Deer Santa Pie and Minted Mushy Peas – Pieminister, Boxpark

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Some takeaway food have a tendency to be visually unappealing. I think the options that are smothered in gravy fair the worse. Today’s lunch is case in point. Have been wanting to give Pieminister at the Boxpark a try for sometime now. Never got around to it as the weather was not conducive for rich stodgy food till recently. I think this is the final food stall at the Boxpark I have yet to review.

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As usual, Pieminister like the rest of the other shops in Boxpark is in a shipping container. Booth seats are available inside the shop as well as some outside seating. There are many pie options all at £4.20 each. Do ask what is available from the range as though they are not made in stall, they are baked on location. I like that the names of the pies are a word play on the pie’s ingredients. Kate and Sidney = Steak and Kidney, Chicken of Arragon = Chicken and Tarragon. I got one of the festive specials, the Deer Santa. Guess what is the protein in the pie?

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Yeap! Deer Santa has venison in it. Deer = Dear you see? Funny eh….heheheh… ok, I’m easily tickled. Was toying between mushy peas or mash with my pie and since I brought some leftover cauliflower cheese I made last night, went with the pea option. Total bill came up to £6 with the pie at £4.20, mushy pea at £1.50 and gravy at 30p.

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Now you understand why I say this is not exactly pretty. The gravy obscured everything and made everything brown. Even the bright green of the minted mushy pea got drowned out. Regretted having the gravy really, it did not mix very well with the nutty and tang of the mush peas which is a tad too minty for my taste. It also very nearly masked over the rich ale sauce of the pie. The venison chunks taste pretty good though, rich and beefy. If I didn’t know it was venison, I would have thought it’s a beef pie!

Highlight of lunch today was my leftover cauliflower cheese! Not going to blow my own horn too much but halving the cheddar and substituting it with cottage cheese actually worked pretty good.

Pieminister
Unit 60
Boxpark
Bethnal Green Road
London E1 6DY
0207 613 1792

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Beef Burrito – Mexway, Shoreditch Boxpark

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Hola! It has been awhile since I had a burrito so thought why not? Remembered there was a Mexican place at the Boxpark so I grabbed one while travelling from one office to another.

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Mexway is one of the few food outlets at Shoreditch Boxpark and I believe this is their only outlet. The container (Boxpark shops are all made out of shipping containers) is mostly taken up by the long counter where the food is assembled so the only seats are outside. Making an order is easy, first you chose between burrito, taco, salad or totopos. What is a totopos you might ask? Reading the definition in Wiki, I think it’s similar to what is commonly known as nachos.

Back to ordering, next you chose the filling of either chicken, beef, pork or veggie. Then you choose either rice or beans or both then lastly a salsa. I went with burrito, beef, both rice and beans and the spicy salsa. Apart from that, I also got guacamole, cheese and some lettuce and chopped tomatoes. At £5.95, pricing is pretty standard for a Mexican burrito. Also added some tortilla chips with salsa at £1.50.

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The burrito is pretty good I have to admit. The beef was nicely marinated but still has the beefy taste, the rice was nutty and provides a good chew. The spicy salsa was a killer! Worse was I had the same spicy salsa on my tortilla chips as well. For those you who can’t take the heat, suggest you go with a milder salsa. I can still feel the warmth radiating in my tummy now. My only complain is that the burrito is not hot (temperature wise). Not asking for it to be boiling but if the meat was kept warmer, I think it would taste even better.

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Mexway
52 Boxpark
Bethnal Green Road
London E1 6GY
0207 613 2973

Chicken Chilli Stew and Healthpot – Crussh, Shoreditch Boxpark

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There must be something wrong with Junk these past couple of days. Yesterday she turned down the offer of KFC from Boom and today she is having soup and salad! Perhaps the taunt of her growing little pot is getting to her. Just cut down on the booze and you’ll be fine I say! Anyway, decided to have something healthy for lunch today and remembered there is a Crussh outlet at the Boxpark which I have yet to review.

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I have tried Crussh before, at their Canary Wharf, Jubilee Place outlet back when Boom was still my lunch buddy. The joint serves a variety of food from wraps, salads, hot stews, soups, fresh juice and smoothies. Crussh focus on healthy and fit food while not sacrificing on taste.

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From the myriad of choices, I was stuck with what to have. Did not fancy the 2 hot stews on offer today as they are both vegetarian. Was considering their zero noodle (well, not exactly zero calories, but pretty low) but was not going to eat it straight away when I’m back in office which means the noodles might get soggy. The server was helpful enough to suggest perhaps I might like to have one of their soups? So I went for a large Chicken Chilli Stew. Do not be confused by the Hot Stew and the Chilli Stew. The Hot Stew is served on rice while the Chilli Stew is grouped with the soups and is served like a soup. Also added a Harissa, Chickpea & Quinoa Tzatziki Healthpot. The stew cost £4.45 while the Healthpot was £2.25, not too expensive but not exactly cheap either.

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The Chicken Chilli Stew is made up of minced chicken, kidney beans, chunks of capsicum, tomatoes and celery. The tomato based broth is flavourful with a hint of heat and cumin. Was a bit dubious that chicken is used as chilli is usually made with minced beef but I think the substitution worked. If beef was used, it would have been too rich to eat on it’s own.

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As for the Healthpot, that was pretty good as well! The cucumber in the tzatziki provided the crunch while the yoghurt gave it some creaminess. The harissa provided the spicy element without being too overpowering. Suggest that you rinse your mouth well after eating this as you don’t want bits of quinoa stuck between your teeth!

Overall, a very good meal indeed. I feel satiated and knowing that I’ve only consumed 442 kcal makes me feel like a saint! (all nutritional information available from Crussh’s website)

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Crussh
Unit 59 Boxpark
2-4 Bethnal Green Road
London E1 6GY

Pho – Hop-Namo, Shoreditch Boxpark

Pho off! No, I have no issues using the f word in my blog but if you think that is what I mean but is too bashful to spell it properly, you need to give your brains a good soaping! What I meant is the next 2 blogs will be about Pho, the Vietnamese noodle dish. Then I will follow up with a blog comparing the two based on a set of made up criteria to see which fare better. I’m going to try out the lesser known new kid in town (or so I think they are) and the high street chain which you will read about tommorrow.

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Hop-Namo, the Vietnamese eatery is the spinoff of Namo at Victoria Park Road which itself is the sister restaurant of Huong Viet. Don’t know about you, but it is beginning to feel lika an episode of Who Do You Think You Are! Both Namo and Hop-Namo style themselves as traditional vietnamese with a modern twist so I will mentally prepare myself for it to not be the real thing. Hop-Namo is located in Shoreditch Boxpark and there seems to be loads of bad vibe about this place. Yes, I know it’s meant to showcase individual, edgy outlets but instead it’s filled with pretty well-known brand names. C’mon, anything is better than wasteland no?

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The decor of Hop-Namo is quite rustic and manages to disguise the fact that you are in a container. There are several recycled wooded crates on caster wheels under the wall seats. Not too sure what’s in them, extra cutlery perhaps? The menu is a good representation of basic Vietnamese street food and ranges from Banh Mi, Goi (Salad), Pho (choice of meat or tofu) and a few curries. A daily specials board is also available and the 2 dishes that caught my eye today was a Special Beef Curry and Grilled Pork Balls with Lemongrass.

Pho and summer rolls

Yikes! Bright yellow lemon wedge!

Seeing this review is about Pho, I ordered the Pho with rump steak (Pho Bo) and 2 summer rolls, 1 with shreadded five spice duck the other with prawns. The Pho is £6.50 while the summer rolls are £1.50 each. At a total of £9.50, not breaking the bank but not cheap either.

Close upThe summer rolls are what they are so I will not write much about them except they are a tad small for £1.50. I do like the small container they come in though, cute. So how is the Pho? I hate to say this but I don’t like it. Seeing a thick wedge of lemon in the broth when I first open the container is a bad omen, it should be lime, never lemon! The most important thing about Pho is the broth. It should be a nice balance of anisey and beefiness yet have a fresh and clean after taste. The version at Hop-Namo is too overpowering with a strong aftertaste of black pepper and definitely way too salty. Coming from me aka Ms Salty Queen, that’s bad. I’m quite surprised that the thicker version of rice noodles is used. They are not bad, just not typical in Pho. I was only expecting sliced beef rump but was surprised to also find 2 minced beef balls with grilled marks. The beef rump was sliced unevenly, most of them too thick making them rather chewy. They also have a strange lemongrass taste. I think they have been marinated. The beef balls are a disappointment. Once again, too much pepper!. Other condiments include bean sprouts, coriander, julienne carrots and daikon.

Will I go back to Hop-Namo again, perhaps to try the other dishes, but definitely not the Pho. Too much of a modern twist for me.

Hôp Namô
Units 48 & 49
Boxpark
Bethnal Green Road
London E1 6GY
0207 729 9723