There’s a new Spitalfields restaurant that has just opened up called Maene, sister to one of our favourite seasonal spots just down the road, Townsend. Maene (and be sure to spell that right, lest you end up in another restaurant,, which is pronounced the same but not somewhere we’d recommend for dinner) is located on Fashion Street in an old clothing warehouse.
Decor is stripped back; think Shoreditch of the early 00s and we mean that in a good way. The east London neighbourhood has been dying a death as independents make way for big chains, but back in the day this artsy, eclectic patch was the coolest spot in London when nights like Boom Box, clubs like Plastic People, and restaurants such as Yellow on Hoxton square were a scene.
Maene is a seasonal modern British restaurant, with a menu created by Head Chef Amber Francis who might only be 27 but already has quite the CV, having worked at places like Brawn and Zebra Riding Club. The food and drink tries to be as local and sustainable as possible, without being holier than thou. Cocktails are made from discarded ingredients (each one has an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version), and there’s a ton of interesting British wines too.
Of the dishes we tried we’d recommend The Snapery sourdough with whipped brown butter; the gnocco fritto with Iron Cap squash and London stracciatella; the Nutbourne tomato tart; the Cornish sole with wild garlic; and the heritage potatoes with smoked yoghurt and salsa verde. All dishes were flavour bombs, and in fact if we had one critique, we’d say a couple of dishes could maybe be toned down a little to create a more balanced meal.
That said we thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait for the 50-cover outside terrace to open – it’s gonna be quite the spot this summer. We would love to see more places like this opening in Shoreditch and the surrounds, so the streets can at least re(maene) a little more interesting.
7-9 Fashion Street, London E1 6PX
Photo credit: Rebecca Dickson