To think of this place as a typical canteen is like referring to Harrods as a grocery store; British modesty at its best. My first experience of Canteen followed numerous beers in celebration of a rare Tottenham Hotspur victory. With a promise of good food and more beers, I dragged the troops through the streets of East London to this much lauded restaurant. As we stumbled in, the staff were incredibly accommodating of five somewhat jolly guys, complete with football kits and songs and we were treated to a great post-match munch.
A recent (sober) visit confirmed my initial findings. The seats are mostly arranged in stylish and comfortable booths, with stool seating running through the centre of the restaurant. There’s also a great buzz around the place, probably helped by the spirited Spitalfields crowd and their excellent choice of traditional English beer, ale and cider.
The menu is based around unpretentious but carefully sourced British food and is full of classics, including an all-day breakfast menu and a daily pie, fish and roast dish. The Potted duck with piccalilli provides a comforting explosion of flavours, whilst the generous slice of Spinach and Lancashire cheese tart was rich yet light. Mains included a hearty Venison stew, whilst Mr Pants and Dirty Perry were full of praise for their Chicken & mushroom pie and Pork roast respectively. The delicious desserts continued to impress, including a deeply indulgent Chocolate brownie caramel sundae and a boozy Apple brandy syllabub. Portion sizes were as you’d expect of a proper British meal and at £100 for three of us, the meal represented excellent value.
Cuisine type: British
Dinner for 2 (excluding drinks): £50
E1, SE1 and W1