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Hipsters in the wilderness near Hackney Downs station now have a beacon in the shape of L’Entrepôt, a shabby-chic wine shop/bar/restaurant opened by the team behind Borough Wines. It’s a warehouse-like space with the wine shop and bar at the front, leading to a dining area where locals settle in for a chinwag. The compact menu is chock-full of tempting French and Spanish-leaning food – and openers such as tiny deep-fried salty xipirons (baby squid) with squid-ink aïoli make a fabulous start. The dishes change daily, but a mainstay is rotisserie chicken (half or whole) with deliciously lemony skin, served with Florentine potatoes, bitter leaves and an aïoli sauce. Other treats might include Muscovy duck breast with Jerusalem artichokes, or a fall-apart, tender lamb cooked in almond milk for seven hours. Unsurprisingly, the wine list is a highlight with interesting choices available by the glass or bottle, and prices starting at £4.20 for a clean, pithy glass of Albariño. A brunch menu has been introduced, including such delights as a croque madame made with Comté cheese and duck egg, or an Arbroath smokie kedgeree.
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