East London is booming with pop-ups at the moment, like the Sugababes, you think their time has come but then they spring up again with a new look. Shoreditch is readying Boxpark, Topman have set camp on Commercial Street and East London now has it’s own take on Thomas Keller’s famous Napa Valley eaterie, The French Laundry – the effortlessly cool, English Launderette.

The launderette is a classic British institution, one many of today’s youth will only relate to from Eastenders and Dot Cotton, the archetypal washerwoman. Brought to life at the 18 Hewett Street gallery, by a collection of creative foodies who launched Rock Lobsta this year, a New York style lobster bar with the attitude of Jonny Rotten!

The result however, is a unique dining experience that urges diners to celebrate the great in British food and sustainable produce whilst also finding what streets to find it on. Six courses are served each night after a drink at the ‘Coin Op’ bar; a gin cocktail served by a host of much younger versions of our beloved Dot, while diners mingle in the laundry room where underwear hangs from washing lines and the rules of the launderette adorns the wall.

Sitting down in the main dining area, guests are surrounded by launderette visuals; drying clothes, spin washers on the walls, classic ad posters and Daz, just without Danny Baker doing the doorstep challenge. The first three courses come think and fast, all with a fresh take on classics.

Fruit Juice, a fresh twist on a Bloody Mary, Cheese n Pineapple with Wallops Wood goats cheese and pineapple weed jelly, which was handpicked from in-between pavement slabs in Richmond and Wimbledon, well they do have “better quality dogs there” commented the maître d and co-organiser, Adam Van Den Bussche. The final starter is a wonderfully rich Prawns n Avocado, butter poached prawns, chili guacamole are perfectly accompanied by Sea aster and pickled samphire for a dish that had my mouth salivating and dreaming of seconds, but there was another three courses to go.

The main course was a Mixed Grill that went firmly back in time for a truly British meat feast. Roe deer & matt scotch egg, pheasant burger, black pudding, a fried duck egg on chunky chips, grilled puff ball and pickled apple stood tall and proud as the king of the meal on a wooden slab and serving pan. If you were wondering if a six course meal would all be small portions, this put all those preconceptions out the window. Each component part was individually delicious, but together combined to create a taste explosion that even Dot’s cigarette-affected taste buds would have enjoyed the flavours.

At this point I was stuffed, but there was still one savoury course to come, English rare-bit and desert, a selection of cake maker extraordinaire Lily Vanilli creations, where diners were greeted with a generous portion of Boozy Sherry Triffle and two mini puff pastry dishes. Now if you were brought up at one of the schools were the matron would make you eat all that was on the plate, you would have had to wear elasticated pants, but would have left happy and very, very full.

At a fraction of the cost of French Laundry at Harrods, English Launderette is a superb evening out choice that is head and shoulders above a night at Pizza Express or similar carbon copy dining experience that we are so accustomed to in London. Only open for four more days and closed tonight, English Launderette should be your first choice for a date night to impress, just don’t take a celery munching scenester model or vegetarian.

Now I am off to run the circumference of the M25 to work it off, see you for the next pop-up in London town.

English Launderette in East London is open from 6 October – 9 October; meals are £49 with pre dinner cocktail included. To book a meal or just more information visit here.

The Menu

– To Begin –

“Fruit Juice”
Clear chilled tomato juice, Chase gin / vodka, devilled spices

“Cheese ‘n’ Pineapple”
Wallops Wood goats cheese, pineapple weed jelly & syrup, landcress

“Prawns ‘n’ Avocado”
Butter poached prawns, avocado, smoked garlic butter, Sea aster, pickled samphire

– The Main –

“Mixed Grill”
Roe deer & matt scotch egg, pheasant burger, black pudding, crispy crumbled bath chaps, fried duck egg, grilled puff ball, pickled apple

– The Savoury –

“English rare-bit, mock caviar, Worcester Sauce”

– The End –

“Lily Vanilli & Trolley of Vintage Delights”

A selection of five deserts on rotation