Tag Archives: Dalston

Cracking Crackling Captain!

25 Jan

At the heart of Dalston’s boulevard de la renaissance, A Little Of What You Fancy is unpretentious and welcoming.

A Little Of What You Fancy is a no-sign, ‘underground’ restaurant on a stretch of Kingsland Road officially (yes, officially!) known as The Waste. While this may not sound too inviting, these days you’re more likely to sustain a laughing injury due to the hats, shoes and facial hair of the Haggerston hipsters, than be accosted by the once ubiquitous Crack-fiends that patrolled this area on nights of yore.

A visit here is a pleasure, so much so that it seems churlish to mention the imperfections, such as a slightly over-salted salt and chocolate tart, or a piece of horseradish butter refusing to melt on a well-rested steak. Yeah, I know I just mentioned them, but that was just to get the tommy grumbles out of the way.

The restaurant has an atmosphere that manages to be both ‘different’ and relaxed at the same time.  The room smells of delicious food as soon as you walk in. It makes you think – yes, I want to eat here. I can smell grilled prawns and I want some.

Service combines charm and the sense of ownership and participation that you get from staff in the best places. Our waitress didn’t miss a trick – just saying the words “two jugs of wine” in casual conversation resulted in two jugs of wine being whisked to our table, one white one red. It felt like accidentally bidding on an item at an auction, but then being quite pleased with what you accidentally bought.

When ordering pork belly you are really only thinking about one thing – crackling – and here was a cracking example of one of the finest foodstuffs known to man. This crackling had me salivating like one of our old Crack-head friends smoking Crack in a Crack-house, I’d say this crackling was more addictive than Crack. Give me good crackling and I’ll forgive whatever rough edges you want to try me with. Salted caramel ice cream can do the same thing. So what’s so underground? Well, I did mention there’s no sign. If you want to find this place just look for the vacant-eyed, zombified crackling-fiends that now wander this stretch of The Waste.

(Sorry no photos, just wanted to eat, also too dark in here)

A Little Of What You Fancy
464 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AE
020 7275 0060

Long Table, Long Wait, Long May it Continue!

28 Nov mushroom, lemon and ricotta pizza

Dalston’s night market draws a crowd.

With night markets being the new pop-up-restaurant, or the new vintage-bicycle-boutique, or the new coffee-milk-bullshit (ta Larry David!) we had to be at Dalston’s new Friday night effort! We made the schoolboy error of sauntering down Kingsland Road in flaneur style which meant we were caught in the queue. And what a queue it was, longer than for an Egyptian polling booth, it snaked right down Abbot Street, round the corner and back to Dalston Junction (the people of Hackney are hungry!). In the queue we chatted with a couple of tummy-rumbling hipsterkids asking how they’d heard about the event?

“The whole area’s a-buzz about it!” the cold, shrugging lad said “we’re meeting people inside, should be incredible if we can hold out from sneaking a crafty McDonalds!”

I think he managed to stop himself from ducking in for a Filet’o’fish, which is good because after an hour and a half the line finally shuffled us inside to a food arena of the gods. A kind man with free pizza calmed our barking bellies, and we began our search.

First port of call was Cassava Creole for southern-style prawn gumbo, a nice large plate for 6 pound sterlin’. This is a dish that can be done very badly in the wrong hands, not here! Delicately spiced rice, beautifully seasoned veggies and a nice chunk of cornbread.

We eyed up the oysters, hot-dogs, ribs and burgers but couldn’t resist more pizza, cooked nice and thin and slightly crisp in a wood-fired oven. We opted for lemon ricotta and mushroom that was served as a large slice; at £3 we were happy with our choice (possibly just a little heavy on the ricotta!).

To be fair we’d eaten a decent nosh and still had change from a tenner, so we were delighted; super-duper. We hadn’t been banking on the queue so couldn’t linger due to a prior engagement with a pint of Brewdog Trashy Blonde at the nearby Railway Tavern Ale House.

Dalston’s first Long Table was a great success and I’m looking forward to my next chowdown throwdown. The venue, and the thought and energy that went into it, created a great buzz reminiscent of a Mutate Britain or Vauxhall Car Boot event. The choice of international foods conjuring up an atmosphere of the banquet halls of Bedouin royalty or the crowded party streets of New Orleans!

“Please Sir, Can I have some more!”

dalston long table

The Long Table Abbot Street, Dalston


Dalston Pop-up Street-food Market

23 Nov

Getting excited about The Long Table on Abbot Street on Friday night. A night market in Dalston with proper tasty street food.

Have a look at this website for more info: