N4 Crispin Place, Spitalfields Market, London E1 6DW,
Gold Winner 2018
Judges comments - September 2018
'Amazing welcome. I booked only in the AM prior to a lunchtime visit and on arrival found my name on a table complete with a gluten-free menu (I had declared myself coeliac within online booking). I asked many Qs about 'how' food was prepared & served gluten-free & dairy free. All were answered very well & completely & enthusiastically during a busy lunch-time session.
A dedicated gluten-free menu offers numerous & varied mains & desserts. Vegan options appear few as most dishes include meat or cheese. But – delightful news. The Grocer are improving their vegan dessert options via introduction of vegan ice creams starting November.
Food tasted rather wonderful. I am not a 'pie' person, but after sampling the recommended Butternut, Beetroot & Spinach Pie I could become one . . . so long as all pies are as aromatic and pleasurable as this one. The masterfully prepared 'just right' veggies were the star but even the pastry appeared goldilocks . . . flaky but firm & chewy, never dry or crumbly. I opted for a brownie dessert. Now yes, there is something of a brownie backlash in the GF community. Brownies are felt to be a little too common but . . . . but, some brownies deserve love. This was one such. Firm crisp outside bite surrendered into a warm, fudgy, gooey rich chocolatey interior. A truly better brownie!
I did enjoy service from the very knowledgeable, very engaging manager. However, whilst I understand their preference to talk through safe options for other allergens I would prefer if menus made at least some of the main allergen-free options visible up front to help make the range and willingness to cater more obvious.'