Photo: Eat 17
When a restaurant is located in the heart of Walthamstow village, you know it is going to be anything but run of the mill. But how can you strike a balance between something functional and suitably fashionable without it coming across as an exclusively hipster hangout? It appears that the founders of Eat 17 have discovered how.
It is evident that this restaurant is proud of its location – the clue is in the name. However, the same level of pride is also apparent in the carefully crafted menu which showcases a bounty of locally produced food with meat from the East London Sausage Company, across the road from Eat 17, and fruit and vegetables from Spitalfields Market. Of course, Eat 17’s claim to fame is their delectable Bacon Jam, which has received praise from celebrities such as Sex and the City star, Sarah Jessica Parker and chat show host, Jonathan Ross but for Walthamstow locals, Eat 17 is a must visit location, synonymous with classic dishes with an experimental twist.
A typical three-course meal with a bottle of wine could set you back at least £38, however for those on a lower budget, there are ways of being able to enjoy the food without the fear of breaking the bank. The cheapest main course on the menu is the sweet potato pie with spinach and goats cheese which costs £10.50, closely followed by the signature Eat 17 cheeseburger with crisp bacon for £10.80. These dishes, which are available on their permanent menu, not only send your taste buds into a frenzy but they also showcase the quality of the ingredients used by the Eat 17 chefs. Additionally, Eat 17 offers a breakfast menu, with dishes ranging from 75p for two slices of sliced toast to £8 for a full English, proving that there is something for everyone at this foodie haven.
The décor is equally inviting. Deer antler lamp fixings hang on a minimal taupe coloured wall mixing the countryside with the city aesthetic that Walthamstow is known for. Oversized armchairs are placed around marble tables and an ornate fireplace complete with roaring fire has been painted onto the wall closest to the bar. Eat 17, like Walthamstow, is full of idiosyncrasies but this is what makes it so appealing. Dining should be an experience and there is certainly an essence of that here.
Finally, the service is as slick as a whistle. Iced water is served to all tables upon arrival and food is delivered promptly. When a certain wine is off the menu, the knowledgeable bar staff are eager to recommend a similar bottle, offering tastings to ensure the flavor compliments the accompanying food order. Eat 17 run a tight ship and this is definitely reflected in the service provided. Although it is not the cheapest dining option in the area it is one that everyone should try at least once.
Eat 17, 28-30 Orford Road, E17 9NJ (020 8521 5279) www.eat17.co.uk
Overall Score: 8/10
Prices correct at time of publication
Words: Grace Molan