By Esin Huseyin
I only came across this absolute East London gem when I was told about the place by Zomato (thanks guys!) and it was amazing.
This place was an interior dream of mine, food inducing coma type of place, and had a pretty great down-to-Earth vibe.
From the outside the restaurant looked small and unimposing, it had a few tables and benches outside that I’m sure would be perfect in the summer, as well as a simple black and white logo. The front of the restaurant is pretty much huge panes of glass, which makes for perfect prime people spotting territory – it also lets in a beautiful amount of natural light.
The lighting in the restaurant is very toned down and minimal, so when the sun does finally set, there is a glowing of candles left in the room – which makes for a pretty intimate setting, considering the size of the restaurant. There are about 10 tables I would say, but each vary in size, some can sit about 6ish. If you factor all of these in it just makes for a really relaxed place.
Considering the interior is quite bare with white walls, exposed brick, and the plaster of the ceiling being shown (pretty shabby chic) – all of the warmth is injected by the candles, the intimacy of the small number of tables, and the incredible staff. No word of a lie, these guys were amazing, which I will get on to later.
If I’m honest, it wasn’t the most original I’ve been with my food choices, but it sure stood out from what I’ve tasted before. Lets get down to the food; I had nachos which were absolutely loaded full of sour cream, guacamole, fresh salsa, jalapenos, and Chilli con carne which had been infused with coffee and chocolate. Whaaaat? Chilli con carne that has coffee and chocolate in? Considering I’m not a fan of coffee this was a bit of a gamble, but I’ll tell you something, it was very subtle. The earthiness of the coffee did come through, with a cheeky hint of sweetness from the chocolate, but it just made all of the flavours richer – pretty moreish.
For someone who likes fuss free nachos, with nothing but the essentials on top, I genuinely think I’ve been converted. Other than the absolutely obviously fresh sauces on top, and crunchiness of the tortilla chips, there was one thing which I commend the chefs for…laying down some chips popping some grated cheese down and then laying another layer and grating some more on top. Yes, mind blown, all of these chips had an even layer of cheese. Dairy Kings and Queens, take note.
For my main I had the Chilli Fajita; green rice, guacamole, sour cream and black bean tapenade, with some steak thrown in for extra measure. When the food turned up it was beautifully presented on my plate, flat tortilla with a circular piece of art consisting of my food in the centre, I didn’t want to touch it. Now, one thing I learnt, I am absolutely awful at rolling my own burrito, seriously it’s shameful. I watched one guy on another table roll it in to a perfect cylinder, whereas mine meant I had to dangle my head at a weird angle.
All that aside, the green rice had a nice amount of crunch still in it, the standard guac and sour cream made it beautifully cold and moist. The black bean tapenade was well seasoned, and the steak…oh that steak. You could literally see from the sizes and freshness of the steak that it literally was a full steak cut up – I’ve never experienced before. Super tender, beautifully rare, serious serious red meat love right there.
Now, if all of that wasn’t enough, I then sampled the chilli brownie with reduced milk sauce – it’s really rich in flavour, so honestly one is enough. Soft yet crunchy brownie with a beautiful kick, swimming in some milk. It was great, but think the mains blew me away more.
I haven’t even told you the best bit, this restaurant really ticked every box, as they had some live entertainment. It just happened that on the night I attended this restaurant, there was a Sengalese Blues musician – such a happy lovely man, who does return to the restaurant regularly, but it was perfect relaxed and melodical music to accompany the flavoursome food.
I’ll definitely be back guys, see you soon! Have any of you been here before? Let me know in the comments below.