Take your tastebuds travelling in East London

by Kim Durbridge · 0 comments

in tastecard tips

East London is widely renowned as not only a magnet for young creatives, but as a mixing pot of dozens of differing nationalities and cultures. This diversity has created a community full to the brim of forward-thinking eateries serving authentic and innovative dishes from every corner of the world. London locals, count yourself lucky to have such a plethora of tantalising foods from all around the globe literally on your doorstep!  And for those of you visiting East London from parts of the country where there may not be so many different cuisine options available should make the most of their trip with a tastecard. From Cuban to Vietnamese, you can enjoy some fantastic discounts in some of London’s Eastern neighbourhoods.  Here are our tips on how to take your tastebuds travelling with tastecard:

Consider the hipster hub of Brick Lane London’s Curry Mile.

tastecard offers discounts at no less than twenty Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi restaurants up and down this chaotic cobbled street. Amidst the wall murals, vintage kilo sales, record stores and hollering street vendors, you’ll find a large scattering of Indian eateries accepting your card, such as The Famous Curry Bazaar and Standard Balti House, all with irresistible aromas wafting from their open doors. Head to Jasmine to sample a traditional silver thali plate loaded with authentic curries and street snacks from the subcontinent.

A few hundred yards south of Jasmine (mentioned above), Suitō provides a chic and sophisticated Japanese dining experience without the price tag you’d expect from a swanky Shoreditch sushi bar. Here, you can delve into a platter of California Uramaki, Yakisoba noodles or a prawn Katsu curry whilst you soak in the cosmopolitan surroundings.

Head down Great Eastern Street towards Old Street Station, and you’re faced with some of London’s coolest bars and nightclubs. Floripa is the best location for kicking off a night out, with sultry mood lighting, ethereal beach party themed décor, a seriously delicious menu of Brazillian inspired food, and all of the spark of Rio carnival.

Finger foods include delicious pork belly, piri piri prawns and chicken thighs drenched in coconut milk and coriander, whilst the music policy spans from upbeat house to Brazilian funk and samba. Perhaps the most charming aspect of Floripa isn’t in fact the amazing art painted across the walls, but the high ceilings which generate an uplifting atmosphere all through the week.

Further down Great Eastern Street past Old Street station, tastecard holders can yell ”Prosit!” over long wooden benches, whilst enjoying a stein served by waitresses in traditional Dirndl dresses. In the authentic cellar of Bavarian Beer House, you’ll find more than just stag dos or the occasional German backpacker getting their fill of home comforts: the beer house is a popular celebration spot and fills up fast post 5pm every night of the week.

Put on your deepest attempt at a German accent whilst you take your best pop at reading the German menu: typical Bavarian fodder on offer includes Unechener Schweinebraten: a pork roast served with dark beer sauce and dumplings, a traditional Wurstplatte, stacked full of Frankfurter, Bratwurst and Nürnberger sausage, and Bayerisches Biergulasch: Bavarian beef goulash served with red cabbage and noodles.

Head further North from Shoreditch and up Kingsland Road to enjoy one of Hackney’s only Cuban eateries, Escudo De Cuba. The soul-stirring smells of oregano, cumin and spiced rum fills this garish hole in the wall on the intersection of Kingsland Road and Truman’s Road. Empanadas, Cuban tapas, paella and a lively cocktail menu make Escudo De Cuba a magnet for a stylish yet laid-back crowd who are keen for a fun – and Instagrammable – meal. Weekdays and weekday evenings offer a more relaxed affair, perfect for date.

Peruvian food may not be something you’d think of treating yourself to when the cravings kick in; in fact, most of us will have never batted an eyelid to this offbeat cuisine. But Peru is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet, making the country’s food rich and varied, with a vibrant array of diverse meats, vegetables and fruits serving as key ingredients in the dishes.

Testament to its humble roots, the award-winning Tierra Peru began life as an independent food stall in Camden before upping sticks to the border between Dalston and Islington. Everything from steak tagliatelle to egg fried rice and spicy seafood is available in this neighbourhood eatery. Diners can even customise their own bento boxes with a choice of three Peruvian tapas options while enjoying entertainment from traditional dancers and musicians.

Five minutes’ walk away, Countryside Creperie allows tastecard members to enjoy a multitude of sweet and savoury crepes inside their cosy café to the soothing sounds of Bossa Nova and jazz. Don’t be fooled by the twee name; this creperie is not so much French as fusion, offering mozzarella, goat’s cheese and chorizo as fillings inside their paper thin cooked-to-order creations. Countryside’s New Yorker crepe, made with crispy bacon, brie, cheddar and a free range egg is sure to be a firm favourite amongst many.

Or, escape entirely…
The Ship of Adventures on Kingsland High Street is run by the effervescent and highly charitable Hackney Pirates. Shapeshifting between a bookshop, gift shop, coffee shop and events space quicker than you can order yourself one of their home cooked meals, the converted ship (yes, The Ship of Adventures is a themed like a pirate ship) is home to secret passages, an underwater cave and a rather lovely cat.

The enterprise encourages Hackney’s next generation to dream a little outside the box by hosting learning projects and workshops for young people. So even with your tastecard discount, you can feel that little bit better about yourself knowing that your cash is going to a good cause.

Further out of East London, there’s Caribbean, Korean and Ethiopian eateries begging to be tried. Get out of your culinary comfort zone, without having to leave the London bubble and view the full list of tastecard restaurants within the capital here…

Thanks for reading!

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