Brandon Robshaw on Eating Out: Like a Fish Needs Vanilla ; Wanstead Bills Itself as the Hampstead of the East, but Is Its Ambitious Hadley House Really Worth a Trip to the Suburbs?
Robshaw, Brandon, The Independent (London, England)
27 High Street, Wanstead London E11, tel: 020 8989 8855
Open Monday to Sunday for lunch and dinner
Wanstead was once famous for being the residence of the Earl of Essex, but now it's only famous for... well, it's not famous for anything at all. Some people call it the Hampstead of the East, but only people who live there. Poised between Essex and East London, with a green and a big park, Wanstead has a broad high street with a couple of delis and a couple of cafes. It's not traditionally big on sprauncy places to eat, but word of mouth suggested that Hadley House was the exception: a high- street restaurant for which it was worth making the journey out into the suburbs.
Certainly, you get more room out of town. The interior is spacious and airy - high-ceiling, wooden floor. Abstract art by local artists adorns the pale yellow walls. It feels welcoming, as soon as you step over the threshold and - to begin with - the service was welcoming, too. My companion and I were equipped with a bottle of Chablis, some bread and some olives in no time.
The menu is ambitious. Meat, fish and vegetarian options are all covered extensively and each dish merits two, sometimes three lines of description. A specials board increases the range of options by about 50 per cent. I opted for seared scallops with bacon and lentils as a starter. I ate them as swiftly as they had arrived. The scallops were succulent, the strips of bacon crisp and pleasantly salty, and the lentils hearty. A meal in itself. My companion had ordered white bean, Lancashire cheese and rosemary croquettes, with rocket salad and saffron mayonnaise. It went down a treat. So far, so very good.
I dithered for a long time over my main course: should it be fillet of Scottish beef with bubble and squeak, confit of root vegetables, wild mushrooms and port jus? Or should it be pan-fried fillet of venison with its own sausage, braised green lentils and mulled pear? In the end, I went for the venison, because I liked the idea of its coming with its own sausage. Nor was I disappointed. I got two large, tender, pink chunks of venison and a serious, …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Brandon Robshaw on Eating Out: Like a Fish Needs Vanilla ; Wanstead Bills Itself as the Hampstead of the East, but Is Its Ambitious Hadley House Really Worth a Trip to the Suburbs?. Contributors: Robshaw, Brandon - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: May 13, 2001. Page number: 39. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.