Slowly but surely, I’m wrapping up my tenure in the East End by lunching at places I have yet to try. At the rate I’m going, don’t think I will be able to cover everyone but such is life.
I’m going slightly Continental today with Crepe Affaire, a shop selling both savory and sweet crepe somewhere in the middle of Old Spitalfields Market next to Chop’d. Reason why I have not tried it before is cos I was worried that the portion size might not be adequate for lunch. But seeing I have some leftover fried rice from dinner a couple of nights ago, I think a fusion of fried rice and crepe will be adequate for my growling tum.
Looking at the menu, both savory and sweet crepes are well presented and there are also a few lunch deals. I went with the Classic plus veg with a bag of crisp and a canned drink for £4.25. For this part of town, that’s a pretty good deal.
There is a machine in the shop that churns out the crepe skin on site and the crepe with fillings are assembled when ordered guaranteeing freshness. I’m glad I got to try this! The edge of the crepe skin without filling was light and crispy with a strong buttery taste. The combination of cheese, ham and mushroom (this is the plus veg with other choices being spinach or tomato) was rich but not cloyingly. As for portion size, it is a bit small for me but it will definitely make an ample snack.
Old Spitalfields Market
London E1 6BG
0207 377 0200
P/S: It must be the magical season, what do I see passing Brick Lane on the way to lunch?
Back in my other office at Brick Lane today and I bought along the last portion of my homemade “flied lice” for lunch. Was wondering what else I can get to add to it when one of my colleagues mentioned that the Tech Lead in my project practically camps out at Pepe’s everyday for lunch. Had to give it a try!
Pepe’s looks like one of those franchise chains serving grilled chicken like Nando’s. The other franchise I’m aware of is Barcelo’s. All 3 professes to serve grilled chicken Portugese style with Pepe’s being the cheap and cheerful version.
Decided to keep to the classics and ordered the original piri piri half chicken with a side of coleslaw. You get to decide the level of hotness you want your chicken to be. It ranges from Mild to Extra Hot but they also have Mango & Lime and Lemon & Herb for those of you who can’t take the heat. I think the chicken is partially cooked in an oven before placing on the grill after you ordered. During the grilling process is when your selected marinade is lashed on the chicken.
The half chicken was £5.99 while the coleslaw is 99p. At a total of £6.98, much more expensive than Sha Karahi’s offering but you get a bigger chicken at Pepe’s and definitely more affordable than Nando’s.
A bit worried that since the chicken was precooked, it might be dry especially the breast but I worry too much. The chicken was nicely grilled with the distinctive smoky taste and the Hot marinade I asked for was not that hot at all. The 2 sauces provided – I think one is chilli while the other is herb and garlic – when combined, made a nice additional gravy like sauce to have your chicken with.
I’m pretty happy with my meal, much tastier than Nando’s and cheaper. Might try the fried version from Pepe’s next time.
It’s “flied lice” time! Ok, I know it’s nasty of me to make fun of English accents of different racial groups. But being a Chinese, I think I have the right to laugh at myself! Anyway, today’s lunch is a mashup of leftovers and additions from Tesco.
Spent about 15 minutes wondering the aisles of Tesco trying to decide what will go well with my leftover fried rice. Decided on the Saag Aloo and the Spicy Fried Chicken Filet. The Saag Aloo was £0.75 which I thought was a bargain while the chicken was £3. So in all, quite a cheap lunch by my standards.
The Saag Aloo was mildly spiced and had a tangy taste which was rather appetising. Definitely different from the other versions I had from other Indian takeaways. The chicken filet was indeed spicy, you can see the specks of chillies from the crumb coating. Would have been better reheated in an oven to crisp up the crumb coating but I had to settle with the microwave in my office.
As for my fried rice, I added eggs, minced chicken, sliced green beans and garnished it with crispy fried shallots. Not my best rendition of fried rice, but it’s ok. I think I still prefer my version with Spam. I’ll be sure to blog it the next time I make my special Spam Fried Rice.
To make fried rice is relatively straight forward, but to make a good fried rice takes a bit more effort. Just Google “perfect fried rice” and see the number of hits returned! There is a even a musical about the famed fried rice.
Opens 365 days a year (apart from leap year)
Somewhere in West London
Still no dinner party planned