Sunday, 11 July 2010

hurwendeki, cambridge heath road

Hurwendeki opened up about two years ago in a railway arch on Cambridge Heath Road, which conveniently happens to be just around the corner from LROC HQ aka my flat.

Advertising 'Coffee, Antiques, Play' and being most famous for turning its garden area, which overlooks one of East London's major traffic arteries, into some kind of twisted Garden of Eden featuring urinals, carousel horses and sand.

They also make excellent sandwiches.

Although London has been swept by a 3 week heatwave and really it's too hot to eat anything unless it has been barbequed and served up in fancy al fresco style, today I opted for the roast vegetables and goats cheese on a round rosemary foccaccia. This is taken off and grilled up until the foccacia gets a lovely crunch and the chevre melts ever so slightly. It's thoroughly delicious, I might go as far as to say it might be one of my all time favourite sandwiches, it tastes carefully made, natural, homely. The goats cheese is rich, but not overpoweringly so as it can so often be. It's a symphony.

Although I hear that the coffee is delicious (another La Mazocco machine) I haven't tried it as I've never really understood hot drinks (heresy i know for a nation that loves tea!). The cakes however, do leave something to be desired and the selection is quite small. Today a carrot cake, a lemon cake, a pecan pie, brownies and I think some kind of lemon meringue pie was on offer. Of course I tried the brownie.

It was alright - equal to anything I could make myself, but no way comparable to the quality of the brownies from some of my other London favourites, or even as good as last week's Popina. It was chocolate-y but not rich or decadent. The texture was good - soft in the centre with a slight crunch in the corners but it didn't make me want to bathe in it. If I'm going to consume those calories, they better be worthwhile.

The other cakes on offer look nice, but not exceptional.

So, in summary, Hurwendeki is great at savoury, but not loving sweet so much.

Of course the main reason that anyone would pay a visit is for the wacky and unusual interior, most of the internal fixtures are for sale and they seem to have slashed the prices, probably because it's the last place anyone would think to look for antiques and the prices are not particularly Bethnal Green friendly. There's lots of taxidermy and skulls, including an £800 penguin, record players, old plugs and also a deli selling gluten free flower and the such, and it's also probably my nearest purveyor of Montezumas chocolate.

Free wi-fi is a great touch too, and there was a notable presence of the MacBook posse tapping away whilst enjoying their lattes (iced?).

Convieniently they also offer free membership which entitles you to 10% off, not only in the cafe but in the boutique and salon in Spitalfields too, which is handy if you live nearby.

I'm also planning on a wee hiatus from the cake blogging; I'd always planned for this blog to be full of visually engaging original material that spoke about food in a way that appealed to the heart and to the eyes, and by taking photos using my iPhone camera that's not really happening, it's not becoming what I wanted it to be just yet.

So the cake posts will be back in around 3 weeks, and the whole blog will hopefully have a new look if I can figure out how to get rid of this pink template!

I also have a little bit of weight to try and loose for a surprise I have planned for Mr LROC for our first anniversary. More of which later! So, yeah, no cakes for a bit, and definitely no beer....

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