EAT OUT TO PIG OUT, as Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s subsidised-dining scheme last month August 2020 was not called, was such a hit that an oven-full of London restaurants is keeping it warm for a few weeks.
Loving Dalston is here to tell you where to boost your waistline with bargain crib from the privatised Eat Out to Help Out (the real title) offer around northeast London.
But beware: because the restaurateurs themselves are funding the deal, some may be tempted to cheat, eg, by giving supposed reductions on artificially inflated prices or serving smaller-than-usual size dishes.
So go to the website — embedded in the emboldened name of the venues listed here — look carefully at times of the deals, booking procedures and prices.
Discounts do not usually cover alcoholic drinks, which may well be card-busters. Be fair, thanks to a dictatorship far away, the chance of an eatery biting off a tasty slice of profit has been non-existent for months and is now a slender chopstick of what it should be.
Footnote: PR firms have been sending Loving Dalston email-basket-filling quantities of photographs of restaurants’ culinary creations over the last few weeks. But the editor has decided that the practice of running a plethora of art-directed food photos should be sent back to the early 1990s whence the idea originated. Now if they were to send samples of food…
* Barboun, Shoreditch. East Mediterranean cuisine at 50% off (£10 a person cap) Weds-Sun. The September booking code is “welcomeback”: 61 Great Eastern Street EC2A 3HU
* Barge East, Hackney Wick. Its East Out To Help Out deal (punsters bar none, these bargees) promises 50% off its nosh Mon-Weds noon-10pm this month. The restaurant sits around De Hoop — in English “(The) Hope” — a plus-110-year-old Dutch sailing barge, although this one has an engine and someone has plonked an inappropriate hut on the deck: Sweetwater Mooring, White Post Lane, Hackney Wick E9 5EN
* Bubala, Spitalfields. A tenner off a set menu Tues-Weds: 65 Commercial Street, E1 6BD
* Delhi Grill, Islington. North Indian resto offering 50% off (£10 cap) daily: 21 Chapel Market, Islington N1 9EZ
* Fare, Old Street. For lovers of pizza, coffee and drinks. As summer comes to an end the terrace behind the restaurant fills up: 11 Old Street EC1V 9HL
* Grow, Hackney Wick. The deceptively shack-like Lea Navigation Canal-side venue is doing 25% off menu prices on September Wednesdays. Downside is sometimes a mistaken belief to soundtrack with Latino tunes: Main Yard, Hackney Wick E9 5LN. The photograph at top was taken before the pandemic.
* Homeslice, Hackney. One of a chain, this Shoreditch pizzeria is selling its wood-fired 50cm (20in.) monsters at half-price from Mon-Weds: 374 Old Street, Shoreditch, Hackney EC1V 9LT
* Ombra, Bethnal Green, offers £10 off its four-course set menu, from Mon-Weds: 1 Vyner Street, Bethnal Green E2 9DG
* Oren, Dalston The meze and whole-roast cauliflower goes down well with Dalstoners: 89 Shacklewell Lane, Dalston E8 2EB
* Prince George, Dalston. Classic local with great staff and a good buzz. Occasionally it struggles to keep up with demands for £10-off meals. If you order food, ask how long it is likely to take — hour-plus delays are not unheard-of: 40 Parkholme Rd E8 3AG
* Sager and Wilde, Bethnal Green. Up to £10 off, Mon-Weds: Arch 250, Paradise Row, Bethnal Green E2 9LE; 193 Hackney Road, Bethnal Green E2 8JL
* Smokestack, Shoreditch, has devised a 4for15 deal — four dishes for £15 Mon-Weds: 35 Sclater Street, Hackney E1 6LB
* Spread Eagle, Homerton. NHS card-holders can get 50% off a meal (£10 cap) at London’s first vegan pub. You’re wondering whether your that doctor in the flat upstairs… Stop that thought. Now!: 224 Homerton High Street, E9 6AS
* Three Compasses, Dalston. Any burger (vegan or animal) under £10, with fries and Bermondsey brewer Hop King’s pale ale, for £12.50 Mon-Weds. Use the offer as many times as you like: Three Compasses in Dalston Lane E8 1NH
* Top Cuvée, Finsbury Park. Making a somewhat excessive fuss on its site over offering a Weds-only discount of 2%: 177B Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park N5 2LL
Hamish Scott 100920
* Backstory: Hackney pubs in the lockdown; Some lines (not those) for Hackney drinkers; Sounds of old Whitechapel; Making East End pubs work; Hackney boozers its way to the top; Haggerston Acorn pub loses out to the wrecker’s ball
* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained. Most photographs can be visually enlarged by pressing on them.