SquareMeal Review of
"There's a nice friendly vibe in here", says a fan of Village East – an effortlessly cool factory conversion with echoes of New York's Meatpacking district. Despite cosy booths and urban mesh-style partitions, quiet tête-à-têtes are out of the question – so set yourself up with a cocktail from the regularly updated list (our favourite is the Tanqueray gin-based Earl of Bermondsey). The menu is a "real winner", packed with a savvy mix of comforting classics, cheffy ideas and healthy options: dishes range from Longhorn beef and bone marrow burgers to stuffed chicory leaves with braised lentils, pipérade and walnuts via pistachio-crusted hake with buckwheat groats, confit cherry tomatoes and lemon butter – all served with admirable bonhomie by "great staff". Getting a weekend table for brunch isn't easy, but it's worth the effort – if only for the buttermilk pancakes.