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175 Mare Street
Andy Taylor is the brains behind this new Hackney venture that deals in the same transatlantic flavours as his Franco-American street-food outfit Le Bun. Carte Blanche occupies a modest Hackney-appropriate space with stripped-back interiors, though an open kitchen and artwork on the walls liven things up.
The menu aims to marry fine-dining ingredients with American comfort-food classics, so that a pair of filthily rich deep-fried oysters come slathered with a salty caviar hollandaise and smoky maple bacon, and chicken wings swimming in hot sauce are accompanied by a tangy Roquefort dip. Not all of it works – our fried chicken main arrived with a caviar dip that was way too watery – and vegetarians have to make do with a lone ‘f*cking vegans’ dish, which changes daily. Still, if you like meat, Carte Blanche’s pimped-up junk food, washed down with natural wines, is affordable, buzzy and plenty of fun.
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175 Mare Street
London Fields Station 231m
Hackney Central Station 923m
Ocean Music Centre 601m
Hackney Empire Theatre 685m
Wed-Sun 6pm-12M (Sat-Sun 5pm-)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 0
Its very difficult to find anything good to say about Carte Blanche. I liked the music, and we listened to an awful lot of it, and the barman was a nice guy although not a professional barman.
I have eaten in Nashville , all over Tennessee and Momofuku and all of that blokes restaurants in New York.
I know about bugers and fried chicken. At least i thought i did. I also know that to run a restaurant it's important to serve food.
We waited an hour and a half for our main courses . I'm not quite sure why we bothered but intertia on a Friday evening after a few drinks is not uncommon and having arrived by scooter it took us about 15 minutes to warm up. We tried everything to make the food arrive. Things like talking until we had nothing to say to each other, going outside for a cig and drinking too many cocktails because when you're drunk you can kid yourself that nothing matters.
Anyway on the brink of losing the will to live the waitress told us ten minutes and that all the orders had come in at once which was very odd as we were the first people to arrive in the place. Fifteen minutes later some of the food arrived.
The steak frites were vittually inedible. The steak was tough, the butter was frozen, the fries were like those potato sticks that you can buy in a packet but not as nice and ... enough.
The Animal burger is well named, probably after a leathery old nag which lost its way to the knackers yard and ended up in an abattoir. It was small ,over-salted , wet and sloppy and possibly the worst burger i have ever eaten. My chips did not arrive at all.
Well i didnt eat it , i took one bite and then my friend took one just to confirm my feeling.
Luckily Carolina Fried Chicken is next door. I havent tried it but they also claim to do burgers and pizza and i would bet my last dollar that any of it is better than the slop served up at Carte Blanche.
If anyone is thinking of visiting just for a laugh make sure you have eaten in advance and take a heavy dose of antidepressants.
On a positive note they did play AC/DC Highway to Hell.
If you want fried chicken or a burger just go to Carolina Fried Chicken next door. You might be able to get something edible and it wont take you an hour and a half to be served .
Ona positive note they did play AC/DC's Highway to Hell.
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