BDQ – July
If you didn’t know of its existence, you’d walk right past Smoking Goat; the writing on the plaque outside is so tiny one wonders whether it wants you to know about it at all. The warmth of the welcome and the hospitality quickly dispels any such idea. The décor is in-keeping with the Shoreditch vibe; think lots of glass, open brickwork and a casual dining atmosphere, while the cuisine is northern Thai barbeque food. A tight menu serves up breakfasts, which include rati (bread) and sauce alongside lots of pork and meat.
We went at lunch time and opted for fish with a hearty side dish of veggies and rice. The veg was packed with lots of spicy flavours without being torturously hot, and the fish was beautifully fresh, though I wished I’d asked for it off-the-bone. A great Shoreditch eaterie with a casual and friendly ambience, a lively clientele and a welcoming attitude to families with young children.
64 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ
By day, Little Farm is a café dishing out healthy breakfasts and salad boxes to take away. When 4pm rolls around, it transforms into RED Restaurant, which serves up succulent cuts of meat and specialised wines. Owner Boj’s peripatetic life saw him live in France and Italy before settling in London, where he noticed a dearth of healthy quick lunch options. Cue the arrival of Little Farm, his take away lunch operation that aims to serve you in within 45 seconds, proving the point that fast food doesn’t have to be unhealthy food. For the time-pressed yet anti-ready meal brigade, try the home grocery boxes, which have recipes prepared and ready to cook at home.
115 Worship Street, EC2A 2BA
Everything at TraTra is yum yum – and it’s got the atmosphere to match. Take two flights down from the Boundary Group to enter this swanky bar and restaurant. With a DJ booth and trendy décor, this modern eaterie makes for the perfect date spot because the food is tasty, the portions are generous and, with a cool cocktail bar, there’s a real buzz about the place, but it’s not too loud to chat. We went on a relatively quiet Tuesday evening and sampled the slow-braised octopus for two, which comes with saffron aioli, mussels, monkfish and baked potatoes. To accompany the sharing plate, we went for tasty sides of taboulé and tempura summer veg. With a bottle of wine, it might set you back forty quid per head but this place certainly warrants it.
2-4 Boundary Street, E2 7DD