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Whether it's a boozy-brunch with pals, a luxurious lunch or fine evening dining you're after, F Word brings you three East-London eateries that are scratching the itch this season.

PACHAMAMA (Shoreditch)

There are certain places that you step into and are temporarily void of all of your problems. Expensive health food shops are one of them, and dim lit restaurants another. Stepping into Peruvian restaurant Pachamama East, which blends Peruvian and Chinese cuisine (known as ‘Chifa’), you feel like you're in an oasis a million miles away from the busy streets of Shoreditch.

On arrival, we were served Pachamama East’s signature cocktail - a Pisco Sour - which we sipped as we had a look at the menu which is helpfully divided into three categories of land, sea and soil. Also included are 'snacks' which shouldn't be overlooked. The vegetarian friend decided today would be a day off after taking one glance at the fried crab sitting on the table adjacent to ours. Saying this, vegetarians and vegans are in no way an afterthought, with dishes like caramelised aubergine with yuzu and lime coconut yogurt and bashed cucumber salad being just as good, if not better, than their meaty counterparts.

It’s impossible to write a review of Pachamama East without mentioning the Ceviche, which we could have eaten in bucketloads, except that the presentation was far too good to imagine it being served in anything other than a delicate bowl. The tuna tartare and the sea bass ceviche is fantastic, particularly if you want something light, healthy and refreshing. And although the pineapple and tamarind anticucho dessert was good, the cocktail menu was perfect - and we would recommend another cocktail over a dessert.

The Pachamama group is hot becoming the mama of Peruvian food in London, with an A star following including Zendaya who was recently spotted devouring churros in their Piccaddily branch. The consensus seems to be that whilst Pachamama East isn't the first London restaurant serving up Chifa cuisine, they are certainly doing it the best.

Words Rachel Edwards

BAMBOO MAT (Stratford)

Bamboo Mat's has introduced an enticing new luxury tasting menu, and it absolutely lives up to expectations. For just £55 per person, it offers a sumptuous nine-course journey through the culinary landscapes of Peru and Japan. My guest and I decided to enhance our experience with the wine pairing option, which proved to be an excellent decision. Each wine perfectly complemented the corresponding dish, such as the exquisite Junmai Daiginjo sake that flawlessly accompanied the sushi.

So, what delights await on this menu? To kick off the culinary adventure, Bamboo Mat's presents its famed Seabass Ceviche. From the first bite, this dish bursts with Peruvian flavors as thin slices of seabass, scallops, and prawns are delicately marinated in yuzu. The refreshing citrus notes intertwine with Peruvian cancha corn, aji amarillo, tiger’s milk, sweet potato, and red onion to create a symphony of taste.

Following this, the Hamachi Tiradito takes center stage, featuring fresh yellowtail kingfish adorned with yuzu truffle soy. Tiradito, akin to ceviche but with sashimi-style fish and a spicy dressing, tantalizes the palate. Accompanying this trio of starters is a crisp salad of baby spinach drizzled with wasabi dressing and sprinkled with sesame seeds. The light and zesty Wairu River Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect wine pairing for these dishes.

A highlight of the menu is the Chicken Anticucho, a dish deeply rooted in Peruvian culture since the 16th century. Tender chicken thighs, infused with anticucho sauce and chives, offer a delightful main course. For an additional burst of flavour, indulge in succulent Ox Cheek accompanied by yuzu potato puree and teriyaki sauce. The restaurant recommends the smooth red wine DFJ Vinhod Coreto Tinto to complement these rich dishes.

Renowned for its innovative sushi creations, Bamboo Mat presents a delectable selection of rolls and maki to complement the elevated dining experience. We relished in Bluefin tuna nigiri, A4 Grade Wagyu beef aburi nigiri (a personal favourite, enhanced by a captivating presentation as our attentive waiter fires it before your eyes), and the expertly crafted Dragon maki, featuring prawn, avocado, and eel sauce - a fusion of authentic Japanese and Peruvian ingredients to round off the menu.

To conclude, diners are treated to a surprise selection of chef's choice desserts - a sweet finale to an unforgettable dining experience. Whether after a day of shopping or before a show or event, Bamboo Mat's is the perfect dining destination. And if you're up for extending the evening, Hackney Wick, bustling with nightlife, is just around the corner. Come hungry, as this tasting menu delivers not only on quality but also quantity.

Words Maisie Daniels

If you're looking for a bit of fizzy fun, then Mama Shelter has you covered with its bottomless brunch offering. You guessed it; this comes with brunch and unlimited cocktails for the 1.5-hour allocated time. If you are a fan of Bloody Marys, I would thoroughly recommend starting with one of those (or however many you wish, who's judging?). They were... bloody lovely. Tomato juice can sometimes feel like a meal in itself, so I then moved onto plentiful strawberry mimosas, which felt like the perfect pairing to wash down my eggs Florentine. They were perfectly saucy, the eggs were runny, and the muffin was crunchy; hearty in size and came with a side of chips. All of the brunch options come with chips, which I initially thought was an interesting decision, but once I got tucking into the skinny, salty frites, I couldn't stop (along with being glad for the extra carbs to soak up the extra alcohol). The bottomless brunch doesn't provide any vegan options, but we were able to swap in a main, opting for the roasted cauliflower, which was delicious and generous.

There's plenty to look at too, with Mama Shelter boasting fun, mis-mashed interiors, from retro ceilings to mouth-print carpets. With nostalgic cartoons (think Tom and Jerry and Popeye) playing on screens, there’s lots to love.

If you're looking for a bottomless brunch, Mama Shelter is the perfect place for hen parties and celebrations, set in the heart of East London. Shout out to the lovely waiter, Arthur, who added to the whole experience.

Words Maisie Daniels


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