Around the World in 5 Dalston Eats
With Street Feast’s regular Eastern rotation across Dalston and Shoreditch, founder Dominic Cools-Lartigue has become quite the connoisseur of the East End’s nooks and crannies for local foodies. To pay homage to Dalston’s multicultural food mecca, we asked Dom to take us round the world…in five neighbourhood Eats.
“From the Italian joy of Lardo to the Indian wonder of Dishoom, Hackney and Shoredtich are full of international eateries, however when it comes to strictly defining Dalston diners from around the world, here are my favourite five…”
VIETNAM: SALVATION IN NOODLES
122 Balls Pond Road N1 4AE
This lovely little spot can become something of a Sunday salvation after a big weekend, with big, fresh, tasty and authentic flavours. It’s a bit like the cooler cousin to the other Vietnamese joints in the area. While the noodles are pretty awesome, their Pho Quoc crispy chicken wings are a compulsory starter.
434 Kingsland Road E8 4AA
It should be a right in every persons life that there is a decent restaurant within a 5 minute walk of their front door. This is mine. Before Rotorino turned up sometime in 2014 I had to settle for the chip shop next door (still decent mind). Now rather than a choice of Fanta or Ribena with my meal, I can choose from an excellent selection of great Italian wines and favourites from the rest of the world. And while I love a bit of battered cod on a cold Tuesday night it can’t quite compete with grilled whole mackerel with tomato and fennel. Add in great interiors and attentive service, its one of Dalston’s better dining experiences.
NEW YORK: VOODOO RAYS
95 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB
The other thing everyone should have within staggering distance of their house is a genius spot for a midnight feast. I’ve lost count of the times, post midnight, at home, either nothing in the fridge or can’t be arsed to cook what’s there, no one is delivering food anymore, slightly dejected, probably half cut, I suddenly remember the joy that is Voodoo Rays, and then that mild panic of wondering, hoping if its still open, rushing up Kingsland Road, past the balloon canisters, then spotting the the bright neon sign with the security patrolling below, YES and we’re in! Its a standard two slices and a cocktail for me. One slice of Hot Mix 5, one Full Moon Slice and a Dalston Thing (£1 of which goes to the amazing Dalston Bridge charity). I could well be in Williamsberg right now, but I’m glad I’m not because at least I can get the 149 home from here. Result.
MIDDLE EAST: CAFE ROUTE
Dalston Square, Dalston Lane, E8 3BQ
I love a fry-up as much as the next person, however we are living in health conscious times, we run, we juice, we pour over square pics of artfully arranged broccoli on Instagram, so all of this calls for a bit of nutritious variety in our brunch time choice. All of which makes Café Route such a welcome addition to the neighbourhood. Big Middle Eastern inspired salads are piled high in beautiful bowls across the deli counter. Should you feel sufficiently inspired you can also buy some of their tasty produce for your own kitchen from their small shop at the back of the cafe.
JAPAN: BRILLIANT CORNERS
470 Kingsland Road, E8 4AE
First up, its just great to have some sashimi and tempura in the area, but what really elevates this place for me is accompanying those Japanese treats with a decent whiskey and an amazing sound system. Its a Dalston hybrid of those classic Japanese jazz coffee shops and David Mancuso’s legendary Loft parties, which inspired the warm, high grade, analogue system they’ve installed. At the end of the day sashimi, whiskey and music is a diet I’d happily live by where ever I am in the world.
Main Photo Credit: verykerri.com