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|Address:||Old Spitalfields Market, 107b Commercial Street, London E1 6BG|
|Tel:||020 73753 168|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Thurs 12N-3pm 5-10.30pm (Thurs -11pm) Fri-Sun 12N-11pm (Sun -7pm)|
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Androuet serves up a cheese called “trufflew” which is made of, oh go on guess…ewe cheese infused with truffle (see what they did there?). Which goes to prove that spruced up Spitalfields hasn't managed to stamp out every trace of creativity. The new broom of change may have swept away the grubby/charming stalls of old (Squarepie survived but moved in to proper premises, sell outs) and replaced it with serviceable/bland chain eateries, but places like Androuet provide a little personality. OK, it's a very sanitised type of deli but it is a good spot from which to watch the crowds looking for “real” London amongst the carefully groomed stalls. Credit where credit's due, Spitalfields nail the indoor/outdoor eating thing: you get to soak up the pavement atmosphere (tres continental!) while remaining smugly dry undercover. So it's a great place for a light lunch with a girlfriend on an iffy summer day. The well-drilled waitress helps us order, in addition to the trufflew: a Comte, a Pecorino, and a Laguiole, as well as a green salad, caramelised onion chutney, quince jelly, a plate of serrano, and one sneaky small glass of Picpoul de Pinet. The cheeses are sublime: they don't look much on the board but quality here reigns over quantity. Everything else is really just a side-show, although props for the ham which is salty and flavoursome (if a bit fatty). To some £17.50 might seem a lot for a few small lumps of cheese but the meal (with bread and biscuits aplenty) is actually pretty filling and you'd end up paying that and more for a sit-down meal in most other restaurants around here anyway. Plus it makes a pleasant change for me not to feel sick with gluttony when I come out of a meal. To celebrate I hit Montezuma's, the best chocolate shop in the world, round the corner. Mmmm. You know, it's not so bad now they've taken the Spit out of Spitalfields after all.