Hackney Pearl

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Scott Wishart
Olympic Park
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Hackney Wick draws the young and arty in ever-increasing numbers, but it’s still an uninviting prospect as you thread your way through the concrete landscape created by the mix of estates, industrial sprawl and dual carriageway overhead.

So the little enclave that includes the Pearl, an enterprising Argos-style vinyl shop, a bike shop and an architectural salvage store provides a welcome oasis, especially if it’s sunny and you can sit out on the street. The interior is equally delightful, a homely space that’s nailed the shabby-chic aesthetic to perfection. Would that the food were so spot-on.

A celeriac remoulade was richly perfect, a meze selection tangy and spicy, but the more substantial dishes were disappointing. Onglet with baked chips featured overcooked, flavourless meat, and the (gigantic) meatloaf that our friendly waitress assured us was the best she’d ever tasted turned out to be bland and underseasoned, its accompanying tomato sauce little more than, well, tomato sauce. At £12.50, we’d hoped for something a bit special.

Still, the huge wedges of cake are delicious, and the coffee is good, making it a fine place to stop if you happen to be buying a bike, a piece of architectural salvage or a record.

 

Venue name: Hackney Pearl
Contact:
Address: 11 Prince Edward Road
London
E9 5LX
Opening hours: Open 8am-11pm Mon-Fri; 10am-11pm Sat, Sun. Lunch served noon-4pm, dinner served 6-10pm daily. Brunch served 10am-4pm Mon-Fri; 10am-1pm Sat, Sun
Transport: Tube: Hackney Wick rail
Price: Main courses £11.50-£14.70

Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:5
LiveReviews|14
2 people listening
Ted C

Went for dinner a few days ago and extremely unimpressed. As others have mentioned the food is way overpriced for what you get. A good example would be the 'chips'-greasy salted baked potato wedges which alternated between being soft and therefore unchiplike (?!) to being hard and undercooked. And not that many of them either. 

Places like these give London a bad name. Others will think that this is the standard of food required to succeed in London, go off and open other restaurants of the same standard which just perpetuates mediocrity. We need to stop giving money to these places to raise the bar across the board.


Oh yeah, service was extremely patchy as well, things forgotten and not brought over. Amateurish.


Having said all that it's a cool spot for drinks, can't fault it for that.

G G

verry good place to be for nite out we love this place

fast line mini cab service 02085332727

Mia G

My brother lives in the area and suffers from a long term medical condition. We used to be frequent visitors at the Pearl but not any more. The manager has 'banned' my brother repeatedly on the flimsiest of excuses - one of which was talking to other customers that happened to be his friends. He has been told earlier he could come to the venue only with me- again ridiculous considering he is a grown man and is very independent. At one point he was even sworn at when he sat on the outside benches after being invited by friends to sit down. The last time I went there with my brother nobody served us for 20 minutes. One of the staff member has told my brother to come there when the manager is away! The most inaccessible and discriminatory places I have ever been to. AVOID.

Linda Snell

Food was OK but it was so cold in there that I had to sit with my scarf wrapped around my knees, an uncomfortable experience.

John

I love this place. Its friendly and unpretentious and the food is fantastic. Some of the reviews here are crazy. I'm a local and have been coming since they opened. It just gets better and better. The eggs have always been the best in town, greatly improved by the new sourdough toast. The main menu is inventive and always has a great selection of vegetarian dishes. The homemade foccacia is sublime and don't get me started on the cakes- they are amazing!

Robert

The Time Out review is accurate. I have eaten here a couple of times and been disappointed with some aspect of the meal each time, which for the price should have.been better. They certainly have style but need to pay more attention to the food. Last night I had the cold belly pork which just didn't work. It might be said that the customer should know how a dish will taste, but it if we're to try new things it is beholden of the chef to present us with very palatable food. The belly pork has a very high fat content, which is fine when served hot but did nothing to the cold dish. We started with a pint of over-cooled prawns, but the mayonnaise was good. I remember feeling the same on the first meal, the night they had a visiting chef, the portions were ungenerous, and not tasty enough to be worth the price. I think this is my last visit unless it improves a great deal.

Sasha

Quite possible the worst brunch experience I have ever had. My girlfriend has just moved to Hackney Wick, we normally eat at Crate or The Counter amongst other really great brunch places in Dalston such as Tina, We Salute You!, Wilton Way cafe, The Railroad, Bardens Boudoir etc. Decided to give this place a try. I ordered the home-made granola, yogurt and fruit charged at an extortionate £8.90. They served up a bowl of boxed granola, tiny dollop of yogurt and four minute piece of pear. My girlfriend ordered the scrambled eggs, which were tasteless and served on stale bread. The wifi was also down to make the whole experience that much more useful. Coffee was average, the Counter is a better venue by a million miles. When we ordered the bill, they had also charged us for a brownie which we had never ordered. We complained to the manager, an extremely rude and bald Frenchman who seems to think he's managing a Michelin starred establishment, au contraire my friend, au contraire!

Ed F

Delicious food (chilli chickpea fritters with bobby beans and yoghurt were revelatory), but the drinks were terrible. Corked house wine was sent back 3 times. Staff did not know how to make Aperol spritz which was one of 4 cocktails on the menu (here's a clue - if it has "spritz" in the name it should be sparkling, and the recipe is on the side of the spirit bottle). Maybe time for a cocktail making course? Friendly and relaxed atmosphere and would return.

Jones Family

We have visited a number of times individually and as a group and been both welcomed and impressed. We went on the opening night of the Olympics and watched the ceremony on a big screen that they mastered amid much good natured banter. A great night, great food and hugely relaxed. Their brownies have yet to be beaten.

Claudia W

Friendly atmosphere and superb deserts – they are delicious ! Although I've yet to have dinner there, I've heard fantastic reports

Kerry M

I have eaten here many times during the week and on weekends since it opened. The food is always fresh and tasty - the best scambled eggs and bacon on flatbread that I've ever had - which is down to the prduce they use. I've always been impressed with the selection of drinks. For a cafe, the cocktails are also good! The atmosphere is chilled out and it's so lovely to sit outside on a nice day and let the kids run around. Staff are friendly, there are baby change facilities, and you know, through them, you are supporting local business. They know how to put on a good party too - last year's Hackney Wicked Festival a prime example. Prices, for the quality of the food are definitely reasonable. It manages to be trendy without being pretentious. They've even had guests chefs in the past showcasing their dishes on a weeknight which was different. Definitely worth checking out!

ibarty

We have tried so hard to like this place. The reality is the food is average & overpriced. The staff need to wake up be customer aware and get with it, yea great bohemian cool place put together on the cheap but the premium menu prices do not deliver. Terrible. Avoid Avoid. The owner should be embarrassed. Please find an alternative.

David

Always had a quality time at the Pearl and always seem to end up a tad worse for wear! Staff have always been incredibly friendly although a little bit slow at times even when it's not very busy.

Emma

We visited the Hackney Pearl for dinner on a Thursday night at it was excellent. The staff were friendly and the place had a really nice chilled out feel to it - very inviting. We had read about the place first so new to expect a limited but quality menu. We ordered a lovely chicken pie dish and a Greek salad, followed by Eaton mess for dessert and everything was delish! We will be back and have already recommended the Hackney Pearl to a friend.