas.