Honest Burgers – Spitalfields

Our team night out from work this evening ended at Honest Burgers, Spitalfields.

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Honest burger at Honest Burgers Spitalfields

 

Good burgers made from prime beef are all the rage and they’re not hard to find. I do wonder how all the big burger chains manage to differentiate themselves. But somehow they seem to.

My honest burger @ £10.50 made from dry aged beef packed with red onion relish, smoked bacon, mature cheddar, pickled cucumber (gherkin) and lettuce was meaty, juicy, tasty and *amazing*. Pleasingly, the bread bun was smaller than usual so it wasn’t over-facing.

It’s the onion rings that really stand out though – they remind me more of my homemade onion bhajis than regular onion rings, in that the batter contains fennel seeds providing a subtle aniseed flavour.

I had also ordered a portion of apple, beetroot and red cabbage coleslaw @ £3.00. It sounded delicious but it never arrived at the table. Not even when I chased it with the server. Which was probably a good thing, as I was full.

 

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Spitalfields restaurant – wooden interior

 

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Aha, mystery of the missing coleslaw solved…. Found spilt on the stairs on a trip to the loo (definitely don’t want it now…Just being ‘honest’)

 

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Honest menu

 

The verdict: Good honest burger. Just what it says on the tin.

 

Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
– Type: Burgers
– Address: 12 Widegate St, London
– Postcode: E1 7HP
– Nearest station: Liverpool Street Station
– Website + menus: Honest Burgers website
– Photos on flickr: Honest Burgers images
– Map: Honest Burgers Spitalfields

 

Honest Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

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Hungry Donkey Greek Kitchen – Petticoat Lane

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Cosy Greek cafe serving all-day breakfasts and Greek favourites from moussaka and souvlaki pitas to filo pastry pies and strapatsada (cheesy scrambled eggs and tomatoes).

I was walking along Wentworth Street in London’s Spitalfields district on a freezing cold winter’s day, when I first noticed the newly opened Hungry Donkey and was immediately tempted by the vegetarian all-day breakfast, and drawn to the small, cosy space as I peered in through the window.

A couple of days later R and I visited for lunch. Service was welcoming and helpful from the moment we stepped into the warmth. On asking the waitress about the all-day veggie breakfast, she went the extra mile not only talking me through that, but other vegetarian options too (I didn’t have the heart at that point to mention that I was also tempted by some of the meaty dishes, like lamb moussaka and skewered meat ‘souvlaki’ pitas. Next time).

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Interior – simple style – light and bright with two corner walls of glass + low-hanging lights

On this first visit, I had a vegetarian all day breakfast in a sourdough sandwich @ £4.75 and grilled halloumi @ £1.00, while R had a souvlaki sausage pita @ £6.50 with grilled halloumi @ £1.00. All ingredients are carefully sourced and meat is from animals raised in a sustainable, ethical manner, with Aubrey Allen butchers named as a supplier (“Sausage is wild boar, pork and leek. The wild boar are free-range and are reared in an ideal and unique surrounding on Mount Olympus, Greece, by the Fotiadis family”. Appealing, no?).

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All day breakfast – sourdough sandwich

That we visited again a few days later clearly says how much we enjoyed it. On our second visit, the cafe was full (already a popular lunchtime spot with the locals). I had strapatsada – scrambled eggs with fresh tomato and Cretan mizithra cheese on bread @ £6.00 (ok, let’s just get this out there: it might look a bit like sick but it tastes great) with a side of grilled halloumi @ £4.00, and R had a souvlaki pork pita wrap served with tomato, tzatziki, onion and paprika @ £6.00 with extra grilled halloumi @ £1.00.

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Egg strapatsada – scrambled egg with tomato and Cretan cheese on bread

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Souvlaki pork pita with halloumi – with tomato, tzatziki, onions + paprika

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The Greek Kitchen area at Hungry Donkey

We’ve tried red (Manolesakis estate exis 2014 @ £4.25), white (Theodorakos estate kydonitsa, laconia 2011 @ £5.25) and rose (Gaia 14-18H agiorgitiko 2014 @ £5.00) wines by the glass so far – all of which really are Greek to me. But more importantly, all perfectly drinkable.

The verdict: Great food and wines (more posh-nosh-cafe than greasy-spoon) served in a cosy, light and airy space, with welcoming, helpful service. Keep an eye on the Hungry Donkey website for evening events like Greek craft beer and food pairings or spit roast feasts.

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Food menu

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Drinks menu

More of the menu – last updated 17 Jan 2017:

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Manouri and ladotyri cheeseballs with thyme, honey and boukovo chilli @ £6.00

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Plate me up: spit roast lamb with hand-cut, skin-on chips, cherry tomatoes + tzatziki @ £13.50

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Eggs pastourma @ £8.00

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Moussaka @ £12.00

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Breakfast eggs with tomatoes and peppers @ £6.50

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: Greek
~ Address: 56 Wentworth Street, London (Off Petticoat Lane Market)
~ Postcode: E1 7AL
~ Nearest station: Aldgate East, Aldgate, Liverpool Street
~ Website + menus: Hungry Donkey website
~ Photos on flickr: Hungry Donkey Greek Kitchen images
~ Location: Hungry Donkey Greek Kitchen map

Hungry Donkey Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Taberna do Mercado – Spitalfields

Portuguese tapas in East London

C and I went to Taberna do Mercado for a light lunch during our lunch break (so had limited time). Arriving at the entrance in Old Spitalfields Market, we walked through the inviting covered terrace area and into the main restaurant, which is light and appealingly simple: lots of wood, not a table cloth in sight (I have an irrational dislike of table cloths), low-hanging lights and sturdy shelving displaying Portuguese products like bottles of oil, tinned fish, and wines, etc.

 

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Welcome to Taberna do Mercado – canopy extension

 

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Informal dining space inside Taberna do Mercado
 

We ordered four dishes and although our waitress told us to order more (that four wouldn’t be enough, and suggested another small plate, perhaps some protein) we decided to stick with just four, with the option of ordering another later if needed.

All four dishes were beautifully presented and were more than enough for lunch: a big bowl of green bean fritters @ £5.00, Terrincho Velho mature cheese made from sheep’s milk with toasted sourdough @ £8.00, ‘tinned cod’ in a red pepper paste served in a tin with wafer-thin pickled cauliflower and sourdough @ £8.00 and a spicy chicory salad special with almonds @ £6.00. All really, really tasty and unique.

 

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Green bean fritters @ £5.00

 

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Terrincho velho mature cheese – from sheep’s milk, with toasted sourdough @ £8.00

 

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‘Tinned cod’ – Cod with fermented red pepper paste served in a tin with toasted sourdough and pickled cauliflower @ £6.00

 

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Chicory salad special – spicy, with almonds @ £6.00

 

There’s an excellent selection of Portuguese wines – I had a glass of Quinta do Ameal vinho verde (dry white wine) @ £6.00.

 

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Main restaurant area at Taberna do Mercado

 

The verdict: Excellent and affordable food, in an informal and appealing space. Service was slightly off (in that our waitress told us – rather than suggested – to order more, without checking how much we wanted to eat for lunch). I’ll go back when I’m not restricted on time, as this is the kind of place to eat shared food leisurely and linger.

 

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: Portuguese
~ Address: 107b Commercial Street, Old Spitalfields Market, London
~ Postcode: E1 6BG
~ Nearest station: Liverpool Street, Shoreditch High Street, Aldgate East
~ Website + menus: Taberna do Mercado website
~ Photos on flickr: Taberna do Mercado food photos
~ Location: Taberna do Mercado map

 

Taberna do Mercado Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ottolenghi Spitalfields

Walking along Artillery Lane, Spitalfields the other lunchtime, C and I spotted a newly opened branch of Ottolenghi (serving Mediterranean food and with an appealing cake display). We decided spontaneously to eat there.

Here’s the lunch menu from that particular day.

 

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3 salads: roasted aubergine + almonds (at back); chargrilled broccoli (left); roasted sweet potato (front)

 
We both ordered a lunchtime small salad (selection of three salads) @ £11.50.

I chose these three salads and they were gorgeous (original and exciting; not your bog standard salads by any means):
~ roasted aubergine with sorrel yoghurt, turmeric pickled radish, spring onion + almonds (at back)
~ chargrilled (crunchy) broccoli with chilli + garlic
~ roasted sweet potato with burnt aubergine yoghurt, basil, caramel seeds + nuts

 

Mixed salad #2
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3 salads: chargrilled broccoli; roasted sweet potato; mixed beans

 
And C had
~ chargrilled broccoli with chilli + garlic
~ roasted sweet potato with burnt aubergine yoghurt, basil, caramel seeds + nuts
~ mixed green beans with broad beans, peas, toasted coconut, mint + lemon

 

To drink, I had a small Spanish Sameiras Blanco (an excellent dry white wine that went well with the salad flavours) and C had a Cheverny rosé wine (@ £6.50 each). The wine selection was unusual and we were both pleased with our choices.

 

Appealing cake display
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Lemon + mascarpone tarts – really disgusting (inedible, vile pastry tasted of lard)

 

I bought two lemon and mascarpone tarts @ £3.50 each to take home (intended to be a treat for K). Unfortunately, when we bit into them that evening, K’s face immediately creased up and he spat his mouthful out. The pastry was just vile (it had an unpleasant lard flavour to it, as if it had soaked up the flavour of something it shouldn’t have). One seriously disappointed K! While this may have been unlucky and a one-off accident, I won’t be buying any cakes from Ottolenghi for a long while, if ever again.

The verdict: Great salads and wines, shame about the cake.

 
Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3 / 5
~ Type: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
~ Address: 50 Artillery Lane, Spitalfields, London
~ Postcode: E1 7LJ
~ Nearest station: Liverpool Street, Aldgate, Aldgate East
~ Website + menus: Ottolenghi website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Ottolenghi
~ Location: Ottolenghi map

 

Ottolenghi on Urbanspoon

Habibi Sushi Spitalfields – CLOSED

Conveyor belt sushi in East London

Habibi (an Arabic term of endearment, like darling, baby or love) Sushi is a small Japanese-style restaurant on an alley (or ginnel) near Spitalfields market, where you can pick small plates off a conveyor belt and order hot dishes too.

L and I met for lunch here today, our last meet up before Christmas (taking care to avoid yet another turkey dinner) and it was fairly quiet.


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Tempura on conveyor belt, spicy aubergine @ £1.95, mixed sashimi @ £5.05


Current plate prices:
~ silver @ £1.95 – the likes of veggie temaki rolls, spicy aubergine salad
~ pink @ £2.60 – prawn nigiri, California rolls, etc
~ orange @ £3.50 – tuna nigiri, chicken katsu
~ yellow @ £3.95 – spicy tuna maki, mackerel or seabass sashimi
~ blue @ £4.75 – mixed nigiri, tuna sashimi, crab tempura temaki rolls
~ purple @ £5.05 – assorted salmon + tuna nigiri, Habibi sashimi mix


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Conveyor belt sushi – octopus nigiri, California rolls, etc


It may not be authentic Japanese but the food was mostly good (aside from the tuna sashimi which was a bit tough and stringy, and partly inedible) and delivery was very speedy – our hot dish orders (vegetable gyoza @ £1.95, chicken gyoza @ £3.50 + chicken katsu @ £3.95) arrived almost immediately.

The verdict: one of very few independent sushi places in the area (getting my vote – in part – for this reason) where you can dine in or take away. Good choices, good service. I’m most likely to return for take away.


Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Type: Japanese, sushi
~ Address: 7A Artillery Lane, London
~ Postcode: E1 7LJ
~ Tel: 020 7247 5290
~ Nearest station: Liverpool Street, Aldgate
~ Website + menus: Habibi Sushi website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Habibi Sushi food
~ Location: Habibi Sushi map


Habibi Sushi on Urbanspoon

KERB street food – Spitalfields

KERB comes to Old Spitalfields market in E1 on the first Wednesday of the month

From 11am – 3pm on the first Wednesday of every month, KERBanists set up street food stalls on Lamb Street at the back of Old Spitalfields market in Tower Hamlets, selling a range of culinary treats stemming from all over Europe and as far afield as the Middle East, Korea and the USA.


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KERBanists: Kimchinary, Kooky Bakes, Jamon Jamon Paella, Capish

More photos of KERB at Spitalfields here>>>



Food stalls include the likes of:
~ Capish creators of Italian-American tomato-ey meatball sandwiches
~ Falafel Al-Hooriya serving up traditional Gazan falafel in Arabic flat bread (vegan)
~ Jamon Jamon Paella making Valenciana + seafood paella
~ Kimchinary serving spicy Korean burritos (pulled pork, ox cheek, sauteed aubergine)
~ Kooky Bakes offering whoopie pies (salted caramel, strawberry cheesecake), brownies + small batch baking delights …you’d best be quick!
~ Miss P’s Barbecue cooking up barbecued fish + meat, served in a sandwich or skinny


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Kimchinary’s Korean burritos – pulled pork + kimchi


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Lightly toasted on the outside before serving – slightly crispy, sealing all the sloppy-tastiness inside


This Korean burrito from Kimchinary was full of moist, slow-cooked pulled pork, spicy and sour kimchi (prepare for the endorphin rush!) and crunchy veggies, and grilled before serving which crisps up the outer layer of the burrito and seals in all the lovely sloppy contents.

Made fresh and served hot, this burrito @ £6.00 wasn’t exactly the cheapest lunchtime sandwich but Kimchinary had the longest queue on my visit, appearing to be the most popular stall.


The verdict: nice and spacious food market with a sufficient variety of stalls – shame it’s only here once a month.


Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Type: Street food market
~ Address: Lamb Street, London
~ Postcode: E1
~ Nearest tube stations: Liverpool Street, Aldgate East (or Shoreditch High Street – Overground)
~ Websites: KERB + Spitalfields
~ Photos on flickr: images of KERB at Spitalfields


RELATED LINKS
Nearby street food markets:
~ Goulston Street food court
~ World Food Market at Devonshire Square




		

	

Pho – Vietnamese Spitalfields

“Pho Spitalfields is situated in an old rickety three-floored house minutes from Liverpool St Station, Brick Lane and the markets. The uneven lines of this building reminded us very much of the old houses of Hanoi home to many a restaurant. Check out the first floor for a more cosy room and takeaway counter” – so says the fitting description of Pho Spitalfields on their website (here).

One of eleven branches (as of May 2014), the Spitalfields restaurant is indeed in a rickety, quaint old building, with a cosy first floor containing small wooden tables and chairs reminiscent of an old village Sunday School.

 

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Three mushroom phở – enoki, shiitake and button

 

We’d booked in advance for this Friday lunchtime visit. Every table was taken and there was a queue at the door. There was a rapid turnover of take-away orders too.

I ordered phở nấm rơm (three mushroom pho or rice noodle soup) – enoki, shiitake and button mushrooms @ £7.95, served with a separate plate of fresh herbs to add to your own taste. The pho is made from stock that apparently takes 12 hours to prepare, so it’s bursting with flavour. And only the highest quality ingredients are used, fresh every day. While that all sounds nice and healthy, the pho is served in a generously sized bowl and is incredibly filling.

 

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Phở xào chicken + prawn @ £8.75 – flat rice noodles

 

The phở xào chicken and prawn dish was an arrangement of wok-fried flat rice noodles with lemongrass, chilli, mange tout and Asian greens, beansprouts, sprinkled with crushed peanuts and served with nước chấm (spicy dipping sauce) @ £8.75.

Another in our party had tiger prawn bún, or vermicelli rice noodles with a lemongrass and chilli wok-fried topping, served with fresh herbs, beansprouts, veggie spring roll and peanuts @ £9.25.

Our total lunchtime bill for six people came to £72.23 including service (about £12.00 each) – very reasonable.

 
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Bill for 6 people 

 
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Pho restaurant Spitalfields

 

More of the menu:

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Baby squid starter @ £6.50

 

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Crepe tofu starter – create your own in rice paper @ £7.50

 

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Pho House Special @ £10.50 – tiger prawns, tofu + flash fried steak with garlic in beef stock

 

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Bun noodles (vermicelli rice noodles) with veggie spring rolls @ £8.25

 

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Pho xao (flat rice noodles) with lemongrass, chilli + Asian greens and chicken and prawns @ £8.95

 

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: Vietnamese
~ Address: 48 Brushfield Street, Spitalfields [& more locations]
~ Postcode: E1 6AG
~ Tel: 020 020 7377 6436
~ Nearest stations: Shoreditch High Street, Liverpool Street, Aldgate East, Aldgate
~ Website + menus: Pho website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Pho food
~ facebook page: Pho on fb
~ Location: Pho Spitalfields map

 

 

RELATED LINKS
More City/East End dining:
~ Byron – proper burgers, everywhere
~ Japanese Canteen – around the City
~ Mama Thai – Indian + Thai take-away curries + noodles
~ Momo’wich – outstanding Thai + Malaysian
~ Pizza Union – artisan pizza
~ Poppies – fab fish + chips, East End
Pho on Urbanspoon