East London Food & Culture

5 positive observations at the start of 2023

It's a grim old month, so here's some weekend inspo, from fresh eats to exercise tips

LEYTON: Pavilion Bakery opens

We were saddened by the closure of 11 Argall Avenue’s excellent small plates spot Lighthaus in E10’s northernmost corner, the underrated and yet oh-so-vibrant industrial estate off Lea Bridge Road. So in drizzly early January it’s heartening to learn that acclaimed East London bakery Pavilion – y’know, the excellent one that we all queue up at by the lake in Victoria Park – is filling the vacated ground floor. Expect the signature tasty pastries, toasties, dhal and top coffee ahoy – from Monday Jan 16th, see main pic of work-in-progress above.  Follow @pavilion_bakery for more

Bargo: a new E17 arrival.

WALTHAMSTOW: Bargo comes to Orford Road

Orford Road is always a pleasure for a weekend mooch, and today, after a  warming chicken shawarma bowl at the excellent Peel’d, we spied a new arrival. Taking over the former East London Sausage Company is this new bar and sharing plates joint that “celebrates wines, cocktails, and culinary artistry,” say the owners on the website. But will they serve bangers in a nod to their predecessors? We peeked inside and it looks gorgeous. Opens Sat 14th Jan at 5pm.  Follow @bargo_london

LEYTONSTONE: Fitness Hub offers 50% off

Now let’s work it off, people. At 771 High Road, E11’s newest central gym is offering half-price classes all month. And the generous 50% offer is also unlimited, giving you the opportunity to sign up to as many new as you wish. Interested to find out more? Read our recent interview with owner George (pictured below), which includes lots more info on the classes, from yoga to HIIT, here. Use code NEWYEAR23 when you book online. Follow fitnesshub.eastlondon

Fitness Hub East London. Photos: SE
George outside Fitness Hub East London. Photos: SE

LEYTONSTONE: New Dim Sum menu at Aquila

We ended up eating at Hong Kong kitchen Aquila (10 Church Lane E11) several times last year, admittedly mostly when we couldn’t get a table at Panda. But that was no bad thing: it’s another useful BYOB, and the plates are generally impressive (especially a delicious king prawn in salted egg dish), even though the menu is fairly uncompromising, and the prices a little unfathomable (a side of stir fried choi sum, for example, is £10.80, while said prawn dish is just under £20). So we were pleased to see a new straightforward dim sum menu pinned up on the door this week, with simple pricing structure of around £5-6.50 a pop for mouthwatering classics liked steamed prawn, scallop and asparagus, and Shanghai pork. If you’ve not been in, this seems like an attractive way to experience the restaurant, pictured below. Follow @aquila.uk


Serene: Aquila Leytonstone. Photo: SE

STRATFORD: Bamboo Mat lands in East Village

Leyton’s hit Nikkei restaurant – serving a unique Japanese/Peruvian menu of ceviche, sushi and more – has just launched a second branch in Stratford’s East Village (usefully next to Mother Kelly), the leafy enclave just off the Olympic Park. So if you’re based on the “other” side of Leyton or Leytonstone this might be nearer than a trek to the original gaff opposite Leyton Midland. And if you’ve still never been, there’s only one word for it: go. Bamboo Mat really is one of the area’s best dining spots (read our original story here for further evidence). And, of course, it’s super-healthy to boot, so perfect for this time of year. Follow @_bamboomat.

Got a positive story for 2023? Email us: info@leytonstoner.london

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