Bronze Award
London, E3 2NT ·Website·Call020 8525 2365

SquareMeal Review of Formans

Bronze Award

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.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Quiet conversation
Food Occasions
Brunch, Sunday roast
Alfresco And Views
Great views, Outside seating, Waterside

Formans is featured in


Stour Road, Fish Island, London, E3 2NT

020 8525 2365 020 8525 2365


Opening Times

Sat 10am-5pm Sun 12N-4pm Thurs-Sat 7-11pm


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7 Reviews 

Patricia H

28 June 2018  
Fabulous menu and drinks offering not the easiest place to find but so worth it for the quality. Canal side, nice terrace good for drinks.

Thomas C

31 May 2016  
Hidden gem! One of the best views in london, the best salmon and amazing drinks made with care and original. Value is unparalleled considering the quality.


06 July 2015  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 3
Value 4
Bit of an off night, but good nonetheless
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.

Debbie A

06 August 2014  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 3
Value 4
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?!!


21 August 2012  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 5
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!

richard D

22 April 2010  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4
Value 4.5
After reading the only other review on this website i was sceptical as to whether we should give it a try or not, but i decided to give it a go. As we arrived the door man showed us up to the restaurant where the waiter greated us and hung our jackets in the cloke room and then showed us to our table. We were then served still or sparkling water free of charge and left to browse the menus whilst looking at the fantastic view of the olympic stadium. The food and drink is all british, it was very interesting to try english wine as i had never had it before. I didnt know anything about the wines but our waiter, who turned out to be the new front of house manager, was very knowledgable about the wines and advised us as to which wine was best for the meals we were having. The wine list is small, only three reds and three whites but we were told that they are extending that in the near future. The food is cooked infront of you and comes out quickly, once the food arrived the presentation was lovely and the food its self was fantastic. Good sized portions, really good quality produce and cooked perfectly. I will definetly be going again.

Daniel E

28 July 2009  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 2.5
Atmosphere 2.5
Value 2.5
This place has recently opened so definitely some teething problems! The main one being hardly any ventilation. To say, “I was sweating like a weightwatcher in a cake shop” would be slightly harsh but it was definitely too hot. Also having the table next to me less than 30cm away (the size of an A4 sheet of paper lengthways) was not the best. The place is in the middle of nowhere so you definitely have to venture out, driving or taxi advisable. The fish was great – what they make a living from really. A nice touch with the free water, still or sparkling but the tables being too close was not the best. I would go again for a special occasion but would definitely ring first and see how many people are booked. If more than 25 I would not recommend. For info I went for dinner on 27th July .
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