As is almost universal for everyone in London as we enter December, 95% of my calendar inevitably gives way to a slew of Christmas lunches with various teams and clients. It is for this very reason that I have been a bit quiet on the review front for the past week – it’s hard to rate restaurants when everything is pre-ordered and pre-paid for, no idea what we’ve ordered or what has been paid.
A few places have stood out that I will definitely be back to review at a later date. Pizza East in the Tea Building at the top of Bethnal Green Road was excellent – not only were the pizzas top quality, but the cheeses and desserts were brilliant (salted chocolate caramel tart, I could have finished the two slices on the table myself if my co-workers weren’t as equally enthusiastic). And what more is there to say about the Hawksmoor that hasn’t already been said? At the other end of the spectrum, Noodle King (also on Bethnal Green Rd) was as abysmal as I’d remembered from my student days, but has its place as the perfect place to go for a massive bowl of greasy noodles after a night out.
Anyway, for the first time in ages I was able to get out at lunchtime today, and had an errand to fulfil in picking up some bread from St John Bread & Wine. After I ordered the two loaves, the doughnuts fixed me with a cold, steely gaze, as if to say “don’t be a pussy”. I believe they only sell them Thurs-Sat here, so lucked out in that respect – today’s flavour was vanilla cream. Doughnuts in tow, paper bag heaving from the bread and in a panic that the rain would split the bag (or so I could eat the ‘nut sooner, more like) I ran back to the office.
Oh. My. God. This is the first time I had tried one of their doughnuts, and now see why people rave about them. They are AMAZING. I urge you to go forth and buy some, and make love to them, and buy a cottage in the country with them – they are the archetype of what a doughnut should be. Light and fluffy inside, thin crispy layer and covered in sugar outside, and filled to exploding point with a delicious custard.
Vanilla cream doughnut
Mess Factor – 5 not really the doughnut’s fault, more that I wanted to cram the entire thing into my face in one go – sugar everywhere
Value – 3 can’t actually remember how much they were, I think £2 each
Taste – 5 best doughnut ever – even better than Doughnut Plant in NY, my previous gold standard
Speed – 5 order, bag, pay – did go at 11:50 though, so don’t know how big queues get