Restaurant review: The Laundry Canteen, Warburton Road, London Fields, E8
- Credit: Archant
Radiohead’s guitarist Ed O’Brien will certainly be due some credits from the Karma Police for converting an abandoned 1960’s laundry into an uber-trendy brasserie.
From the outside the ugly building in Warburton Road, London Fields, looks like an unlikely setting for an intimate meal dinner à deux.
But the loft-style revamp of the sprawling concrete space, with myriad low-hanging lights whose shimmering glow reflects in the window panes, musters up a magical fairytale vibe once the sun goes down.
The indie axeman, along with local entrepreneur Raj Nayak, spent years searching for the perfect spot to launch their vision for a hub promoting the creative arts. They finally stumbled upon the old factory space in 2011 and soon after opened up 26 studios for musicians, photographers, artists and fashion designers on its top floor.
Three years on, The Laundry Canteen and Bar has just launched, serving up breakfast, working lunches and dinners seven days a week for the in-house workers and the public. The cocktail bar and basement club venue for up to 700, makes it a top spot for revellers too.
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The food is based along the lines of a modern brasserie; chefs have come up with innovative dishes giving a twist on great British classics, like the soft-boiled kedgeree “Scotch egg” that my partner went for. Dubbed a “show-stealing in-house creation”, it was certainly very tasty, as well as being comfortingly filling.
The starters, are all priced reasonably at £6.50 or £7, and my braised violet artichokes were a fresher alternative to the egg. Tempered with preserved lemon, honey and thyme, the effect was delicately pure.
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The salt and spice roasted pork belly at £13.50 was gloriously fatty, with lashings of perfectly crispy lard to add to my own belly layers, but tasted so good I didn’t dwell on the calories.Again, it was an original recipe, served with crunchy pak choi, and a caramelised peanut and chilli topping.
At £22.50 the aged bone-in rib eye steak is competitively priced for such a high quality piece of meat.
Portions here are really substantial, and I couldn’t finish off all my grub, especially as I’d ordered an extra portion of twice-cooked chips, tempted by the aioli alongside.
Other main course options include a vegan aromatic curry, sea bream, and a burger.
For desert, sour dough bread soaked in lashings of honey made an unlikely companion to the fruit parfait but the chewy texture worked really well.The quality of the strawberries and cream made the simplicity of Eton mess a winner.
No Surprises? The biggest for me was that the place wasn’t jam packed. I am sure once word gets out it will be though, and I for one however will be heading back there very soon.