A beginner’s guide to….Noted Eel & Pie House, Leytonstone

This E11 institution serves fantastic pies - and yes, jellied eels too

What exactly is it? Only one of the capital’s oldest surviving pie and mash shops.

And what’s the story? Run by the Hak family who’ve been trading in the East End for nearly a century, it uses an unaltered recipe for both pies and liquor, with everything made from scratch on the premises. Established in Bow in 1926, the family – of Dutch origin – then moved to Leytonstone in 1978 where all the pies are still handmade daily using traditional techniques.

I’m peckish now. Then order a pie, handmade every morning and filled with a generous helping of Scotch beef (vegan options have also been available since 2021) boned and minced onsite. The pies are baked in 70-year-old gas ovens which give them their particular character and taste: there’s a deep savouriness and a perfectly golden crust, while the lavishly smooth pool of liquor “made in accordance with East End tradition” uses the same “secret” recipe that has been handed down the generations. Care is even taken with the mash – potatoes are locally sourced and it’s seasoned carefully.

Pie with liquor. Photo: SE

What about the eels? For centuries stewed and jellied eels, fresh from Dutch rivers, have been an East End fave, and Noted is one of the last to keep them live. Traditionally gutted and cut outside shop fronts, the dirty work is now done behind closed doors (thankfully). Jellied eels are £4.40, cooked in a spiced stock before being served steaming hot or cooled down.

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Anything else we should know? We think the interior is timelessly stylish, with its postbox-red benches, white panelling, strong font and Formica tables. Make sure you peer at the ongoing photographic show of London’s oldest pie-and-mash shops by Jake Green, the man behind the High Road’s outdoor photography exhibition. Prices – it’s cash only – are keen too: just £2.75 a meat pie, or £3.35 for pie and mash. In short, it’s a Leytonstone institution that surely needs to stick around for another four generations.

Noted Eel & Pie House, cash only, open 11am-3pm daily (except Sun) at 481a High Rd Leytonstone, London E11 4JU

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