05 November 2012

The East Village in South-East London: Village East Review

The first time I walked down Bermondsey Street, soon after making an offer on my flat, I knew that however far from Marylebone I strayed, a street full of lovely shops and restaurants would await me. Village East was the first one to catch my eye: the font and menu design, as well as the downtown New York vibe, attracted my attention. A quick check on their website revealed they are run by the same people as another London favourite of mine, the Riding House Café. Although the dinner menu was interesting, it was the brunch that I wanted to try first, so BB and I went today.

Village East--not in the East Village

After seeing how busy Village East was on that first Tuesday evening, I booked us a table and the place was bustling today. With its simple but stylish decor and hip but laid-back atmosphere, it felt like the perfect place to hang out on a rainy Sunday. Despite the busyness, our waiter was friendly and efficient and we never felt rushed. The only problem was deciding what to order. I was tempted by the posh bacon sarnie (with fresh bacon and avocado) and the sweetcorn fritters, but in the end, I went for the buttermilk pancakes with smoked bacon and maple syrup. While I was waiting, I ordered a superberry juice, with blackberry, strawberry and raspberry purée, mint, apple juice and lemon, which was fresh-tasting and delicious.

Virtuous juice and pancake bliss

The pancakes looked a little small, but that just means they weren't the hugely oversized portion you get in the US. With the bacon (extra crispy, as I asked) and the maple syrup (which was really flavoursome), they were certainly filling enough for me, post-run. BB ordered the Village Breakfast, which also looked great. Again, it was on the restrained size, but everything was exquisitely cooked. Quality is definitely prioritized over quantity at Village East. With a drink each and service, our bill came to £25, which I thought was pretty reasonable--reasonable enough to make this my go-to brunch place in my new hood, certainly. Now I just need to go back to try out their evening meals and puddings.

Village East. 171-173 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3UW (Tube: London Bridge, Borough or Bermondsey). Website.

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