Hackney Pearl @ Hackney Wick

2012年ロンドンオリンピック会場予定地のそば、Hackney Wick(ハックニー・ウィック)にあるカフェ・Hackney Pearl(ハックニー・パール)。オリンピック開催を2年後に控え、会場建設は順調、アーティストたちがスタジオを構え、地価上昇を狙った開発業者によって新しいアパートがあちこちに建設されているけれど、倉庫や工場に囲まれたこのエリアには、まだ小さな雑貨屋兼食料品店や冴えないカフェが数軒あるだけで、わざわざ訪れるほどのものは何もない。Hackney Pearlはその中でまさに真珠の輝きを放っていて、Time Out誌の「Eating and Drinking Awards 2010」のBest New Caféに輝いている。

店舗ユニットを二つ分使った広い店内は、フォーマイカのテーブルに、学校の教室にあるような懐かしい木製の椅子、床に敷かれたカラフルなラグ、白い壁に白いタイルに囲まれたキッチンカウンターと、とても居心地がいい。平日で、あのエリアとしてはリーズナブルとは言えない値段設定でも、近くにスタジオを構えるアーティストやクリエーターっぽい人たちで結構賑わっている。アーティストは食えないってイメージがあるけれど、結構儲かるのかも。

フードメニューは基本ブリティッシュ。軽い食事なら、スクランブルエッグが乗ったトーストなどのAll Day Breakfast(朝食と言えど、いつでも食べれる)やトーストされたパニーニ、スープ、ベジタリアン・メゼなど。ちゃんとした食事をしたいなら、肉や魚などのメイン料理も頂ける。旬の食材を出来るだけ使ったその料理は、他の人のテーブルを除き見ても美味しそうで、食欲をそそられる。ただ、私はランチは軽く食べたい方なので、必然的に選択肢が少なくなる。野菜嫌いの私は、ベジタリアン・メゼ(写真下。Mが注文)はパス。卵料理はやっぱり朝に食べたい。スープだとお腹がふくれない。パニーニは3種類しかなく、食材の質はいいとは思うんだけれど、使用しているパンが今イチ好みじゃないのが問題。

それより残念だったのがコーヒー。Square Mileのコーヒー豆を使っているにも関わらず、1回目は薄すぎ、2回目は少し酸っぱい後味が気になった。可愛くて居心地がいいカフェだけに残念。夏ならともかく、このカフェに行くためだけに、寒空の中を片道ベスパで約20分の距離をかけていくほどじゃないなあ。

A café Hackney Pearl is located near the 2012 Olympic park in Hackney Wick. Construction of the Olympic park has been progressing quite well. The area is becoming a new artists’ colony, and new apartment complexes has been built by real estate developers with big dreams in future prosperity of the area. But there is nothing special there yet, but beaten up warehouses and factories as well as few small grocers and shabby cafés. Hackney Pearl is the only thing shines like a ‘pearl’ in this hardcore industrial area. The café established its reputation as the Best New Café on Time Out’s Eating and Drinking Awards 2010.

This retro-looking and laid-back place makes everyone relax and happy, with cute Formica tables, classroom-look wooden chairs, colorful rugs, and good old white tiled kitchen counters. The place is favored by local arty/creative crowd and never be empty even in the weekday afternoon with not quite reasonable price for the area – I guess that artists can earn good money on contrary to a stereotypical public image.

Its food menu is based on hearty British recipes. All Day Breakfast like scrambled egg on toast, toasted panini, soup of the day, and veggie meze (photos on the bottom. M’s order) are for light meal, and bigger mains are available for empty stomachs. Their food is seasonal and produce is sourced as locally as possible, and looked delicious as I took a peep at other customers’ tables.  The problem is, I want to eat light for lunch, and inevitably there aren’t much choice for me – I am not a big fan of vegetable and can’t order vegetarian meze, and want to reserve eggs only for a breakfast. A bowl of soup is too small to fill my stomach. There are only three choices of panini, and the bread they use is not really my cup of tea, though filling is quite good.

I was disappointed by their flat white. They use coffee beans from famous Square Mile, but it was too watery for the first visit and had an sour aftertaste for the second time. For us, it may not worth to travel for about 20 minutes by vespa under the doomy winter sky in this season, to this café in the middle of depressing industrial estates. It is a shame because the place is so nice…

ところで、Hackney Pearlの隣にあったカフェ、Martabelle Kがオープンして半年ほどして突然クローズした。一度行きたいと思っていただけに残念。どうなったのかググってみたけれど、全く分からない。誰か知ってますか?

There was another café Martabelle K we really wanted to try next to Hackney Pearl, opened last November but closed last July after only a half year of its business. I tried to search what happened, but it is a mystery. Do anyone know what is all about?

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3 responses to “Hackney Pearl @ Hackney Wick

  1. Pingback: Breakfast & Brunch Secrets London Guide | everydaylife.style

  2. everydaylifestyle

    Thanks for your comment! Food there looks absolutely delicious – definitely want to try for dinner some time. About coffee, should be good as well, but I guess it was not my day and just a little glitch.

    By the way, your blog is nice looking and photos are superb. I can’t check carefully now as I am away, but definitely check it out when I come back home!

  3. Nice illustrative shots and review. The the food @ the Hackney Pearl is delicious – haven’t tried the coffee, but with a machine like that they should be able to turn out some good brews!

    L

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