Shane’s Canalside: Foraging Kiwi finds food on the Marshes
- Credit: shanes
Emma Bartholomew checks out Shane Harrison’s second restaurant at the Olympic Park’s former press centre
Just one indication of how good Shane’s food is: we end up scraping all the velvety carrot purée off our plate until all that’s left as evidence of our wood pigeon starter is the miniscule bone we have gnawed every last morsel off.
“Damn that’s good,” says my friend, and continues to utter similar words after every course of the the feast that follows.
Canalside is the second Hackney restaurant from Shane Harrison, who incorporates food he’s foraged on Hackney Marsh earlier that day into his menu.
Sorrel is added to a crunchy pickled beetroot dish with whipped Irish goats’ cheese from one of Shane’s ethical producers, and the rocket and walnut combines to create something delicate and exquisite. Wild garlic he picked up earlier is used in a pesto.
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It’s evident Shane is passionate about the food he serves up and its ethical credentials. He makes sure the rabbit comes from an estate where no pesticides are used. Incensed that so many pheasants are bred to be shot and thrown away, he puts the bird on the menu while it’s in season, while wild duck and wood pigeon is from a salt marsh.
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A rich, smooth Pinot Noir wine from New Zealand called Mahi is made with wild yeast from naturally fermenting berries. “Its all good for you,” Shane tells us.
While his ideas are unique, he makes sure not to over complicate the dishes allowing the strong natural flavours to shine through,
The food is reasonably priced for the quality, with starters from £3.50 and mains from £12.
There’s a relaxed atmosphere, it’s spacious, and Shane says he never moves anyone on – pointing out the bunch on the table next to us who had been there since 2pm that afternoon.
There are some some lovely personal touches, from ethereal paintings, embossed tiles, crystal glasses and decanters, and the vintage plates he collects are evidently a labour of love.
Shane’s Canalside is welcoming, warm and laid back, and will give you a night to remember.
Shane’s 26 East Bay Lane, E15 2GW, shanesoncanalside.com.