The Spread Eagle

Bars and pubs, Gastropubs Homerton
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(4user reviews)
1/5
2/5
 (© Jade Nina Sarkhel)
3/5
© Jade Nina Sarkhel
 (© Jade Nina Sarkhel)
4/5
© Jade Nina Sarkhel
5/5

London’s first fully vegan pub from the team behind Club Mexicana.

Getting a table at a vegan pub isn’t easy, it turns out. I call, I send two desperate emails, I call again. When I finally get through I’m told there are 60 people on the waiting list. I think I hear the waitress snort when I ask for a Friday night booking. Set at what was previously the lovely but often-empty Jackdaw and Star in Homerton, The Spread Eagle is clearly onto something. Opening a 100 percent animal-free pub (even the candles are vegan) during Veganuary is pure genius, especially when it’s from Meriel Armitage, the woman behind cult vegan-Mexican street food star Club Mexicana.

The pub has kept its gorgeous central bar, but has been painted a deep, dark blue; lights are strung from the ceiling, and tables are made from worn wood. The vibe was more relaxed than I was expecting and the food came quickly. That table was (almost) worth all the wait. Much has been said about Club Mexicana’s ‘to-fish’: flakey, fleshy, and uncannily like fish, it’s famous in taco form. Here, they’re serving it beer-battered, slathered in tartare sauce and slipped into a soft, brioche bun. I can’t believe something this delicious could be made from bean curd. Another highlight was a spicy jackfruit taco (so meat-like, I swear this jackfruit bled).

And the booze? There are 16 taps pouring vegan-friendly beer (sorry, no Guinness just yet), but the stars of this show are the sours: tequila, whisky and amaretto. They use chickpea water instead of egg white to achieve that lovely frothy head. Ours were strong and garnished with a big thick red chilli and a maraschino cherry.

Don’t believe all the hype: the deep-fried ‘cheeze’ doesn’t taste like cheese and my ‘chorizo’ quesadilla was unpleasantly tangy. There was also one extremely rude waitress (the snorter?). But on balance, it looks like vegan pubs are the future, and I’m ready for it.

By: Kitty Drake

Posted:

Venue name: The Spread Eagle
Contact:
Address: 224 Homerton High Street
London
E9 6AS
Transport: Homerton Overground
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|4
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tastemaker

This pub is on the corner of two roads, it has such a cosy welcoming feel to it in the evening and has a laid back vibe. We visited as a group of six for a vegan meet up. The staff were really helpful whilst reserving our table in advance as we weren’t sure of numbers. On the day they were really accommodating and extremely friendly. They serve only vegan food and drinks - Mexican food from Club Mexicana and ice cream (deep fried!) from Black Mylk. The food is absolutely delicious, I highly recommend the deep fried cheese which comes with spicy sauce! The loaded nachos are an absolute delight, covered in cheese sauce and salsa it was delicious! I recommend trying lots of bits and going for a tapas style meal with friends. Black Mylk ice cream is beautiful - my fave is the honeycomb and when this is deepfried it is incredibly naughty!!!

tastemaker

Vegan Heaven - worth noting it's not the healthiest food and is all within a very limited colour palette - However for indulging without limitations (gluten free menu also available on request) this place is delicious and all inclusive without pretence. Award winning in fact. New to me were the vegan cocktails - who knew?! The Whiskey sours with chick pea foam were incredible and vegan Bloody Mary's without the anchovies in the Worcester sauce. Staff were very attentive, brings in. sociable crowd and the tunes are good fun without the cheese! (Vegan tunes!)

tastemaker

Met some friends here for a Saturday lunch and excited to sample the new vegan menu, which was excellent. The interior was Instagram worthy, particularly the Prince shrine and the outside area was cosy as well.  Food was tasty- we had the chicken wings, taco's and fried grilled cheese (which is probably the best vegan cheese I have had), some of the better vegan food I've had. There was a good selection of beer and wines on offer and the staff were great, we had babies and a dog in our group and everyone was kept happy!

Tastemaker

I reviewed this place when it was The Jackdaw and Star and nonvegan and find this vegan reincarnation much tastier (my carnivore husband not so much sadly). I first had Club Mexicana when it was in residence at another place and lovedddded the tacos. This time I didn’t love it as much but it was still very, very good. I got the pan seared “scallops” as a starter and was pleasantly surprised at the oyster mushrooms’ texture- very much like scallops! Different taste of course :) But didn’t taste like your typical mushroom: juicier and with a distinct flavour of its own. I then had the “al pastor” of which I found a healthy amount on a corn tortilla, mixed well with the salsa. I found it very tasty but I think adding cheeze would have enhanced the flavour. Two for £7 is also bit pricey for this girl who used to live on the Texas-Mexico border and is accustomed to amazing, cheap Mexican food. I liked the corn tortilla chips of the chips and salsa plate (plus a good amount of chunky guacamole).

Finally this place’s funky and colourful interior wins me over: bright blue-painted walls and blue velour chairs and random paintings all around with a Day of the Dead-like shrine dedicated to Prince! Love it. Plus it’s dog-friendly :)

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