For me Halloween is usually a big event. I’m a huge fan of fancy dress and always make the effort. However this year somehow just passed me by. So instead of going all out with blood and gore and raving the night away at a Halloween party I found myself out for a simple and sensible dinner date with my boyfriend in the heart of Homerton – and it was anything but scary.
I’d recently announced to my boyfriend that we didn’t make the most of the area we live in (I think it was after a night out in Dalston for the launch of Le Bun Social) so I was determined to chose somewhere within East London for us a to try. Eat 17 was put on my radar by the silver tongued Grace Dent – quelle suprise. I’m a total sucker for her weekly column in ES Magazine in fact I can credit almost my entire restaurant list to her. With Eat 17 she had me at “smoked ham croquettes” and “soothing plates of rump beef with heavenly mash” – read her review in full HERE.
My boyfriend, a born and bread resident of East London, wasn’t as easily sold as me, especially when I told him Eat 17 was opposite Homerton hospital. For him it’s hard to shake the idea that an area which used to have a part of it known as murder mile is now the hip and happening place to go for dinner but he likes an easy life so didn’t put up too much of an argument when I told him I’d reserved a table.
I booked for dinner at 8pm and arrived at the address and outside a Spar. Hmmm. I can’t say this didn’t alarm my boyfriend further so I quickly found a staircase to the left of the supermarket entrance and a big glowing neon sign.
We ascended to a space above the Spar and tugged back heavy doors to reveal the restaurant inside and not a trolley in sight. Instead a cool and plush space with a huge low arched ceiling, low level velvet seating and just a couple of occupied tables.
We were shown to our seats and handed menus. I instantly spotted the taster of Bacon Jam that Eat 17 are famous for. They combined onion jam with smokey bacon slapped it on top of the burgers they serve and thus Bacon Jam was born. Naturally you can buy it from the Spar downstairs along with a whole host of hipsterfied products (read: kale and/or avocados by the bucket load).
So a taster of Bacon Jam with Tottenham cheese to start followed by chicken wings and then a chargrilled lamb rump with fried aubergine and yoghurt for me. For the boyfriend, well I managed to talk him into ordering scallops to start because everyone is always banging on about how bloody good they are and I thought it was about time I tried them. However I didn’t want to order them for myself as me+seafood don’t normally get on…I like to think it’s the fact I’m a Pisces, I just don’t really like anything too fishy. So he had the scallops to start and for main the rump of beef with dauphinoise potatoes. Although we didn’t know it was dauphinoise potato until the plate arrived otherwise of course I would have ordered that! I mean is there anything better than dauphinoise potatoes? We also plumped for a side of tempura broccoli which sounds a bit odd but anything deep fried is pretty a-ok in my book.
The atmosphere was very calm and low key. Our table was flanked by middle aged couples, one of whom we guessed were on a Tinder first date #awkward. However it made a nice change to be in a restaurant in East London and not be surrounded by bearded, mustard coloured hipsters in rolled up jeans.
Our taster of Bacon Jam quickly arrived and it was lovely if exactly what it said on the tin and that was one mouthful of bacon favoured jam…or a chutney of sorts. I’d suspect it would make a nice addition to the Christmas cheese board – FYI.
The chicken wings were divine and with lashings of blue cheese sauce on the side. The scallops were…umm…not as bad as I expected. If you’ve not had them before they’re sort of rubbery in texture but not overtly fishy the sauce they came in may have helped with this. Boyfriend was on the fence about them too but still cleared his plate.
My chicken wings…
and his scallops…
By the time mains arrived I was pleasantly full from the 6 or 7 chicken wings I’d devoured still my lamb was delicious and I really enjoyed it with the yoghurt and aubergine – I love yoghurt as an addition to dishes. although I do wish I’d ordered the beef just so I could have had the potatoes.
I was uncomfortably full at the end but really can only blame myself for this. The large chesterfield style seating was inviting me to curl up far to eagerly so we asked for the bill and were shocked to find it was only £50 – starters, mains, an alcoholic drink each – are we definitely still in London? I had to double check but I can assure you that Homerton is in fact in Zone 2 – which definitely constitutes as London. Zone 3 onwards you are but suburbs of London.
As we walked back to the car I we noticed a number of other places on Brooksby’s Walk that also looked pretty decent, Venerdi for one and The Convenience for two – and I smugly thought, see boyfriend I told you Homerton wasn’t all that bad.
As well as the Hackney location you can find another Eat 17 restaurant and Spar in Walthamstow – and check out their website for where to find Bacon Jam because BACON.
BTW – I’m totally aware that my picture quality is at an all time low, not really ideal for a so-called blogger but hey, Christmas is around the corner and I’ve been a pretty good girl so perhaps Santa might get me a decent camera. I cross my heart I won’t lose this one or take it out clubbing with me and promptly leave in the hands of a stranger that I asked to take a picture of me and my pals.
Thanks for reading!