Galvin Hop

Bars and pubs , Gastropubs Spitalfields
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A bar-bistro with pimped-up pub grub from the Galvin brothers.

When is a pub not a pub? When, as is the case with this Galvin Brothers joint, it’s really a dinky bistro, only with an ultra-gastro pub menu. They’re calling it ‘pub deluxe’, but for an area with plenty of good and proper boozers, this description may be pushing it a bit far.

On the site once home to Cafe a Vin, the venue is small and unsurprisingly popular, which means it can become overly loud, but the staff cope well with customers: ‘beer, lads?’, we were asked before we’d removed our coats. ‘Beer’, by the way, is unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell, stored in copper vats above the bar.

Starters come sharpish, the Dorset crab on toast offering a pleasing ratio of flesh to mayonnaise, while Portobello mushrooms with brie and fresh herbs were equally satisfying. Mains aren’t far behind, but we had enough time between courses to observe things we hadn’t ordered as staff squeezed by. Lahmacun looked mouthwatering, the Barnsley chop intimidatingly huge. Our burger came up rare, something staff didn’t communicate to us in advance. But no matter – the real issue is that there are more exciting burgers nearby. Happily, though, sausage and mustard mash was as good as any you’d find in the Square Mile. All of this pub-style grub left little room for dessert though.

The city’s favourite chef siblings have themselves another winner; just be aware it’s not a pub, deluxe or otherwise.

Venue name: Galvin Hop
Contact:
Address: 35 Spital Square
London
E1 6DY
Cross street: entrance on Bishops Square
Transport: Tube: Liverpool Street tube/rail or Shoreditch High Street rail
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