Little Georgia, Hackney
87 Goldsmiths Row
020 7739 8154
by Des Ayuno
The recent reopening of Little Georgia (a beloved Broadway Market institution that shut in 2005 in contentious circumstances) has been discussed in these parts with the same hushed excitement with which John no doubt watched Jesus do his stuff at the wedding in Cana. (According to D, actually, the Georgians believe God gave them such a lush and beautiful country as a reward for their superior vinification skills.) We headed down to its new premises on a chilly Thursday morning and were impressed with its stylish yet cozy interior, like a Farrow & Ball advert. Our orders were taken by a charming proprietress double act – the first as apple-cheeked and gingham-aproned as your gran, the second like a tall, elegant artist auntie. D went for pancakes. I read that the “Full Georgian” was only available at weekends and panicked, but was immediately reassured that something equally hearty and restorative could be rustled up.
Coffees were prompt and powerful. My enormous Partial Georgian featured rustic, yolk-heavy scrambled eggs, intense parsley-flecked beans that had probably been simmering in a cast-iron pot for weeks with various alliums and herbs, and dense, lumpy, hand-formed sausages that were no less succulent or delightful for their irregular appearance. Traditional English beans and sangers are apparently available for the meek. Mysterious and strident spices burst upon my palate like Mensheviks celebrating February 1917, and even the toast had a whiff of the open fire about it. D’s small, thick, butter-sodden pancakes looked coy on the plate but, with rich natural yoghurt, apple, banana, honey and cinnamon sugar, made for a luscious dish of which I availed myself shamelessly. Everything we ate was spirited, honest and generous, and for barely a tenner between us. Like the Cana wedding guests, we were infused with a warm glow, enjoying that rare combination of spiritual and physical satiety.