A Little of What You Fancy

Restaurants, British Kingsland
A Little of What You Fancy
Britta Jashchinski

A little blast of shabby chic on a very urban stretch of road. Diners sit on old school chairs at wooden tables, each with a little flowering pot plant; boxes of veg are piled at the end of the open kitchen; and a sign advertises eggs for sale. At weekends, it’s lively all day long. Brunch majors on eggs served lots of ways, including scrambled with chorizo and roasted tomatoes.

The regularly changing lunch menu features some lighter dishes such as good serrano ham with guindilla peppers and sourdough toast, as well as the likes of moules marinière. The kitchen shifts up a gear for dinner, with robust combinations such as pan-fried cod fillet with chorizo, fino and fennel broth with fried potatoes, or braised rabbit leg – which came with a white wine cream sauce that had a deftly light lemony touch that didn’t dominate the distinctive taste of the meat. Smooth, buttery mash completed the picture. Pomegranate and pistachio mess was glorious: light, not too sweet and – best of all – with nicely sticky meringue.

Service is informal (and occasionally offhand), but in general this place scores well for feelgood factor. You can also catch the ALOFYF team serving weekday lunches at the French House pub in Soho.



Venue name: A Little of What You Fancy
Address: 464 Kingsland Road
E8 4AE
Opening hours: Meals served 11am-10pm Tue, Wed; 9am-10pm Thur, Fri; 10am-10pm Sat; 11am-5pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Dalston Junction rail or bus 67, 242
Price: Main courses £12-£16
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Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:7
  • 1 star:7
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I'm a bit of a latecomer to A Little of What You Fancy, it’s been on my to-do list for years, following a string of recommendations from friends. I popped in for an early dinner with my sister yesterday, and at around 6pm (on a Saturday) we had the place to ourselves. We started with some tasty blackened Italian peppers - with the taste of Padróns but much bigger. A second starter of smoked mozzarella with buffalo tomatoes was a nice twist on a classic. For mains we shared roast chicken with strawberries, feta and watermelon which I’d highly recommend, and a warm mushroom and lentil salad with ricotta and walnuts which didn’t quite live up to expectation but was perfectly palatable. I’ll be back for brunch!

Have been here several times and would like this to be a decent neighbourhood restaurant but the service is so inconsistent, at times excellent and at times matey and at other times really downright rude. There is a really terrible 'too cool for skool' waitress who really spoilt our night a few weeks ago. She basically looked us up and down and then decided we were not worth serving. I for one will not return. I am disappointed because I wanted this place to succeed.

Hardly room to sit. Food was pleasant, but very basic, small plates are served for a very high price. We live just around the corner but are unlikely to return.

I like the food, I really like the 'idea' of this place, and I think it's what the neighbourhood needs. But it's all badly let down by the service. It's not rude - it's actually worse than that because rudeness would imply that they paid enough attention to have some sort of reaction. It's just careless, thoughtless and exudes a sense that they're not really that bothered whether you're there or not. And it's not cheap, so fundamentally you're better off going somewhere where they act like they give a shit.

Went there this evening with 2 colleagues. Food was excellent as was service. Waitress friendly with big smile. Service really good. Friendly and busy. Definitely going back !!!

I took some friends here for dinner and was a real disappointment for them and for me. Food was average. Far from the fine dining experience the owners probably think they are offering to the customers. Will not be going back or recommend this place to anyone. This is just yet another trendy and pretentious place in Dalston.

I love the fact that the staff don't kiss ass (Its self respect, not rudeness!). People with children think the world revolves around their little darlings, don't they? Great, simple restaurant, often fantastic food.

i think i have too been served by 'the cave dweller', aka the woman/owner. these reviews are completely correct, she is flippin awful. I eat here alot and the food is fantastic, so why bring it down with your terrible service!? Seems almost furious that people have come in to eat. When will they realise and sack her already? Thankfully plenty of really lovely staff who have made up for it. (5 stars for food... 1 for service.!)

Rude service and overpriced food. I've been twice now, once for lunch when the service was very slow - about 25 minutes for some pate and toast despite being the only person there. I went another time for breakfast, when I went to sit at a 2 person table. I was told by the waitress (owner?) not to sit there as it was "booked" - and moved to a ten person table, despite only one other table being occupied for the whole duration. Food was mediocre and OJ was 2.50 for a minuscule glass which was all thrown on the table with a barely discernible grunt. She then berated the waiter for overcharging me in front of me as if I wasn't there, quite uncomfortable. Won't be returning.

Great little find. Tasty considered dishes, English and all with a twist. Loved the simplistic modern design and cosiness. Absolutely will be returning for more.

The food here is undoubtedly good. But the staff are so rude. No smiles. No politeness. They literally watched me struggle getting through the door with a buggy. Unfriendly. Overpriced. It such a shame, because it looks and tastes great.

Went here last week with my husband all the way from Highgate on a local friends recommendation. Everything was incredible, from the organic sfuso wine in a carafe to to the beetroot salad and oxtail for two! Remarkable value given the quality. And the service was wonderful. Like being in a very skilled friends kitchen without too much talking over you yet enough response when asked for more details about what we were eating and drinking. Will be coming back for more. I think the fears of it becoming too popular are well founded yet hope it expands. Highgate calling?

This is our new local and it is really fab. The waiting staff are always really helpful, the food is always amazing. The only problem is that it is getting too popular!

Was a bit nervous about going here with a group of friends for my birthday dinner at the weekend, due to all the negative comments posted below, but decided to find out what it's like for myself. I was glad I did as the experience I had bore absolutely no resemblance to all the bad reviews. The service literally could not have been better - the waiting staff were friendly and super helpful - and the food was also really good. Also loved that they have nice reasonably priced house wine that you can get in large carafes which is excellent for groups . Overall had a great time and would definitely go back - and all my friends said the same. So please - give it a try for yourself!

I had heard so much about this restaurant and couldn't wait to try it out...... I couldn't get a booking for ages but thought I would go with a friend to the much hyped cafe/restaurant for a coffee and a cake and then make a further booking whilst I was there. I could not actually believe I had come to the restaurant that had been recommended by many others. There were no cakes or anything suitable for a cheapish snack on the menu so I settled for marmalade on toast with a cup of tea. The waitress (who may even have been the owner) acted as if we were an irritant and I did not enjoy my coffee or the toast at all. I have not recommended this to anyone else and can only assume that the popularity of the place has gone to the owner's heads and they just don't care what anyone thinks. Will not be booking that evening meal or going back for a coffee. Loads more nicer and friendlier restaurants in nearby Broadway Market.

The food is OK but not good enough to make up for the bad attitude of the waitress (or possibly the owner). Last time I went for a brunch, my friend and I both felt angered to have put up with her sour faced moodiness and bad attitude towards us. If you don't like serving coffees don't open a cafe!

One of the rudest places i've ever had the misfortune of visiting. So rude, I actually resented having to pay the bill for that klnd of disgusting, abrupt service. While the restaurant looks nice, the food was below average and certainly not worth the prices - and the vegetarian options were limited to say the least. A truly laughable experience - never again.

Though local, we went for the first time last night. My food was good (smoked mackerel pate followed by a chorizo stew) and my partner said hers was delicious (lamb skewers). We shared a pudding (meringue with lemon curd) which could have fed a family of four. The portions are extremely generous. Service was excellent and the atmosphere fun. But it certainly isn't cheap. We'll be back.

Food and atmosphere was good, but nothing special. Service was rude and muddy. I dont think I will be going back.

I struggled with menu choices, as the prices were a little off-putting ( wasn't prepared to pay so much for a Buffalo Mozzarella salad as a starter). However I enjoyed everything I ate (as did my fellow diners) and the portion sizes allowed me to forgive the steep pricing. I didn't notice the service (although we all liked the look of the waiter!) which in my books is a good thing-unobtrusive. I will probably go back, but only for a special occasion The prices do not suit the informal and relaxed bistro-style they are promoting, so it will not become the kind of regular local the area that would benefit the area, especially one located so close to a station.

Was so disappointed by A Little of What You Fancy - all Dalston style and hype, no substance. The staff member serving us was abrupt and rude. I wouldn't mind paying £6.50 for a chicken sandwich if it tasted as though it should cost that much. It really didn't, and consisted of a small amount of chicken between two half-sized slices of bread. BF had mussels, which tasted fine, but at £9 for 9 mussels (yes, we counted), it was just a joke. I ordered tea and got a cup of hot water with a twinnings tea bag on the side - ugh.

Overpriced. My partner and I went for Sunday lunch last week. I ordered the roast chicken for £15. When I told them it was cold and that the meat was too pink; they said it was a salad and was meant to be cold; & that "free range chicken when it's cooked is pink...not like you get in the supermarket!". I wasn't aware of this interesting & patronising fact. It gets 1 star as the wine was nice.

I have been several times and it's a good local - I live round the corner and it's a nice (if overpriced) alternative to the myriad of cheap and excellent ethnic restaurants in the area. Food is consistently good, service a bit patchy, but nice vibe. Once the 'see and be seen' Dalston crowd moves onto the next big thing, I hope it will be easier to get a table - the problem is it's the sort of restaurant you want to go to on the spur of the moment, but its often full - and not really great enough to want to plan a visit far ahead.

A group of 4 friends went for dinner on a Friday night a few weeks ago and from when we walked in we thought it was quirky and very chilled! The waiter we had was attentive (oh and you're definitely not tall and gangly if you are reading this)and accommodated all the extras we asked for - in fact all the staff were really friendly and made our night even more enjoyable! Food was really lovely - especially the mackerel starter and mash potato side, my friends also said the rabbit was great! To sum it up we ALL had a really enjoyable evening and definitely would go back!

The food was average and overpriced, the service dismal. I went at a time when there were only a few occupied tables but the staff were less attentive than other places at peak times. After all I've heard about the place, I was disappointed.

A friend and I went for a late breakfast here a few weeks ago and were glad we checked it out. The food was delicious and worth the slightly hiked price. We had poached eggs and the scrambled eggs with chorizo. Both were first class breakfast dishes and were presented beautifully. The service was relaxed but could have been a lot sharper. We were in no rush but were sat near the door quite far from the till and had to call for attention a few times which wasn't what you'd expect from an establishment that charges £2.50 for a thimble of orange juice. If you want a refined breakfast experience then this is a great place to try but the service is not yet at the same level as what comes out of the kitchen.

Went for breakfast and was disappointed. The food was good but the portions were small and unsatisfying: only one piece of toast with scrambled eggs and a few mushrooms at £6.50. I ordered the yoghurt and fruit but a few minutes later asked if I could change my mind and have eggs instead but I was told I wasn't allowed. Service was a icy and unwelcoming. I was told I couldn't close the front door even though I was cold because someone had stolen their sign and they had to look open. Why they couldn't have made a temporary one and taken into account the needs of their existing customers is beyond me. £2.25 for a small 8oz cup of hot water with one slice of lemon and 4 tiny pieces of ginger was also a little steep. I have been here before and it was better, perhaps just a bad day but it definitely wasn't a pleasant experience and am not tempted to go back any time soon for a very little bit of what I fancy.