Tag Archives: ホクストン

Cortado Coffee & Cava Bar @ Gainsborough Studios, New North Road

Shoreditch Parkの北にあるアパートメント・コンプレックス、Gainsborough Studiosの中にあるカフェ・Cortado。ウェブサイトもFacebookページもなくツイッターのみ(@CortadoN1)、開店時間や電話番号等インターネット上でもほとんど情報がない穴場のようなこのお店、去年7月のオープン(Twitter情報)以来、ずっと気になっていた。

中は、グレーの壁や白木造りのテーブルといった淡い色調をベースに、黄色い椅子がアクセントになった、北欧風インテリア。ツイッターの紹介欄では、「coffee & cava bar specialising in delicious Spanish goodies(美味しいスペイン料理を出すコーヒー&カバ・バー)」とあり、メニューを見た限りさほどスペイン風とは思えないが、チョリソハモン・セラーノ等を使った卵料理やサラダ、サンドイッチなど、朝食、ブランチ、ランチメニューがある。夜は営業していない(と思う)のに、スパニッシュ・ワイン(赤・白・ロゼ・カバ)やビールもあるのが、いかにもショーディッチらしい。

この日のランチは、BLTサンドイッチ(£4.50)とチョリソ入りスクランブルエッグ(£6)。サンドイッチは好きな具を選べるカスタムオーダー式で、肉入りで£4.50、ベジタリアンだと£4。ハーフサイズ(£2.50 / £2.20)にして、サラダ(£5)やスープ(£3)と組み合わせたりもできる。ホーローのお皿や木のボードなど、プレゼンテーションも洒落ていて、手作り料理もコーヒーも想像以上。なかなか行きづらい場所にあるのがネックだが、近くにお越しの際は是非!

Gainsborough Studios West
1 Poole Street
N1 5ED

Cortado is a little cute cafe, located inside the large apartment complex Gainsborough Studios, north of Shoreditch Park. We wanted to try this cafe for a while and finally we had a chance to visit. Cortado doesn’t have a website or facebook page, just twitter account (@CortadoN1), and I couldn’t find much information about this anonymous cafe, including telephone number and opening hours, except the fact that it opened in last July and the location.

The cafe is tasteful decorated in Scandinavian style, with yellow chairs making a good contrast with soft colours such as light gray walls and light-wood tables. Their twitter page calls themselves as a “coffee & cava bar  specialising in delicious spanish goodies”. The menu doesn’t seem so Spanish, but they offer breakfast, brunch & lunch menu such as a selection of egg dishes and salads with chorizo or serrano ham, as well as sandwiches. I don’t think it opens at night, but they also have ‘booze’ menu with a selection of Spanish wines (whites, reds, rose, and sparklings) and Estrella beer – very Shoreditch-y.

Our lunch of the day was BLT sandwiches (£4.50) and scrambled egg with chorizo (£6). They make a custom sandwich with ingredients of your choice (meat option £4.50 / vegies £4). You can also order “halfwich” (£2.50 / £2.20) and make your own combo with soup (£3) or salad (£5). Their make-to-order food was hearty and yummy, and their coffee was equally high standard. The presentation of food on an enamel plate and a wooden board was very cute as well. The only problem is their “not easy to reach” location, but if you happen to be nearby, you should definitely try!

BLTサンドイッチ(£4.50)とサラダ / BLT sandwiches (£4.50) and salad

チョリソ入りスクランブルエッグ(£6)/ scrambled egg with chorizo (£6)


Their banana bread with pecan and honey was mouthwatering too.

Red Market: Pop-Up Street Food Market @ Old Street

Old StreetとGreat Eastern Streetが枝分かれする角の空き地で、夏限定のフードマーケット・Red Marketが現在開催中。昨年は夜のみのナイト・マーケットだったこのマーケット、今年は7月6日に始まり最初の2週間は週末のみだったけれど、7月21日〜9月2日の平日は昼12時から夜11時まで終日オープンしている(土曜は午後5〜10時、日曜は休み)。

グラフィティ・アートで覆われたビルに囲まれた2万平方フィート(約1858平方メートル)の広場には、ハンバーガーやイタリア、オーストリア、ハンガリー、地中海風メゼ、ジャパニーズなど、世界のストリート・フードを売る屋台がぐるり並び、昼はランチを求める人たち、夜はフード&ドリンクを楽しむ人々で賑わう。→写真:Time Out / Red Gallery / Zagat


Pop-up street food market Red Market is currently running on an empty space where Old Street and Great Eastern Street meet. This market opened only at night last summer, but this summer it opens from 12 noon to 11pm daily on weekdays from July 21 to September 2 (Saturdays: 5-10pm, close on Sundays), though first two weeks from July 6th opened only on weekend.

There are world street food vendors such as hamburger, Austrian sandwiches, Hungarian, Mediterranean meze, and Japanese in this 20,000 ft² (=1858 m²) space, surrounded by buildings colorized with various graffiti art. The market attracts hungry stomachs looking for lunch and snacks during the day, and hip creators enjoy food & drinks at night. →photos: Time Out / Red Gallery / Zagat

Not much time left until its closing, but if you are interested, check their website for special events such as public viewing for Paralympics, film screening, and live music etc.

子供が遊べる小屋と大きなクッション、おもちゃが置かれた砂場 / children’s playground with kid’s house and sand area equipped with toys and big cushions

ベルギー人アーティスト・Roaのグラフィティ(過去エントリー参照)の前の置かれたピンポン台で遊ぶ人たち / People playing ping-pong in front of graffiti by Belgian artist Roa (see past entry)

El Paso Tex Mex Café & Restaurant @ Hoxton

El Paso(エル・パソ)は、ホクストン・スクエアのすぐ南、Old Street沿いにある。10年以上前からある店だけれど、Mother Brownブログによると、2010年にリニューアルされたそう。くたびれた外観とは対照的に、カラフルなヴィンテージ家具や口ひげやソンブレロの形にくり抜いた壁など、中はファンキーでモダン、広々としていて気持ちがいい。


El Pasoのコンセプトは、現代の「ノマドワーカー」のためにWi-Fiを完備した作業スペースを設けたバー・レストランと言うことだが、食べ物がダメダメな分、こうして席を埋めるということだろう。でも正直なところ、私はロンドンに多数いるこのノマドワーカー(または学生)にはあまり好意的じゃない。お金払ってるんだから何してもいい、との言い分は正論かもしれないが、カフェは飲み食いするところで仕事場ではない。El Pasoのようにガラガラの店ならいいけれど、混雑している店で4人がけテーブルに陣取り、コーヒー一杯で何時間も粘る行為は、美味しい食事やひと時の憩いを求めて来たのに席がなく泣く泣く諦める人たちに失礼だ。前にも書いたけれど、それよりヒドいのが会議室代わりに使う人たち。長時間テーブルを占拠する上、うるさいので他の客の迷惑以外の何者でもない。

とつい感情的になってしまったけれど、El Pasoにも長所はある。明るくて居心地はいいし、Euro 2012の全試合を放映するので、ビール(コーヒーは×)を飲みながらのサッカー観戦には最適。もちろん、劣悪なオフィス環境や狭いアパートに苦しむノマドワーカーや学生たちにもね。

El Paso is located on Old Street, few steps to the south from the Hoxton Square. It’s been there for over ten years but it was updated in 2010, according to Mother Brown blog. In contrast to its weary and shabby facade, the interior is funky and cheerful with colourful vintage furniture and cheeky details like moustache and mariachi hut-shape holes on the walls.

Looking good, but their self acclaim of ‘the best Tex-Mex food’ was a big cheat. We ordered Steak Burrito (£8.50) but it didn’t have any taste. The chef was an East Asian – I don’t want to be offensive and surely there is an excellent Chinese or Japanese chef specialising in Mexican food, but psychological aspect would be another blow if the taste was bad. We rather go to a fast-food burrito like Chipotle. And their coffee was almost a criminal offence! Bad, bad, bad.

The concept for the El Paso is a bar/workspace/diner equipped with free Wi-Fi, accommodating modern ‘nomadic’ workers (or people who don’t have an office or students with a tiny flat??). It is a good tactic for them to fill the space since the food is bad. But to be honest, I am not very sympathetic to the  ‘nomadic’ work style in a café. It is tolerable if the place is half-empty like El Paso, but some people are thick-skinned enough to stay in a café, completely packed and people are waiting to be seated, taking up a table for four, with just one cup of coffee for hours and hours. But the worst offenders are the people using the place as a conference room – noise pollution for other customers!!

Anyway, I have been harsh and emotional, but there is something good at El Paso. The place is relaxing and they show all the games during Euro 2012, and it maybe the perfect place to cheer your team with a glass of beer (nott a cup of coffee). And of course, for people who want to work outside their miserable office or flat.

Viet Hoa Café @ Kingsland Road, Hackney

10以上のベトナム料理店が集まる、別名「Phở Mileフォー通り)」と呼ばれるKingsland Roadだが、その中で一番素敵な店がこのViet Hoa Caféシンプルかつスタイリッシュなブランドデザインは、Polka Gelatoも手がけた商業デザイン事務所・Vonsungの手によるもの。ラウンジ系ミュージックの流れる、センスよくまとめられた店内は、オーナーかマネジャーとおぼしきベトナム系のオジサンや従業員のイメージと、どうにもミスマッチだが、良いデザイナーを見つけたのは正解。この辺りのベトナミーズは、値段は多少店の雰囲気と比例するが(でもそれほど変わらない)、味は似たり寄ったりだと思うので、どうせならお洒落なお店で食べた方が気分がいい。同じくデザイン系ベトナミーズのViet Grillと比べ、味も雰囲気もViet Hoaの方が上だと私的には思う。

Viet Hoaのウェブサイトをチェックしていて気づいたのだが、地下は同系列のバーベキューレストラン・MESSになってるのだそうだ。このオリエンタル風BBQのお品書き、とても気になる。一度行ってみたい。

Among more than 10 Vietnamese restaurants on Kingsland Road (also known as the “Phở Mile“), Viet Hoa Café is the chicest place of all. Its simple + stylish branding design is created by commercial design firm Vonsung, whose project list includes Polka Gelato. Its modern interior and cool lounge music doesn’t really match the image of its owner (or manager?) who served our table and workers at Viet Hoa, but let’s put it aside. They just found the right person for the restaurant’s renewal work and branding design. The taste of food is more or less the same at any Vietnamese restaurants in the area, though the price is influenced a bit (but not much) by the cost of interior, and if the food is around the same, it is more pleasant to eat at a nicer place. In compare to another design-y Vietnamese Viet Grill, I prefer Viet Hoa for both ambience and food.

I didn’t realize when we were at the restaurant, but there is also a sister restaurant MESS at the basement. These oriental BBQ dishes are quite interesting and appealing – I have to try soon.

牛肉入りフォー(£6.70)と鴨のローストとご飯のセット(£7.90)/ Pho with beef (£6.70) and Roasted duck & rice (£7.90)

海老とカニカマ入り生春巻き / Summer rolls with prawns & crabsticks  (£3.85)

Amici Miei Italian Home Cooking @ Kingsland Road, Shoreditch

Pizza Eastに行く通り道にあるイタリアン・レストラン、Amici Miei(アミーチ・ミエイ)。お店ができた時から気になっていたが、頭はいつもPizza Eastのピッツァで占められているので、いつも素通りしていた。でも先週の寒波の際に、近場でランチをと考えていたところ、ふとここを思い出し試してみた。

Amici Mieiは、隣にあるサルデーニャ料理のレストラン&テークアウト店、Due Sardi(ドゥエ・サルディ:二人のサルデーニャ人の意)のオーナーの2軒目のお店。「Amici Miei(私の友人たち)」と言う名前の通り、スタッフはフレンドリー。隣の、いかにもアングラ・ショーディッチ風のDue Sardiと違い、そのインテリアはシンプル&ナチュラル、洒落た田舎のトラットリアという感じで、なかなか可愛い。


We have passed in front of this Italian restaurant, Amici Miei, dozens of times when we went to Pizza East. Since its opening, we wanted to try this place, but our minds were preoccupied with pizza at Pizza East every time we passed by, and we just like, “well, we would try another time”. But last week with big freeze, we didn’t want to go far and finally dined at Amici Miei.

Amici Miei is the second restaurant of the owner of Due Sardi (= two Sardinians in English) , a casual Sardinian eatery next door. As its name “Amici Miei (=my friends)” suggests, staffs were pleasantly friendly. In compare to typical Shoreditch-y offbeat Due Sardi, its interior is smart & simple, and more like cute trattoria in Italy.

We saw a stone oven on the back of the restaurant, and immediately made up our mind to order pizza. We had Italians’ favorites, Margherita (back in the photo below) and Marinara (front in the photo). Our expectation reached the top when the waiter brought us our pipping hot dishes, but it turned sour as we had a bite. Pizza crust was neither chewy as Neapolitan pizza or crunchy as Roman style, but just the taste of flour. Tomato sauce was too little and mozzarella (not the fresh kind) was too much, and the olives were just bad. However, people seem to like their pizza as I checked online reviews. Some possibilities: 1) we are wrong, 2) chef of the day was an intern, 3) the reviews were done by their ‘amici’. Need to try Amici Miei again to tell our verdict.

Pitfield Lifestyle Shop & Café @ Pitfield Street

Time Out誌をパラパラとめくっていたら、Old StreetとHoxton Squareの間にある通り、Pitfield Streetが今Hipに変わりつつあるという(→Time Out記事)。私たちがこの近辺をうろつくようになった頃は、うらぶれたパブやケバブショップ、エスニック系食品&雑貨店などが数軒あるだけの何の変哲もない通りだったが、オールドストリート駅&ホクストンから至近というその好立地のおかげか、近年、洒落たヘアサロンや自転車ショップ&ジュースバー(私たちもここで自転車のメンテをお願いしている)が次々とオープン。和風カフェのようなたたずまいの日本人経営?のタトゥーショップまでできた。

その中で見覚えのない店が1軒、知らない間にオープンしていたのがこのPitfield。上階にオフィスを構えるインテリア・デザイナー経営の、無国籍&時代を超えた、スタイリッシュでカラフルな生活用品・ヴィンテージ雑貨などを扱うお店だ(→Time Outの店紹介)。


When I was checking the Time Out magazine, I saw an article talking about Pitfield Street, located in between Old Street and Hoxton Square. When we moved in the neighbourhood and started to walk around the area, the Pitfield was nothing more than shabby street with few gloomy pubs, kebab shops, and ethnic grocery shops. However, with this excellent location just next to Hoxton, recently this “stubbornly grotty” (Time Out says. Not me!) street has started to change, and some hip hair salons, bike shop & juice bar (where we brought our bikes for maintenance), and even Japanese tatoo parlor which looks more like modern café than scary tatoo salon (→Time Out article).

Among the places, there was one place we didn’t know, which opened quite recently, I believe. That is “Pitfield“, a stylish lifestyle shop & café, owned by an interior designer who has his office upstairs and his business partner, filled with colourful vintage & modern homewares from UK and abroad (→Time Out article).

We tried out the café on our visit to the shop. Surprisingly there was a queue after lunch time. Flatbread sandwiches occupy top half of the showcases and a variety of good-looking cakes and tarts sit on the bottom . When moving closer to the cashier, voilà, big dishes of deli food such as quiches, salads, and lasagne appeared. Staffs were talking in French and this heightened my expectation for the food. M ordered vegetable lasagne and I got ham and cheese quiche. The dishes were warmed up, which is a plus, but I was a bit disappointed – the shell of my quiche was too hard and couldn’t easily cut with fork (there was no knife in their cutlery box), and the side salad didn’t have any taste without dressing. We were like, “ok, let’s move on and try world-renown ‘French’ cake”. After the meal, we had an almond bar, espresso and tea. Hot drinks are served with vintage? (or looking?) iittala cup & saucer. A little bit of good touch. Almond cake was not bad but not jaw-dropping. I guess my expectation was too high… However, there is no other nice café around, so the café is still useful and won’t fail, I believe.

イッタラのカップに入った紅茶、エスプレッソ、アーモンドケーキ / Tea and espresso, served with iittala cup & saucer, and almond bar

入って右側がカフェ、左側がショップ。ショップは意外に奥行きがあって広い / Café is on the right, and the shop space is on the left half. The shop has a depth, and bigger than I expected

窓から山積みのメレンゲが見える / Mountain of meringues seen through the windows

Cây Tre SOHO @ Dean Street

ロンドン東部で人気のベトナム料理店Cây Treが西進、ソーホーにもオープンした。オーナーのVietnamese Kitchen Groupは、ホクストンにある本店、ベトナミーズ・レストランが集まるKingsland Road(キングスランド・ロード)のViet Grill、そして最近本店の向かいにオープンした軽食・テークアウトのKêu! báhn mì deli(バインミー)と、ロンドン市内に4店を持つ。

Cây Tre SOHOは、広々として明るく、モダンなインテリアデザインと、従来の冴えないベトナム・レストランの常識を覆すおしゃれさ。でもソーホーという好立地に加え、内装にお金をかけているせいか、値段は他のグループ店に比べると割高。しかも、フォー£8.50(本店£6.50)、生春巻き£4.50(本店£3.50)、Com Saigon£9.50と、いい値段をとる割に量は少なく、キングスランド・ロード価格に慣れている身には不満が残る。グループ店も含め、味も人が絶賛するほど特段美味しいと思わないんだけれど。。。



Hoxton’s popular Vietnamese restaurant Cây Tre stretched its hand to the west; the Vietnamese Kitchen Group, the owner of Cây Tre as well as Viet Grill on Kingsland Road, London’s little Saigon, and recently opened Kêu! bánh mì deli, has opened a new venue in SOHO.

Cây Tre SOHO is spacious and cheerful, and its modern and stylish interior defies an image of conventional Vietnamese restaurants in London. But all these niceness, as well as its prime location of central London, cost us. Food are pricier than other sister restaurants: Phở £8.50 (Cây Tre Hoxton: £6.50); summer rolls £4.50 (Cây Tre Hoxton: £3.50); and Com Saigon £9.50, for example. Also the portion were quite small considering the high prices. Obviously value for money at the SOHO branch is unsatisfactory for people like me who are used to reasonable Kingsland Road prices. Though people seem to love the chain, I don’t think the taste of Cây Tre and other group restaurants is so better than other Vietnamese in Kingsland Road…

But the worst experience of the day was not the price or food, but its service. It was late afternoon and almost empty, as you can see in a photo, but M didn’t get his Phở even after I finished all my food an hour ago. Usually it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to get a bowl of noodles in any places, so obviously the waiter forgot the order. We complained, but no proper apology came back. Also I don’t like that our bill was given inside a fancy paper cover with greasy stains.

I would believe that the best place to eat Vietnamese is the East, after my experience in Cây Tre SOHO…

ポークのグリルに目玉焼きとご飯がついたCom Saigon £9.50/ Com Saigon £9.50: grilled pork and shredded pork fillet, served with a fried egg and rice

薄切り生牛肉ののったフォー £8.50 / Phở with thin sliced raw beef £8.50