64 - 66 Brooksby's Walk E9 6DA
020 8986 6242
AKA: Your new favourite hangout
The deal: First up, props on the name, guys. While the first outpost of Eat 17 was (and still is) in Walthamstow, their new restaurant in Homerton still bears the same LOLs name. It also might give you a bit of a chuckle that the newest venue also resides over the top of a SPAR mini-market, too. But what a building! 100 years ago it was a cinema, a couple of years ago it was a snooker hall and now it's home to some of the tastiest food in Hackney. In fact, once you've climbed up the stairs, past the neon sign and chandelier and into the art-deco lounge-style restaurant, you'll forget that a) you're not in Soho and b) one of E9's busiest streets is outside. The food is creative, with a focus on ethically sourced and local produce, and an even bigger emphasis on making it delicious. Oh - don't forget they've also got a decent burger bar downstairs, too, if you're in a hurry.
The food: We'll be honest - we worked our way through most of the menu here. And thank God we did as we didn't have a single dud dish. The high point of the starters has to be their jamon dish (£6), with it's description not doing it justice at all. Some of Spain's finest cured meat is wrapped around a celeriac puree, and is joyously combined with peanuts, rosehip and a sherry reduction. Totally dreamy tastes and textures. Two plump scallops (£7) were served in a small pan with a Coronation cauliflower puree and sprinkled with crisped onion and pearls of pomegranate. We stopped short (just) of licking the plate. Moving on to mains and the perfectly pink duck breast was pepped up with handful of huge, juicy blackberries and blueberries (£13), while the smoky flavours of the pork shoulder worked well with beans, spinach and hazelnut (£12). On a veggie tip, they go all steak-like with their broccoli (£11): slicing it across the head, griddling it and pairing it with a lemon yoghurt, crispy cabbage and egg. Desserts include a moist, sweet orange polenta cake (£5.5), a strong brownie with pistachio ice cream (£6.4) or homemade cookie dough ice cream (£4).
The signature dish: That jamon. Still dreaming about it now.
The chef: Chris O'Connor
When to dine: Week nights, Fridays and Saturdays - but they're closed Sunday and Monday
Damage to pocket: One of the best things about Eat 17 is that they've totally nailed the perfect price point. Starters come in around £6, mains (and a good sized portion, too) about £13. For a whole meal and a few glasses of wine, it'll be about £30 a head.
File under: Great with mates, Celebrate good times, Chomping Ground favourite, Date night