Why would anyone choose to eat in a cinema? Because, despite Hackney’s food renaissance, there’s a pocket of epicurean resistance centred firmly around the Picturehouse, something the mini chain set out to exploit when it opened here in 2011.
The large, light-filled foyer contains an assortment of shared tables with bench seating and some smaller tables, offering lots of space even at the busy intersections of movies ending and starting. The menu is a clever mix of snacks (such as mini pizzas and fat chips) through to burgers, daily specials and that often dismal offering, the sharing platter. This one is better than most, but not much, its selection of unimaginative antipasto staples doing little to excite.
Much better are the small plates – the hot dogs and pimientos de padrón are particularly popular, and deservedly so, with the former a perfect marriage of sausage, bun and sauerkraut, and the latter as good as anything you’ll get in Galicia. Specials of pastas, savoury tarts and salads are acceptable, but this is a place for a light bite, rather than a full meal.
The impressive range of locally brewed beers includes tipples from Beavertown alongside the more obvious selection from London Fields Brewery.