Time Out says
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A Scandi-style sandwich café with a focus on healthy food of impeccable provenance.
There are few easier ways for a restaurant to make itself look good than by talking the talk about its commitment to the environment. ‘Our chickens are line-caught off the Devon coast and our sea bass spend their lives strutting around in the New Forest eating free-range worms.’ To investigate the claims thoroughly, you would have to conduct a full environmental audit. And who’s rich enough to do that?
But O-Food, a Scandinavian café/restaurant in Spitalfields, is so clearly heartfelt in its environmental commitment that it demands to be taken seriously. For these people, the E-word is not simply a marketing tool but a way of life – as important in presenting themselves as their menu. ‘In a time when processed and unsustainable fast food is widely considered the normal choice,’ they say, ‘we find delight in serving sincere and incredibly tasty sandwiches with a clear conscience.’ This is about saving the planet one sandwich at a time.
That’s all on the website. What happens in the restaurant? Plenty. This is a lovely, tiny place with a takeaway counter, a few tables, and a larger seating area in the back garden – also known as the southern fringe of Old Spitalfields Market. The staff are incredibly friendly, and if you ask a question about the produce, you will get a very enthusiastic answer. Did you know there was a ‘season’ for prawns? Me neither.
O-Food has a pint-size menu based on sandwiches, served on either rye bread or rolls. Fish and vegetables feature prominently in the fillings, all seasoned and garnished differently. Ingredients are spanking-fresh, bread is good (especially the rye), and portions are generous for the £5.75-£6.95 price tags. There are also a few salads, a few desserts and the usual hot and cold drinks.
I’m guessing that service at O-Food can get a bit slow during peak lunchtimes: assembling these sandwiches is laborious, and they take their work seriously here. But a wait wouldn’t bother me if it meant getting a sandwich, a glass of orange juice, and a garden table in the market. If you work nearby, you owe yourself a visit.
71 Brushfield Street
|Transport:||Liverpool Street tube.|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sun 7.30am-8pm|
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