loti eats | pickled fred

Pickled Fred has just opened on Hanbury Street and its basic premise is that pickled things and ferments can make any dish better. Yes there are sweet vinegary pickled things all over the menu and having been down to check it out we can confirm that it’s true: pickles are the way forward. The place has been set up by two friends, Ben Lusty and Can Turker, who between them have worked for places such as 100 Hoxton, Hawksmoor and Som Saa, and in the kitchen they’ve enlisted Dan Borham. Service is spot on, relaxed and super friendly but none of that overfamiliar matey chummy stuff that you find all too often in London these days.

We kicked off with three dishes from the Snacks section – Fred’s Pickles selection, a lovely little bowl of pickled veg; a jackfruit scotch egg which nearly convinced us that you really don’t need pork for a scotch egg; and pork patties, not too dissimilar to the fermented sausage you find in Thailand. It was a very strong start indeed.

From the small plates we had a som tam salad with kohlrabi substituted in for the usual green papaya, which worked very well, and also a mackerel with dry red curry sauce, pickled golden beetroot and a zingy dollop of lime pickle. And then there was the flat bread, a banh mi version with pork mince, bacon, pickled carrot and daikon, which was a worthy interpretation of the traditional Vietnamese sandwich.

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We’re not sure if there was anything pickled in our dessert but you must get it anyway as it’s one of the best we’ve had all year. Apple fritters were knockout good; soft warm dough with sweet apple at the centre, dusted in sugar and with a pot of salted caramel AND a pot of vanilla cream to dunk them in. We’d happily come back for these alone.

If you find yourself in a pickle and looking for something to eat around Brick Lane, Pickled Fred is where it’s at.

61 Hanbury St, London E1 5JP