Eat 17

eat 17

Grace Parry wants to stay another day at Hackney hotspot Eat 17.

Cook up your own juicy burger with our delicious recipe for chorizo burger. 

eat 17As an Essex girl, my idea of East End food is pie, mash and liquor preceded by a good portion of jellied eels. And whilst this is invaluable for its nostalgia, it’s fair to say that in recent years East London has upped its game, with restaurants like Lyle’s, Typing Room and Rotorino having me and every other converse wearing East-ender Instagramming like mad.

And things just got better, as Eat 17 opens its second restaurant in Homerton  bringing hungry hipsters a real triple threat with a stylish restaurant upstairs, a classic burger bar downstairs and its own supermarket at the back selling bespoke ingredients including the chain’s brand name ‘bacon jam’.

The burger joint downstairs is styled out like a proper old school diner, with wooden benches laden with condiments, black boards scrawled with menus and a classic tiled counter to order their delicious burgers. Meanwhile, up the apple and pears (sorry) lies a chic dining room brimming with on-trend décor and banging meals that are as charming as they are tasty: think the Great Gatsby with a MacBook Pro.

A small bar dripping in shining ball bearings stands at the back of this intimate restaurant, whilst kitsch golden lamps illuminate the monogram artwork that hangs off white washed walls. A dark leather banquette lined with marble tables and squishy pink pouffes take centre stage, and comfy teal booths add a subtle splash of colour.

We decided to go for a sort of Eat 17 tapas, choosing three dishes from the nibbles section of the menu rather than individual starters. Three golden salty goats cheese croquettes oozed beneath their perfect crispy breadcrumb shell, and Thai salmon fishcakes sang with fragrant lemongrass, coriander and mint. The highlight of this grazing starter was undoubtedly the five-a-day-destroying tempura broccoli. Tender stems of purple sprouting broccoli coated in crispy batter, drizzled with sticky sweet molasses and salty soy. I will never eat steamed broccoli again.

Having had a finger-licking start to the meal we decided to put the cutlery to one-side and order burgers from downstairs. A pork burger stacked with spinach, smoky manchego cheese and Eat 17’s own chorizo jam was a delightfully messy joy of spicy meaty goodness.

The second burger instalment was a crunchy buttermilk fried chicken, filled with a juicy chicken breast that was deep-fried to perfection and topped with creamy slaw aioli, tomato chutney and tangy jalepenos. It was a symphony of flavour and texture, a truly refined version of an otherwise “dude food” staple. Both burgers came with a spicy side of crunchy Cajun sprinkled fries, all perfect on the crispy/fluffy scale. Stay another day? I’m planning to move in!

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