By Matt Stevenson
Take a short walk off busy Old Street and head down Hoxton road, you will find yourself at Open Kitchen. A restaurant that roots itself deep within the community. Open Kitchen acts as an onsite training facility for neighbouring London City Hospitality Centre (LCHC) within the Hackney Community College, where students come to gain a vocational qualification and hands on experience. Open Kitchen has a made it’s name ensuring that customers can expect nothing less than high quality food at a very reasonable price.
Diners are immediately greeted and seated by the young and enthusiastic members of the LCHC. Large panelled windows on both sides of the restaurant, sturdy wooden floors and colourful chairs provide a bright and airy dining environment which give you a full view of the open kitchen where you can watch the young chefs carefully prepare your meal from locally sourced ingredients.
The menu is small and specified, with a few varied options to choose from ensuring the consistency of quality and a speedy service, whilst creating the ideal learning environment for the budding chefs. To keep things fresh, a new menu is designed every 2 to 3 weeks.
Pan-fried guinea fowl breast, creamed potatoes & sautéed beans served with red wine jus is a particular highlight, the guinea fowl well-seasoned and crispy whilst remaining succulent. The classic Fish & Chips is equally delicious, beautifully presented with a light crisp batter served beside stacked hand-cut chips and serving of good old mushy peas.
Whilst the food options may be limited for some, there is an array of choices to be made from the drinks menu including beers, ciders, spirits, liquors and cocktails. The wine list is particularly pleasing with an expansive list of white and reds from around the world and you can pick up a bottle for no more than £20. In-keeping with the restaurants strong community values, there is also a selection of beers from the local Meantime Brewery just 15 minutes down the road in addition to Primrose Hill white and sparkling white wines.
Open Kitchen also has a very luring loyalty scheme, a stamp for every £10 spent. Ten stamps later there is the option for two people to enjoy a two course meal with drinks or, for any cooking enthusiast, £30 towards an evening class.
Quality dining, fast service and reasonable prices make the ideal location for professionals to come relax and enjoy on their lunch break or in the evenings, intimate groups of friends or couples who enjoy watching their meals masterfully created before their own eyes.