Sunday 2 June 2013

East London in the Summer: a veritable posse of pop-ups

Cometh the sun, cometh the pop-up.  Places, which only weeks before would have seemed highly improbable locations for restaurants, are transformed - abandoned rooftops reworked, work yards receive a makeover. And the arches by London Fields station, it appears, is the epicenter of this culinary explosion. Not a bad place for food at the worst of times (think Broadway Market, E5 Bakehouse, Buen Ayre), come summer your options multiply.

On the rooftop of Emigre Studios is Coppa, the new outpost of Lardo (a great little Italian round the corner serving up seriously good pizza from their disco ball oven).  Serving cicchetti - Italian tapas - the menu is concise, we ordered at least one of everything.  There are fresh chickpea and celery salads, unctuous nduja-laden arancini and rich caponata.  Less impressive were the spiedini - little skewers of tough lamb, grilled bread with cheese or prawn (note the singular - for £4!).  There were various other fried things - zucchini chips, proscuitto tomato and mozarella calzone fritte (and to think people scorn the Scots for deep fried pizza, although that's maybe because we add a healthy dollop of HP sauce!). All perfectly fine, but not really worth searching out.  Great place for a beer and arancini, but would stick to that.

Literally round the corner (it was one of those kind of days) is a collaboration between Climpsons Coffee and Lucky Chip (here, Licky Chop - see what they did here) - Climpsons Arch.  Housed in the arch used to roast coffee beans, most of the place is outside, a yard surrounded by a couple of meters high metal fence.  Not the most inviting of spaces you might imagine. But, as with another newly opened railway arch restaurant, Beagle, Climpsons and Lucky Chip have made the most of what they've got. 

The menu is made up of my kind of things - oysters (the ones with tapioca pearls are quite possibly the best I have ever had), bone marrow on toast with a smoked anchovy spread, onglet steak (there it is again!) and even a whole roasted pigs head, medieval! We opted for the bone marrow - roasted hunks of bone with sourdough, could have done with an extra slice of toast though.  The hake with cocoa was also good.

A sun trap (well at least on the day we visited) serving interesting food and great drinks (you've got to try the bottled rhubarb cocktail) - I think I can forgive them that fence.

Climpson & Sons on Urbanspoon Lardo on Urbanspoon

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