Restaurants, French Hackney Wick
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If we’ve ever met a person more enthusiastic about good food in general – and her particular combinations of it – than Isabelle Boutiche (pictured above), we don’t remember. Which could be irritating, were she not so charmingly frank and indiscreet. So we know why a few options were off the short chalkboard menu for a late Saturday lunch – she told us she buys her produce the preceding Sunday.

Boutiche is one half of the team (with Martin Kroon, hence the place’s curious name) behind this tiny deli-café, which is no more than a glass counter with a small but excellent selection of cured sausage, cheese and bread, a cluster of odd furniture outside and some high stools and converted boxes inside to perch on, and a preparation area that’s too cramped to permit any real cooking.

On our visit, the food was terrific, from an own-made burger with peppery rocket, thick bacon and super-sweet tomato relish, to an impeccably squidgy-centred chocolate brownie, walnuts within and soya and pumpkin seeds on top. We could have done with a bit more filling in an avocado, bacon and chicken sarnie, though.

To drink, there’s good coffee, but not much by way of tea (‘What’s the point when the English always put milk in it?’ as Boutiche puts it), and a jug of water.

Last time we visited this venue in the Prince Edward Road live-work block, it was a disorganised and short-lived little caff called Sweet Love. We hope that Isabelle’s labour of love lasts a lot longer.


Venue name: Martabelle-K
Address: 7 Prince Edward Rd
E9 5LX
Opening hours: 10am-5pm Mon-Fri; 11am-5pm Sat
Transport: Tube: Hackney Wick rail.
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