Street Kitchen

Restaurants, Cafés South Hackney
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Bright little lunch spot serving wholesome hugs on a plate.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, railway arches were the hangout of mechanics alone. Now the fact that this one sells excellent vegan and gluten-free apple cake ain’t even newsworthy. But a place doesn’t necessarily need a hook to be worth a visit, it just has to be doing everything right.

London-based chefs Jun Tanaka and Mark Jankel started Street Kitchen in a shiny silver airstream back in 2009 with the aim of making gourmet food more accessible. Now they’ve got two airstreams and a permanent spot in the City as well as this new one in London Fields. The menu is uncomplicated but so appealing; they’re dishing up the sort of food Nigella might serve to her kids. Hot smoked salmon with soft, savoury crushed new potatoes, buttery but still healthy-tasting greens and chunks of sweet, firm beetroot makes for the sort of stomach-filler that makes you feel nourished as well as hugged. If fish is too technically virtuous then go for the flavour-packed but impressively light lamb meatballs with fruited couscous, or fill up on cake; Jackie Lee is Street Kitchen’s resident baker and her sweet treats are irresistible. The aforementioned apple cake is the sort that’s stealthy-healthy – I didn’t order it for its free-from credentials and would order it again in spite of them.

This branch of Street Kitchen is currently lunch-only, but when it starts serving dinners it’ll be an excellent upgrade for east Londoners who want the comfort of high-class home cooking without the trip to M&S. And until then, as long as you don’t mind sharing the bright, cosy space with a few pushchairs and a rotating queue of local workers, this is a lunch spot that is definitely doing everything right.

By: Ashleigh Arnott

Posted:

Venue name: Street Kitchen
Address: 381 Mentmore Terrace
London
E8 3PH
Transport: London Fields Rail.
Price: Lunch for two with drinks and service: around £25.
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