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An all-day Mediterranean joint in Aldgate.
Packed with ever-growing skyscrapers and ghostly new builds, Aldgate marks low on the charisma scale. But this Mediterranean gem is worth rerouting your Google Maps for (just shoot for Aldgate Curzon and you can’t miss it). With its ash wood decor, dusky walls and hanging plants, it’s bang on trend, like the cuisine: an Ottolenghi-style mash-up of Middle Eastern and European sharing plates.
The Levantine dishes were wonderful. There was dry-fried cauliflower with crispy shallots, green tahini and dukkah – crunchy, creamy, tangy, it was balanced to perfection and caused a minor fork fight between dining companions. Then bite-size fridge-cold lentil koftes, each nestled in a lettuce leaf: a surprising veggie take on the Lebanese raw mince dish, kibbeh nayeh. Equally delightful was the lamb belly pide: a Turkish pizza scattered with chunks of tender meat and sweet potato. The more continental dishes fell flat though: our adorable waitress raved about the ezme salmon tartare but it lacked flavour, while grilled aubergine came swimming in overly sweetened labneh.
These are small jibes though – the vibe is so loveable that we stayed until closing time, savouring a slab of killer berry cheesecake and tahini chocolate fondant while the staff tiptoed around us. They eventually shuffled us out with smiles and a heaving box of frittata from the lunch service. If you live nearby, make time for this little jewel.
21 Piazza Walk
|Transport:||Tube: Aldgate East|
|Price:||inner for two with drinks and service: around £100.|
|Do you own this business?|