Upon approaching the French bistro in the heart of Hackney, one is somewhat concerned by the less appetizing kebab shops on either side. As soon as you enter the restaurant you are quickly entranced by the French shabby chic and DIY décor. The bar is laced with candles whilst the little round tables scattered around the eating area has chequered red table clothes. The restaurant seemed to attract an array of people; the hipster, the couple and ‘the regular’ who perched on the bar eating and drinking. At one point the director from a film we had just seen at the BFI film festival joined ‘the regular’ at the bar.
The service was enthusiastically speedy. For a starter I ordered the mackerel rillettes and cumin bread and although it was rustically presented, the mackerel was quite doughy. Then I ordered the wild mushroom and beetroot risotto for my mains. This was pretty delicious; creamy and cheesy.
Finally and most importantly I had the magnificent chocolate slice and boy was it chocolate; chocolate and chocolate heaven. It was quite literally a chocolate brick. Best of all – it was gooey.
71 Mare St, London E8 3RH
£24 (2 people)