Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Cat and Mutton Pub Broadway Market - light at the end of the tunnel


Address: 76 Broadway, London E8 4QJ
Tel: 020 7254 5599
Nearest Train station: London Fields

Ratings (out of 5 *)
Price: below £15 pp
Service charge: N.A
Taste: ****
Service: ***
Ambience: ***
One of my favourite walks is the stretch of Regents Canal between Angel and Cat & Mutton Bridge (I kid you not). It's a relatively serene path shared by a couple of like minded strollers, joggers and cyclists, practically all weather and dotted with pitstops along the way.

I can imagine when LO grows up, she would want to know how the canal locks work when we walk down the same path. So if your boat is going down the canal and you're working the locks, don't be alarm if you notice someone staring intently at the entire process, it's just so that he would not appear like an idiot in front of his little one.

We usually end the walk right at Broadway Market. This east London market, which sits just south of London Fields, is untouched by the high street chains and filled with quirky eateries, restaurants and shops. I had my first jellied eel over at Broadway Market's F.Cooke's Pie and Mash Shop (established in 1900). It was, well, interesting.

Right at the end of Broadwalk Market is Cat & Mutton, a family friendly pub of sorts. During weekends, you would see a disproportionate number of baby prams and strollers crammed into the pub. I marvel at how some parents are able to maneuver the contraption, some of which can be mistaken as a small tank, along the small passageway between the heavy benches.

For those who would rather not embarrass themselves attempting, there are always the benches outside. Having a pram in full view always nudge you to do the sensible thing. That afternoon I had a linguini with a cup of breakfast tea, which is just about the most sensible thing to do on a 7C sunny afternoon.


It helps that the linguini (£8.50) was marvelous. The combination of blue cheese sauce and well cooked aberguine topped with rockets and a sprinkle of nut bits ("pecan" Wife muttered her approval) left me wanting for more. And I would if not for my new year's resolution of shedding off the persistent pound.

The service at Cat & Mutton was rather warm provided you got their attention. They were definitely short staffed that afternoon with the lone server (as far as I could tell) lurching from table to table. I resorted to asking the kitchen staff for a new fork (LO decided to play 'missile' with mine) and he certainly didn't look too pleased.

Despite that, the pub, which can be traced all the way back to the 1700's, with it unpretentious and decent food remains my light of the tunnel for my almost monthly trip to Broadway Market. And with a name as such, who can resist?

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