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Bistro Freddie

  • Restaurants
  • Shoreditch
  • price 3 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. Bistro Freddie
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  2. Bistro Freddie
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  3. Bistro Freddie
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  4. Bistro Freddie
    Marcus Brown

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

The team behind Crispin and Bar Crispin branch out into the world of bistros – and it's great.

Ah, Bistro Freddie. Or ‘B-Fred’ for short. What a mensch of a restaurant. What a relief. Bistro Freddie is a London rarity: a knowingly ‘cool’ vibehouse that doesn’t make you want to dash your brains out on the edge of an understated white table.

B-Fred should be annoying. It’s in Shoreditch, for a start. It’s small enough that it’s always going to be egregiously busy. The decor is pointedly, performatively, undeniably white. The hand-written menu features ‘classic, unpretentious, bistro-style dishes’ including mains that cost 25 quid. As I said, it should be annoying. But, much like Rush’s epic 11-minute track ‘Xanadu’, which also should be annoying, B-Fred is just too good to resent.

Let’s hear it for the skate wing; an inverted golden arc, perched imperiously over its lake of curry sauce

Bossing it from within the open-fronted kitchen is head chef and flavour magus Anna Søgaard. The spare, paired-back menu belies the erstwhile Erst cook’s talent for concealed pzazz. Many of the dishes, on paper, appear mundane. Søgaard, the Danish-American thaumaturgist, has deceived you. Nothing leaves her kitchen underpowered in the wallop department. 

A slick radicchio diadem, studded with chunky walnuts and pungent blue cheese, simply refused to be ignored. And amend the London snack tier list: Freddie’s glistening, glowing rhombuses of ‘house sausage’, served with punchy (and homemade) brown sauce, deserve a place somewhere near the top. A-tier (at least).

The on-trend, mollusk-of-the-moment, escargot, made an appearance, of course. Snails on top of pillowy flatbread, sprinkled with nubbins of crispy chicken skin, bobbing in tarragon butter. Again: should be annoying. Isn’t! 

With great flavour comes great responsibility, and sometimes dishes go a bit far. A perfectly seared bavette was way too salty. The bowl of creamed spinach was inexplicably hotter than the sun. The chips weren’t bad, but they cost six pounds and are being made in a cutting-edge supra-bistro. They should be perfect, the uberfrites

These are merely quibbles, though. Let’s hear it for the skate wing; an inverted golden arc, perched imperiously over its lake of curry sauce like one of those derelict, cosmo-adjacent Soviet buildings in central Asia (but appetising). Everything good about B-Fred was tangible in this dish: comforting flavours, thrilling execution. Fish and chips. But make it waggish.

Freddie isn’t much like a Parisian bistro, really. It’s too friendly for that. It’s more like Andrew Edmunds in a beret. Or Sweetings, if Sweetings was for wanky media folk and not black-hearted finance drones. I’m jealous of everyone who works in Shoreditch, because Bistro Freddie is exactly where I wish I could pop into after work for a candle-lit Chablis and some sausage every now and again. 

The vibe Intimate, classy Shoreditch spot, serving up extremely tasty bistro food.

The food Bistro classics, British ingredients with a big ol’ twist.

The drink An all-French wine list? That’s what I’m talking about. That’s my jam.

Time Out tip B-Fred is fast becoming famous for its pies. So consider a pie.

Joe Mackertich
Written by
Joe Mackertich


74 Luke St
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