The weekend was made for pottering around and exploring the delights that your closest town or city has on offer. Last Saturday, I decided to do just that and take a walk around Old Spitalfields market.
Spitalfields Market is one of London’s oldest East End trading epicentres and is well known for its slant towards vintage clothes and accessories however, it has upwards of 110 stalls trading each weekend so there is plenty to cater for all tastes. Surrounding the covered market are a wall of contemporary eateries and quirky shops and boutiques (not forgetting the Mac makeup store too!). Determined to avoid the chain restaurants such as Giraffe, Wagamama’s, Carluccio’s and Leon, myself and my friend Amy decided to try out Androuet for a spot of lunch.
Androuet, a traditional cheese shop and restaurant, is nestled on the East side of the market and was a recommendation by an old work friend who was well aware of my cheese obsession! Inside sit three mahogany high tables and accompanying bar stools, probably seating around 14 diners at a time – it is a tight squeeze if you are keen on dining inside! The waiter ushered outside where there is ample room, overhead heaters and even fleece blankets to keep you warm on those chilly spring days. We certainly needed it last weekend..
To start we had the ‘Selection of nibbles’ to share, made up of two croquettes, Parmesan crisps and two mini welsh rarebits. The stand out point about this cute little starter was certainly the Parmesan crisps, they were thick and crunchy as well as being quite sharp – the Parmesan really shines through. Another fave was the chutney abreast the melted Reblouchon cheese on the Welsh rarebits; the flavours complemented each other very well.
To follow, I ordered the raclette, bacon, onions & mushrooms inside a crusty baguette with chips. Now, the menu says ‘chips’ but I’m going to be frank here, it was five crudely cut, chunky potato rectangles sat on top of each other. They seemed a little undercooked and were barely crisp – not good. However, this didn’t matter a great deal as the baguette really was the piste de resistance! The raclette cheese oozed over the bacon rashers and out either side of the crusty white baguette – delicious. You really can’t complain when a delicious London lunch comes at such a reasonable price – £7.
We did feel that the food did take rather a long time to prepare and resulted in plenty of glasses of wine being quaffed between courses! Not sure if that really is a bad thing, when the wine list as extensive as Androuet’s. All in all, if you’re in the area, it is a must visit for all cheese lovers but beware of its minute seating area..
New fave lunch destination… Bon appetit!