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East London progressive dinner - Broadway Market: Cat & Mutton, Hackney City Farm, Little Georgia

we started at the cat & mutton; a pub on Broadway Market. The pub has been open since the mid 1700s when its customers were drovers who brought livestock from East Anglia to sell at market. London Fields was their final stop on the way into London (from their website). The menu looks outstanding but tonight it was their 4th annual oyster night, so we began stop one with:

- sashimi oysters (soy, ginger, mirin, shallots)
- basque oysters (chorizo, parmasen, chard)

and some home made bread and chips... awesome oysters, great atmosphere, very relaxed and bubbly.. and delicious oysters, as always i find when cooked they lose some of their flavour but the Noilly Prat sashimi oysters were outstanding

on to stop two, the hackney city farm

we'd noticed earlier in the day that the cafe was open for supper this thursday night for some rustic eating with greens from the garden... sounded too good to miss

unfortunately my favourite dish - steamed greens with salt and olive oil - was off the menu so we settled for:

- mussels 'pepata sicialiana' made with tomato, white wine and chilly
- home made tagliatelle with chantrelle, giroles, pied blue and pied du mouton mushrooms finished with smoked speck and parmesan and
- sauteed chard, roast beetroots, grilled tomino cheese and rocket

unfortunately we didn't see the side dish of fresh tomatos, horseradish and basil on the menu

food was great; simple, fresh and delicious but even better was (1) all the kids sitting on their parents laps, haven't seen such well behaved children since mexico (2) place was fully booked but somehow they managed to sit us anyway, on the lounge right next to a beautiful old black cat (3) how friendly, relaxed and convivial the environment was; if it wasn't for the fashion, accents and the pasty white skin i wouldn't have known i was in london

desserts looked delicious but would only have gotten in the way of the third stop, little georgia

apparently it was shut in controversial circumstances in 2005 but it is back, better than ever.. unfortunately the sweet blinis and pancakes are only available for breakfast so we settled for a plum cake and a walnut biscuit.. similar to desserts my grandmother used to make - they were homemade and very fresh... cheap and great - can't wait to get there one morning for breakfast

three very different but equally enjoyable places - a great night in east london

Cat and Mutton: 76 Broadway Market Hackney London E8 4QJ
Hackney City Farm: 1a Goldsmiths Row London E2 8QA
Little Georgia: 87 Goldsmiths Row, Bethnal Green, E2 8QR

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  1. Awesome! Thanks for the reports, had recently heard about Little Georgia from some friends, so am even more grateful to hear details here.

    1. I like the C&M, but i find it a bit 'East London' .i.e - full if scensters, but the food's good.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Nii

        You don't get much more East London than Broadway Market. I actually find it quite amusing. Little Georgia is on my list too, especially as Georgian food saved my life when I spent a year in Moscow. Has anyone been to the steak place on Broadway Market, Santa Maria del Buen Ayre?

        1. re: greedygirl

          i live around here but havnt managed to go to buen ayre cuz it's always booked up. i pretty much agree w/ nii re: the cat + mutton altho i cant even say the food's been that good when i've gone - and it's pretty expensive too

          1. re: t_g

            I've had several bad experiences at the Cat & Mutton,but i always loved the food at Hackney city farm.However my very favourite place in Broadway Market used to be Armadillo,sadly no longer with us.Am i the only one to remember it?

            1. re: guyboxer

              I remember Armadillo and also miss the place, we can ill afford to lose good Latin American places from an already limited range of options. I also miss how Broadway Market used to be pre-gentrification but that's just the Victorian gent in me talking and I actually do quite like the current Saturday morning market and the scene that comes with it. I tried Jollof Pot for the first time recently and really enjoyed spinach and agushi even if it's very clear that this is West African food that has been adapted for western palates eg no palm oil being used.

              1. re: oonth

                Oooth - have you tried the Latin American places in Brixton and Southwark?

                1. re: Nii

                  Not really. I did try Las Americas in Brixton Market once and had a tasty arequipe (milk based drink) and a couple of mediocre savoury pastries. Which places (and which dishes at each of those places) would you recommend?

                  Ever been to/heard of El Pueblito Paisa, a South American shopping centre in Seven Sisters?

                  This list seems like a good starting point for Latin American options in London:

                  http://www.bmh54.f2s.com/directory/la...

                  1. re: oonth

                    I'm no expert, but I enjoyed the meal I had last night at Wahaca in Westfield.

                    1. re: greedygirl

                      Thanks greedy, I have been meaning to try Wahaca partly because i know Tommi Miers' boyfriend but haven't made it there yet. It's not saying much but Mexican food in London has improved, I've enjoyed one good meal (and two average ones) at Taqueria and a good meal at Mestizo shortly after it opened. Keep meaning to eat at Green and Red. Not really fussed about all the burrito places that have opened up in recent times.

                    2. re: oonth

                      Oodles of thanks for the heads up on El Pueblita Paisa! I've been oogling the South American options in Seven Sisters on bus rides to and from edmonton ikea and had planned on going before the month is out to explore and feast properly.

                      1. re: oonth

                        I love the sancocho at Comme y punto in Brixton market. Las Amercias is okay.

                        I've also had sancocho at a lovely Colombian cafe on the Brixton road (I'll get back to you with the name).

                        I'm really interested in El Pueblito Paisa - I honestly thought they were gonna close it down? I def need to get up there.

              2. re: greedygirl

                Greedygirl, I ate at Buen Ayre quite recently for the 1st time. it was good rather than outstanding. We both had fillet steaks, shared sides of chips (with parsley and garlic) and a salad, shared a dessert and had a very nice bottle of red wine (actually not a malbec but an Argentinian grape varietal called bonarda which is a nice alternative to malbec). Came to £43 each, steakhouses are never really a cheap option in London I find. I dunno, I liked Buen Ayre and the ambience/setting etc but I guess that I always come away from steakhouses in London a little underwhelmed and feeling that I've paid over the odds. I felt the same way after visits to Goodmans earlier this year and Hawksmoor a couple of years back.

                I went to Little Georgia years ago pre-gentrification of the market and in its original location. IIRC, quite liked it but not as much as I thought I would, possibly enjoyed the bottle of Georgian red more than the food itself. Like you i have enjoyed excellent Georgian food in Moscow. If you're interested, there are a couple of other Georgian places in London - Tbilisi on Holloway Road and a newcomer called Tamada in St John's Wood which took over the site of the failed second branch of Eriki, a favourite neighbourhood Indian of mine. If you check any of these places out, please report back.

                Btw, enjoy your Stateside trip, I still owe you some thoughts on your NYC selections.

                1. re: oonth

                  Hi oonth

                  I'm not a big fan of steakhouses either and would rather eat steak at home, but Mr GG loves him some red meat.

                  Time Out gave Tamada a good review for the food but not the service I think. St John's Wood is a bit of a trek for me but I might give it a go once I'm back from Stateside. Hatchipuri - yum!

                  1. re: greedygirl

                    I think Buen Ayre has some of the best steak in London - a meat lovers paradise! Go for the Paradilla Deluxe which comes with two types of steak, morcilla, sausages and provolone cheese. All the meat is imported from Argentina and cooked over the coals in the kitchen. The meat is tender, juicy and they dont mess about with it as it has so much flavour (in comparison to the tender yet flavourless US meat). The wine list, as you would expect is mostly South American, and is pretty reasonable - you could eat very well here for maybe £70 for two which in comparison to some other places is very good value. Definitely worth a trip

            2. Incidentally to the OP, I like this concept of "progressive dining". I prefer to look at it as something more casual akin to what the Spanish would term "tapear" or the Japanese "hashigo" which basically involves hopping from one place to the next which not only allows you to sample multiple places of an evening but also reflects the belief that most places specialise only in a limited number of items, something that resonates quite strongly with me.