Initially winning acclaim for its brunch, this cosy spot on Homerton’s fast-gentrifying Morning Lane is now a local fave for lunch and dinner too. Gone are the open-mic nights, and in has come a sharpened focus on Railroad’s eclectic, homely dishes, which run the gamut from moroccan eggs to ajo blanco. The seating options are also diverse, with diner-style tables arranged next to battered school chairs. Although the space leaves you in no doubt you’re in Hackney – an arty black and white photo of an obscure indie singer graces the wall, and craft beers line the shelves – the atmosphere is easy-going.
The meal got off to a lip-smacking start with beetroot borani. This yoghurt, beetroot and garlic purée (popularised by Moro) was taken to new heights with the addition of orange blossom. Mains were also good. Line-caught mackerel was served with a (slightly too moist) bulgar wheat, dill and yoghurt salad; and birria – a Mexican stew of pork shoulder, chipotle chillies and sweet potato – was rich and hearty.
After a break to peruse the books for sale (cookery books sit beside literary classics), we enjoyed a sensationally light yet rich Cru Virunga chocolate cake and a Square Mile espresso – the perfect end to a very civilised evening.