Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hackney Bureau, 5th May

Many’s the time I have walked past Hackney Bureau after a trip to Broadway Market and have been struck by its popularity. On a weekend, you’d have to be quick off the mark to get in there and get a space for brunch.

My friend and decided to meet there for a late lunch on the last bank holiday afternoon to check it out. Lunch specials are written on the blackboard inside and we were both attracted to the two dishes featuring avocado. In the end, Alison got the smashed avocado with feta and poached eggs on sourdough, and I had the harissa chicken and avocado sandwich. Other options included truffled mushrooms on toast, butternut squash, and a variety of cooked breakfasts.

We also had a cheeky spritz to go with it – Campari for her, Aperol for me.

The food arrived and we were both more than happy with our choices, although I admit, after having a forkful of Alison’s combination, I felt I'd chosen the slightly inferior dish. Her poached eggs were perfect – oozing thick yolk over the creamy avocado, and the feta gave it all a salty tang to it that was very agreeable.

I did enjoy my sandwich as well though. Delicious sourdough held together the strips of chicken and avocado, of which there was a generous amount. The chicken was soft and the harissa was more than just a token description.

Our spritzes were a little on the small side but were a perfect choice if I do say so myself for a spring day.

Hackney Bureau on Urbanspoon

With appetites sated, we enjoyed a wander around Spitalfields with a glass of prosecco (for only £3.50!) from Bedales before dropping into the Hawksmoor bar for their Cinco de Mayo festivities, courtesy of the many-years-closed Green and Red Bar where Brewdog sits now. They had five different tequila based cocktails, all for £5, or you could have a tequila sangrita or verdita. This was a double shot of tequila to be followed by a concoction of coriander, pineapple and chilli. This was so good we decided to sip them instead of shooting them.

Finally, our wanderings took us up Hackney Road, where popping into Sager and Wilde for ‘one’ turned into a whole bottle plus a couple of their new small plates. We had a generous plate of manchego cheese (with a rather mean portion of quince) plus some gorgeous bread with oil, and a plate of speck with piquillo pepper. It confirmed how right I was to fall in love with the bar the first time, and Mr and Mrs Sager and Wilde were excellent hosts as before.

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