Juxtapositions are great things. As you know, I have been witness to many contrasts in my life. Perspective can change things so very much. In this case, I was returning to vegetarians ways. With my enforced plant-based diet for over a month in Nepal, I have learnt to enjoy it. Not everything vegetarian is what I used to term rabbit, bird or squirrel-feed, however, it takes a little bit of extra effort to make it taste good for those unaccustomed to it. So what better place to try it than Shoreditch? It no longer is up and coming but has crossed the line into being an established trendy (and upmarket) locale. The surrounding house prices certainly support this.
I was particularly impressed by the live strings in the corner to serenade the diners over their waffles. I did feel a bit sorry for them though as they seemed to be rather ignored. I suspect that a double bass and saxophone with a singer crooning tunes might be more fitting for this atmosphere. However, you can’t please everyone and at least I was happy. In particular, I thought that it added a touch of class to a very bourgeoisie activity, brunch.
Avocado, poached eggs, onion, coriander, hot sauce, toasted cornbread. This dish seemed to contain all the elements of hipsterness. Let me explain the elements. Poached eggs on top, cooked with no oil. A great choice for whom they were trying to attract as everyone is this area knows, oil, that evil of the cooking world, is evil. Merely touching it seems to make you obese… Next was the avocado, full of good fats and having that healthy green tinge. I heard it is good for the skin too. It made me feel lighter just by looking at it. At the bottom was cornbread. Why have normal bread when you can have something eclectic and unusual. Had an interesting taste and texture, like a spongier piece of bread. Finished off by hot sauce and toasted corn bits with some leaves on top to complete the long-life promoting picture. The crunch and spice were welcome additions. As for how it all tasted together, you can ignore most of what I have said above because the taste was ok but nothing really special. Felt a bit peckish after. That is a bad sign.
Stem ginger sticky toffee pudding. Looked great on paper, presented rather less so. To balance my main, I had to pick the most unhealthy looking thing on the menu. Unfortunately in this case, the trade off wasn’t worth it. The pudding was rather stodgy but strangely lacking in taste. It tasted like a slightly neutered pudding. The toffee taste was far too light, like it had been diluted. The ice cream was ice cream.
So at the end, how did things fare in perspective? Did I regret my return to rabbit eating ways? Did Hoi Polloi managed to turn it around? Am I now committed to a vegetarian life style led by this establishment? Has perspective shown me new things? To be rather candid, if this was an example of what being a hipster vegetarian is like, I wish I hadn’t returned to plant eating ways. We live and learn.
A quiet eating 5.5/10.
Lunch (2 courses) was GBP20 excluding drinks and service.
100 Shoreditch High St,
London E1 6JQ