Saturday, 19 April 2008
Pictures of my lone dinner to the restaurant in the Spitalfield Market area called Canteen didn't come to the surface until now. I went there last October when I had a training down in London. Because of my long illness right after that I didn't get a chance to review all the pictures I took until now that I'm generally better.
Canteen is one of the most ideal restaurant for me. I never hid the fact from anyone that when it comes to dining places the environment and ambiance are way down my list of criteria. First and foremost for me is the food (that's what it's all about innit?) secondly is the price - it had to be at least good value for money. So you can just about guess that down to earth places with reasonable prices and great food are my absolute favourites. If the surroundings and cutlery are nice then I would consider that a bonus.
This restaurant is no fancy place but had good settings in a minimalist way. The name was true to its word - it looks like a canteen. Most of the food are standard pub fodder but done in the best way possible. I likened the whole enterprise as like stripping a restaurant naked and exposing and highlighting the fabulous food it offers at prices that would not break the bank - I promise!
I ordered a steak (and ale ?) pie with mash and greens. The mash was the best I've tasted outside of my kitchen. Very buttery, creamy and ultra smooth. And the pie? On the outside the pastry was crisp and the inside was a great thick and flavourful beef stew. Although the filling was quite hot making me regret scoffing a spoonful as soon as I broke into it. I was wondering to myself how they managed to retain the crispiness of the pastry. Maybe they have them ready as baked shells and then fill it, top it then baked to crisp the outside. Hmmm ... food for thought.
Thank god the greens didn't come out cooked to death. It was handled just right making a fine complement to the pie and creamy mash. Oh before I forget, the gravy was delicious enough to bind them all together to give me a very satisfying meal.
Now I couldn't remember exactly the ice cream I had for dessert. I think it was raspberry one with a pistachio biscotti sticking like a tower on the side. But I could distinctly remember that the fruit flavour was vivid in a starring-role style not like some insipid ice cream whose intended flavours barely registered in your tongue. And did I say it was as creamy as a premium Italian gelato?
Well, what else can I say? It's obvious that I enjoyed my food in Canteen and will be definitely be back with a vengeance if I'm in the vicinity. I just hope they keep up the quality of their offerings and hope they won't get diluted once they start branching out. Please Canteen promise me you won't be another Wagamama ...
2 Crispin Place
London    E1 6DW
Tel. No.: 0845 686 1122