Yesterday was spent eating my way around East London, sitting in parks whilst the leaves blew from the trees and generally indulging a lot.
The first stop on the tour was The Ginger Pig, located on a street full of cafes, fishmongers and delis. The Ginger Pig is predominately a butchers but at the back of a shop is a deli, selling hot sausage rolls, scotch eggs and pork pies. They’re all produced using the meat sold in the shop and they’re made fresh. It appears that every food publication claims they’re the best sausage rolls in London and it’s easy to see why. The pastry is flaky, buttery and crispy whilst the filling is a lot of meat that’s been delicately flavoured with herbs. Whilst eaten warm, both the pastry and meat melts whilst you’re eating it. We ambitiously bought two however, on the sausage roll scale they’re pretty big. One sausage roll was enough and the second is still waiting to be eaten!
After a brief interlude of people watching and house admiring in Victoria Park, we headed to London Fields to admire the selection of breads and baked goods in E5 Bakehouse. The bakery is of course bustling and full of toddlers nibbling on pastiche de nadas and parents chatting over Flat Whites. We chose the pastiche de nada and a carrot and walnut cake and retreated to London Fields to devour them. The pastiche de nada had flaky pastry and a smooth set custard filling with a hint of lemon. The carrot and walnut cake was super moist, packed with nuts and cinnamon. The cream cheese topping was smooth and not too sweet which can often be the case with icing.
After strolling through London Fields we stumbled upon the joy of Broadway Market. From grilled cheese to dulce de leche doughnuts, carrot juice to crispy fried pork. The concoction of smells fills the air and watching each stall holder prepare the food fresh is beautiful to watch.
We walked to Columbia Road and got to appreciate all the shops that get hidden by flowers on a Sunday. A Portuguese shop that sells beautifully packaged soaps. A vintage crockery shop that a woman runs, and only sells stuff that she loves. A shop that sells beautiful notebooks and pens.
Our ramblings through Broadway Market and Columbia Road were taking us to our next location – Beigel Bake. Whilst Brick Lane might not have the park benches to sit and people watch, or the beauitful Victorian terraces, it does have a pretty good bagel shop. Beigel Bake is open 24 hours a day and does classic Jewish style bagels. We got a salt beef and mustard bagel. The bagels themselves are made fresh at the back of the shop and you can watch them throwing the dough around whilst in the queue. They’re slightly warm, soft and doughy.
After a couple of cups of coffee we headed to Islington for our final stop on the food tour – Ottolenghi. We drank Orange wine and ate dishes that were full of flavour. Roasted aubergine with yogurt, pomegranate and almonds. Seared tuna with sesame seeds and soy, honey and ginger sauce. Roasted pork belly with black bean sauce and pink grapefruit. Grilled mackerel, tamarind and peanuts. Each dish had perfectly balanced flavours, sweet and savoury together on one plate.