Village East is the latest addition to my list of Bermondsey Bites, joining the ranks of my favourite Bermondsey street restaurants Pizarro, Jose, and Casse Croute. Next on my to-do (or should that be to-chew?) list is Zucca but that's another review for another lunch break on a day slaving in my new South London artist studio. Anyway, Village East came highly recommended by my friend Cleo, and so on an absentminded, overcast midday I found myself wandering through the doors, expecting a cozy coffee and deli sort of brunch spot but being stunned by the vast space (booths opposite the bar and a quiet bar lounge adjacent to the main dining rooms) and eclectic, industrial-chic interiors.
I loaded up on carbs for a hard day's work with two bread starters; caramelised onion bread with the fluffiest butter flecked with sea salt, and toast with a pot of duck pate and orange marmalade.
My favourite thing to do is to hollow out the bread rolls by pulling out the insides, then stuffing it with the butter, spreads, pates etc. from different dishes on the table. After all what is bread but a vehicle for more substantial food? That was allegedly how the sandwich was invented, when in 1762 John Montagu 4th Earl of Sandwich needed something to hold his meat with while gambling. Bread is essentially gloves...made of carbs. Carb gloves. Mmmmm. *Homer Simpson drooling sound*
For a more balanced meal, I followed the bread-fest with a vegetarian dish of autumn hash with spinach, goat's cheese, onion, and fried duck egg. Delicious, filling, and healthy I'd like to imagine.
That the food is delicious is one thing, but I also love their decor!