A Little of What You Fancy, Dalston
464 Kingsland Road
020 7275 0060
by Jane Rasher
...does you good, they say. It’s debatable, however, whether 'little' applies to the portions my friend Scott and I received at this, Kingsland Road’s first proper bistro.
Taking our cue from the bizarre, indecisive weather, we took half an hour to place our orders. But how could we not, when all about us was such intrigue? Given the unmarked door, it’s a challenge in itself just arriving. As you emerge, tacit congratulations are passed in glances from the other clued-up diners who've followed the trail of word of mouth and newsprint to this bonnie, bright interior.
A query of the origins of the Arnold Bennett omelette received a response of ‘something to do with Gordon Bennett, maybe?’ from the kitchen. I owed it to my English Lit. BA to half-knowingly order this offering, especially when I learned it was to be a smoked haddock and parmesan riot. I doubted the Edwardian author would have approved of such posturing, but Wikipedia assures me he was regarded as a bit of a social climber; this was his breakfast of choice whenever he overnighted at the Savoy. I tucked in untroubled. It was a gooey, nourishing creation beautifully offset by the bite of watercress and the zest of my freshly squeezed OJ.
Scott made short work of his homemade baked beans, eggs and bacon, and we were left in peace to natter and digest before moving on to Greek yoghurt and fruit compote. Fragments of damson-coloured plum and cherry preserves were a delight to dig out from a breakfast that thought it was a dessert. So much so, we felt we'd had a slap up meal.
Fancy is right - our food rang in at 15 quid each - but against the scrubbed salvage furniture, naked light bulbs and bare concrete floor, this also felt like an unfussy, wholesome treat. I didn't need Wikipedia to tell me that Arnold would have had seconds.