When my cousin Garret, lived in London, he complained that the food was bad, and expensive. Something must have changed be cause in grimy but gentrifying shore ditch, walk into a shop and you'll likely be meet with something handcrafted, unique and well prepared.
The direct but helpful counter woman efficiently served me an espresso coffee and a sort of egg and potato pie. I sat in a quirky courtyard after perusing the grocery selection of cockles and designer flavored instant porridge.
I want to eat more really. The pastrys, blonde fudge, and other housemate casserole dishes dance in my mind awaiting my next trip to London.
Pricey and a bit fussy. Accommodating service.
Fresh items with reasonable price, I grabbed a pre-packed sandwich since I was in a hurry and they don't make them on order (I was looking for something light and fresh).
Unfortunately their sandwiches are made in the morning, so the bread was already soggy by the afternoon and while it wasn't the worse thing I've eaten, it also wasn't the most pleasant, though it did the job.
My former boss always disparagingly described this place as "the most expensive shop in the world."
I think he was being a little unfair. FoodHall is very much a specialty/gourmet shop. The espresso drinks and prepared foods are really quite good. The one and only time I had a Sunday roast, I had it here and I was not disappointed. The staff have always been quite polite in my experience, even bordering on obsequious.
Unfortunately, some of the prices and things that they carry are a little absurd. Why on earth would you need unhomogenized, unpasteurized, organic, imported Jersey milk? There are a few items that are quite tasty and interesting but I would hesitate to shop here for anything other then a cheese or a crusty piece of bread or if I were to eat in.
First, the bad news: once upon a time I was buying holier than thou sausage rolls from FoodHall and its staff were so rude they almost made me cry. Now, the good news: this place makes some of the best darn coffee in the whole of E2.
As you can probably tell, I'm pretty conflicted about FoodHall. I celebrated when it appeared on Old Street not long ago. Finally, here was a place where they cared about coffee, sharing their beautiful - if expensive - caffeine fixes with the world. It was almost too good to be true.
Add to that a wonderful selection of cheese, some pretty amazing chorizo and good quality organic meat and you've got a recipe for success. Success only mitigated by the fact that FoodHall's customer service occasionally tarnishes the brilliance of its coffee.
Don't get me wrong, for its gourmand sating fine food and coffee I love Foodhall; but in an ideal world I'd prefer my Giggly Pig sausage rolls without a side of melancholy.
I am somewhat torn when I think about eating at the Food Hall delicatessen / eatery in Old Street. I have always been of mind that, when I'm dining out, I want to be eating some exceptional treat that I can't for the life of me figure out how it's arrived on my plate, rather than the "home cooking" / "soup of the day" style cuisine that doesn't surpass the everyday, and I could quite contentedly make myself.
In spite of this, I find the Food Hall to be a pleasing--albeit over-priced--exception to this rule; it's lunch menu having a very English take on a liberal range of dishes. They also taste like the chef has really considered the tastes and process of cooking properly and subjectively, as opposed to similar places who fall trap to the modern "step-by-step" process to cooking.
Eating here unfortunately, is not as concise as the food. It's quite a confusing and overly complicated experience, the Food Hall also being part gourmet food market. If the venue was bigger this could perhaps work more successfully, but as it stands, whenever eating there I feel like I've been shoved into the corner of a shop. However, you can rely on the Food Hall's deli to provide rare--again over-priced--foods (cheese, olives... etc) and wine exceeding high quality, that make it unique in it's surroundings.
What a strange, awkward little shop. A small selection of expensive, high end items... Sound familiar? It is... and yet...
This place somehow carries a lot yet so little. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised that they have item x or z that I couldn't find anywhere else. They have a huge array of spices, for example. Plus liquid stock (not cubes), cheeses, fresh breads, and free range meats, etc. Plus some canned goods, pastas, pantry staples, prepared items and so on... But its not like they specialize in any one thing, like, say a Greek or an Italian market, or a fromagerie or a butcher shop. This is something in between all of those. It is a specialty market with a massive identity crisis.
Define yourself, already. Then shoppers can know what and what not to expect, and we can all get on with our lives. You aren't well-stocked enough for me to count on you for anything... yet, like a good friend, you are there in a pinch and conveniently right around the corner (for a price... ok, maybe more like a high end escort or body guard than friend).
Food Hall is a nice shop which stocks treats you wouldn't find in your local corner shop that's for sure. I like it here and would pop in if I was walking past but I don't love it as much as some of London's other deli's, it just doesn't same the same character to me. The food here is good but the staff always seem a bit disinterested, bordering on rude. I once asked a shop assistant where their cakes were made. She looked at me as though I was a moron before telling me it said where they were made on the sign. Actually it didn't, the sign had fallen on the floor and I felt that if she could muster the energy to tell me there was a sign in the first place surely she could also have just told me where they were made.
Food Hall is also a bit too pricey for my liking. They charge their salads by weight which I think is a bit cheeky. It reminds me of buying pick and mix from Woolworth's and worrying that there were too many toffees in my bag and replacing them at the last minute with flumps. It seems odd to me that somewhere a bit posh like this would apply the same Woolworth's philosophy to their sit in meals. I've grown up now, I don't want pick and mix, no more flumps dammit!
These issues aside, Food Hall is a nice place and it definitely lifts Shoreditch's shopping experience. It's worth stopping in here if you're after a couple of quality ingredients, their cheeses and wine are something a bit special. However, don't go out of your way to find this place, I'm sure you have a deli near by which is just as good.
I walk past the FoodHall almost daily and it never fails to make my mouth water. With a tempting (and huge!)array of cheeses and breads in the front window, it's enough to lure anyone in for a look.
Filled with antipasti, cheeses, bread, meats, oils and wine, the FoodHall isn't cheap, but it is amazing quality and totally delicious, stocking all the tasty treats a gourmet fan can't find at the nearby Tesco's!
The Food Hall is definitely a top destination for any greedy person who knows good food when they see it. It has a great selection of cheeses, fresh crunchy breads, chocolates, meets and cakes.
My only concern with the Food Hall, and it might just be because I am a little bit of a germ-freak, but I do not like the fact that the food is placed a bit too open to all customers, with no counter or cover. I do not like the fact that anyone can come up and cough and sneeze over such delicious food. Keep it out of germ-range!
My love affair with the Food Hall began with its window filled with cheese. Yes, my name it Kate, and I'm a cheesaholic.
After giving in to the smells delighting me one Sunday as I strolled, I found out that there was a whole lot more than cheese inside.
From prepared foods for take away or cafe eating, to the fancy bottles of vinegars, jams and sauces, I was hooked. I admit, I'm a bit of a packaging geek. So I was sucked in to the wall of fancy labeled goodies before finally making my way into the cheese room.
Behind the sliding glass door is a chilled room filled with fancy cheeses, cured meats and organic veggies. The staff is quick to help you make your selection, give you a sample and slice/package your needs to your specifications.
If you are in the area, I suggest you stop in and grab something to take home with you!
This is an excellent food hall. Why wouldn't it be? It's in the name right? From the chi-chi selection of biscuits, cakes, homemade cuisine and on to the wine, olive oils, cheeses, breads and everything else. Call it gourmet food, specialty food or whatever, they do it well.
That being said, their endeavors as a lunch time joint fall flat. We all know how much @tikichris loves his hipster-land, I think he is trying to win a world record for use of the word hipster, but on other things I have to disagree.
I went in here once for lunch, piled up the tiny box with salad from the fridge, went to the counter and prepared to pay. The staff member rings up the till and tells me it is 7.x pounds. I only have a fiver, so I go to pay on my card, at which point she tells me it is a £10 minimum, so i go to grab a cake, at which point she tells me I am at £9.50, so I am like "just charge me £10". How ridiculous! I have no aversion to paying £10 for lunch, but the size of the portion was probably 10cm x 7cm and 5cm high.
Compared to other lunch offerings this is pretty much a joke, The Grocery cafe is FAR better - BEST sandwich in London I say - and the food hall's quality isn't 'that much better'. Even if you don't go for salad, and try one of their hit offerings, such as stew, they stuff the box full of rice, and put in relatively little stew, which, frankly speaking, is just mean.
Anyhow, I do shop here on occasion, and as Kate mentions the cheese counter does rock, but sometimes I think, as with other bakeries in London, like Baker & Spice, they are just taking the mickey with their prices and ideas of decent and friendly food service.
Oh, and by the way @tikichris, this place is full of office workers most of the time, not hipsters, so you might want to go and get your eyes checked :P
I come in here regularly from time to time and as a closet foodie, your able to find a surprise or two. I do miss their pates. During Christmas is a real treat to visit.
If you live in Shoreditch, you have to know about this place. It's an after work stop for needed ingredients on your way home. Wine, great cheese, and a good selection of vinegars and spices, Foodhall is a god send when you need a few items to complete a meal without the pain of having to go all the way to Waitrose. I go here weekly but be careful the place can get pricey
Stocked full with an impressive and often too tempting array of organic bread, cakes, cheese, meat, decent coffee and a good lunch menu, Food Hall is difficult to walk past without ducking in for a tasty treat.
Pricey yes, but if you want cheap food get tesco's own, if you want quality then you have to shell out a bit more cash.
I've always avoided FoodHall during busy times when the queue is coming out of the door, the best time to go in is mid morning. When the bread is fresh and the staff aren't too irritable after the hectic lunch shift.
I simply love the FoodHall and drop by often even there wasn't anything I really needed. Its a food heaven. All these cute sweet cakes and pies, you can purchase by pieces, decent whole wheat or rye bread that is more than hard to find, artichokes, cheese, and oh the list just goes on and on.
There is a cute coffee on the back with few tables, lovely place to stay for a cup of coffee. The coffee itself is great so if you are graving for cup and happen to be at this area, make sure you get if from here!
I used to love this place. I used to come in regularly for the great coffee and the delicious pastries, the cheese, the lot and the people working there were, you know, reasonably friendly. Then I moved away from London for two years, and in that time, the attitude has turned beyond what I'm prepared to support any longer.
On one visit back, I tried to buy a coffee and a pastry (for, you know, £6.50), and the server just said no cards under £10 with a blank look. I said sorry, I don't have any cash. No cards under £10. So I smiled and said ok, well, what can we do here? I'm in a bit of a hurry, I'd like to spend some money here and I don't have any cash, but I can pay with a card, what can we do? You can go to an ATM. Seriously? OK, do you know where the nearest one is? Nah. Ok, well, something else I could do is just not buy anything. Yeah, you could do that, yeah. Absolutely uninterested, look of disdain on the face, the whole thing. Oh well, I thought, it's a shame, but I've moved away, so, in your tone, whatever.
Came back to London a month ago and live nearby now; been in a couple of times and not had direct rudeness, but certainly nothing vaguely describable as friendly or anything similar. Well, that's London, I guess. Went in today with the intention of buying a coffee, some biscuit, maybe a brownie, something nice. Probably come out with some unintended stuff too, usually happens. Looking around, went to snap a jar of sugar mice, thought it'd make a good Instagram, and from the other side of the shop sir, no photos, stop doing that. Turn round, ask nicely, OK, but why? Owner says so. OK, but why? Because she thinks people want to steal her ideas. Lots of people do that.
Seriously? Sugar mice in a jar is an idea? Seriously? This place's owner thinks that it's sufficiently different from any other overpriced deli that it actually has any ideas worth stealing? Get over yourselves, seriously. OK, well, you could feed back to the owner that I came in to buy things, and now, because of that, I'm not going to. Again, total look of yeah, well, whatever.
This is pretty much everything that's wrong with so-called service culture in London. I won't be going back and I certainly won't be recommending it to anyone. Quite the reverse.
The folks behind this gourmet deli seem to have their heads up their asses - especially when it comes to price. However, I've gotta give it to 'em for serving up some yummy sandwiches and for offering an alternative to the greasy caffs, kebab shops and skanky chicken joints nearby. Still, better selection and friendlier service would go a loooong way improving this Old Street eatery.
Pricey but good. The soups are usually great and the staff are friendly. And they have tasters out of amazing cakes, which is both good and dangerous...
NOW we are actually in Shoreditch and not Bethnal! Best coffee drinks in the area, kindly people and truly beautiful food. They are kind to women with buggies as well!
DON'T GO THERE IF YOU ARE ON A DIET!!!! It's not worth it, NOBODY has that kind of will power!!! :-)
The lunchtime dishes are now prepared by the new French Michelin star chef, make it impossible to decide what to have for lunch, and that is IF you can walk past the organic breads, the quiches, the specialty cakes and tarts... I won't even mention the cheese room which made me think I had died and gone to heaven, or the superb selection of lesser-known wines, or the amazing jars and tins and packages and boxes of often rare and unusual foodstuffs, the kind of luxuries that make life worth living... It is my favourite place to get small luxury gifts for people, from the farm-style Xmas puds in winter, to the chocolate roses for Valentines, to the dozens of kinds of exotic chocolates, teas and coffees...
Not the cheapest place to have your lunch, but very certainly well worth it!!!
I came accross this place by accident. I thought i was going to hate it, i ordered food and it was a bit chaotic to pay. The waiter had my food but then it dissapeared. Afrer I complained, they explained that the food is sent downstairs to the kitchen to be heated uup. Ah, if someone had told me! But once the food arrived (chicken, beans and bacon), all was forgiven. Very tasty food and i will definitely be back for more. To top it all, my espresso machiato was fantastic and a nice free buiscuit too.
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