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Stour Road, Fish Island
Fish Island, just off Bream Street, makes a fitting address for the restaurant at H Forman & Sons’ smokery – although the venue is still “not the easiest place to find”. Nevertheless, it’s worth tracking down this useful little spot in among the industrial estates and street art of Hackney Wick, as there’s no better place than its terrace for a close-up view of the Olympic Stadium. Come for dinner (Thursday to Saturday only) to sample the Forman family’s famous ‘London Cure’ smoked salmon: with blinis or in a salad of crab, apple and fennel, perhaps with a glass or two of English or French fizz from the “perfectly complementary wine list”. Follow with turbot, scallops and clams with chorizo froth, or beef fillet and truffled dauphinois (the kitchen’s dial is set to ‘rich’, you’ll note). At the weekend, Saturday brunch and Sunday lunch are relaxed affairs with a grown-up vibe.
To celebrate the Year of the Woman, SquareMeal is running a series of interview profiles with top female chefs. Read here about Marianne Lumb’s colourful career as a private chef and the benefits of operating one of London’s smallest kitchens.
Best in East
Best Private Rooms: >30
Stour Road, Fish Island
020 8525 2365
Hackney Wick Station 834m
Stratford Station 1km
Victoria Park 1km
Stratford Picture House 1km
Sat 10am-5pm Sun 12N-4pm Thurs-Sat 7-11pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
I think it's always a shame that they don't do more trade, as it's never busy. So as a local, I try to go and support them. This visit the staff as always are smiling and pleasant, however, considering that there was a grand total of 4 people in the restaurant (less than the number of staff), they need to keep a better eye out for needs. I had to get up and ask for another drink for example.
The food is always delicious, with the smoked eel always being a highlight, although there was far too much potato and a weeny bit of eel for my starter and unfortunately I think they mistimed my main with my mothers. She had meat and I had fish and mine arrived luke warm. I think they must have left it under the lamp whilst her's finished cooking.
They are charming, the restaurant itself is lovely and I would always recommend it. I will put it down to an off day.
Food + drink: 5
Four of us had Sunday lunch here a couple of weeks ago with a 1pm sitting – and were the only people there right the way through our main courses! How can this be? Aside from the obvious appeal of a beautifully crafted menu and perfectly complementary wine list, the views are among the best in London, you can drink al fresco and it is such an interesting building and area to explore afterwards. With London's west end completely over-run with tourists right now, do yourselves a favour and get over to this restaurant. It's not the easiest place to find, but haven't we all got smart phones with maps?!!
I live very close to Fish Island and until the Olympics had never heard of Formans. It really is one of London's (let alone the East End's) best kept secrets. From the get go the service was charming and impeccable. Attentive without being cloying, friendly without familiarity, a much lost balance across many London restaurants. The terrace on the Hertford Union Canal is perfect for a pre-dinner drink in the summer, without the horrible noise of the roads and sets the mood for what is overall lovely ambience.
The restaurant isn't their primary trade, so is small (a wee bit cramped) but generally perfectly executed. A tight, well designed menu makes choice easy and yet impossible as you want to eat everything. To start the smoked eel fillet was to die for, followed by perfectly cooked brill. My mother had an equally excellent meal of the fois gras and the most enormous piece of spice crusted salmon special. The portions are substantial and it was impossible to finish, definitely no room for dessert!
The wine list is all English, which I greeted with a little trepidation but was happy to discover a very nice chardonnay. Not too sure about the “Champagne” though.
After 5 glasses of wine, two courses each and mint tea the bill was less than £100. So a real bargain. I already have another table booked a week after my first visit!
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