Further to my previous post, I have had a proper review from the lovely Kate Bod for the surprising number of people coming here after searching for reviews for newly opened restaurant La Hacienda on Hoe Street in Walthamstow.
I didn’t have high hopes for the new Mexican, La Hacienda, on Hoe Street. Local rumour about its previous incarnation as an Indian restaurant put paid to that. Nevertheless, I’m keen to patronise (and boy can I patronise) local eateries so I booked a table with four friends, one who had come from Crouch End (ouch).
We were shown a table “for five” but an unfortunately-placed table leg at the end would have meant an uncomfortable sit down for one of us. We moved to another table.
La Hacienda is small and cramped and every time a bus goes by, the room is plunged into darkness. “It feels like the end of the world is nigh” observed one of our group.
The lack of tablecloths, placemats, glasses and cutlery, means it feels more like a café than restaurant. Knives and forks were in a basket at the end of the table and there were too few napkins so I had to pinch from other little baskets on other tables.
This is also fashioned as a ‘cocktail bar’ but one look at the bright blue drinks with Del-Boy style brollies and wedges of melon making their way to tables encouraged me to opt for wine. One of our table is with child and opted for a non-alcoholic passion-fruit cocktail which was so sugary it remained intact for fear of her unborn baby’s health. It may have been Sunny Delight.
The service is chaotic. We had to ask for more menus and attempts to order a vodka lime and soda proved futile. Drinks were placed in front of anyone irrespective of who had ordered them as was the food, which meant a vegetarian was presented with a steaming plate of steak. Not good.
Ah the food, I almost forgot. Hilariously, the waitress only knew the dishes by number, which gave it the whiff of a Chinese takeaway. One of us ordered a 69 and then we fell about laughing (word of warning: if you are thinking of ordering a 69 later that night, La Hacienda will not get you in the mood) .
To be fair, the food was the best bit but it took so long to come that we had to wolf it down in 20 minutes (we were heading to the comedy at the Rose and Crown and missed the beginning). Most of us chose fajitas and they came with cheese sour cream, beans and all the trimmings. Mine was steak (£10.95) and the portions were large and could have served two. Although my meat was tougher than I would have liked, it was tasty. While I have a feeling the seasoning was shop bought, the food was the highlight of the night. Most of my group had ordered vegetarian and said the food was not bad but I think that was more in surprise than anything.
So, if they sorted out the lighting, spaced out the tables, learnt the menu, improved the service, asked how the diner liked their meat cooked, it would be a step in the right direction. And I would give it another go. The place was busy so they obviously have the market for it but for it’s got its work cut out if it’s going to attract returning customers.
Thanks so much to Kate for the review – and what a shame that it couldn’t have been a better experience.
I just spotted a couple of photos that I’d taken and realised that I had forgotten to post about my trip to Grand Union with my mate earlier this month.
As with my trip to The Montcalm at the weekend, I had a Groupon voucher that was rapidly coming to its expiry date. I had paid £12 for a £35 voucher to be spent on burgers, pizzas or cocktails. I had never been in a Grand Union, even though I pass by the one in Camden almost every day.
I’d booked ‘an area’ online as per the Groupon instructions – which felt a bit weird for 2 people, but there was actually a really nice, rather large table reserved for us, ready and waiting when we got there. it was out the back, which I hadn’t realised was there, and was a lovely space with big comfy chairs, dark tables and gorgeous mismatched lamps lighting it.
We got a HUGE jug of ‘Gingerly Does It’ which was a gorgeous concoction of Finlandia Vodka, Chambord, ginger beer, passionfruit,
strawberries and lime. A hell of a lot better than the Celtic Warriors I had been drinking the night before.
We decided to opt for burgers. It seemed rather steep to pay £6.45 – £10.45 for a burger (without chips!) in what was essentially a bar, but that was the beauty of having the voucher!
I opted for a ‘Fully Loaded’ – Beef patty, mature Cheddar,bacon, onion rings, BBQ sauce, £8.95 and my mate had a New Yorker – Beef patty, salami, Monterey Jack cheese, pickles, £8.45.
We sat, relaxed and chatted in the lovely atmosphere and THIS is what was brought out to us!
The burgers were moist and cooked to medium and the toppings were fresh (although my onion rings were a bit pedestrian). The fries were fry-ey and we were pretty happy with our lot – especially at OUR price.
There was a fab atmosphere, the food was nice enough, but I’m not sure I’d pay full whack for what is essentially just a burger. I’d definitely go for cocktails and they do have offers on the burgers frequently, so I’d have them then
So the saying goes.
Well, today I have definitely learned a new thing. In fact I am still currently learning it. I am learning what a hangover feels like.
It isn’t very nice.
The Man seemed to find it highly amusing when I was complaining this morning. Which I don’t think was the right response to my pain at all.
I guess really that there is something else that I have learned today. That cocktail is called a Celtic Warrior because you wake up feeling like there are evil little men sticking stabby swords into the inside of your skull.
I am really not sure what part of “2 shots of Drambuie, draft Cider, topped up with lemonade & a wedge of freshly squeezed lemon” sounded like a good idea last night.
I am also not sure why two out of the 6 or so were pink.
I will NOT be doing hangovers again. Bleurgh!
This is one of those places that “you wouldn’t know it was there if you didn’t know it was there” kind of thing. At least, that’s what I said to my mate on Wednesday when we went, and at which he looked at me blankly…so perhaps it’s only me who thinks like that.
I have been very close to this restaurant a few times, but had no idea of its existence. It’s built into the railway arches between Southwark tube and Waterloo – running parallel to the Southwark end of The Cut (see here for it on Google Street View)
Ev apparently means ‘home’ in Turkish, and the place is split into three separate (but linked) arches. There is a deli and cafe, a proper restaurant and then a bar serving hot & cold mezze, which is the ‘arch’ that we went into.
As we were just having bar mezze/tapas, I wouldn’t usually have posted about it, but it was actually pretty good, and I’d like to recommend it and bring it to people’s attention who (like me) didn’t know of its existence.
We went for 5 dishes – haloumi (pretty typical), hummous 9actually a pretty good one!), gorgeous flaky little borek (the spinach and feta pastries), wonderful pine nut and parsley filled kofte and the surprising star of the dishes, the calamari, which was perfectly cooked til tender, not at all rubbery and in a very impressive batter!
Each dish was less than a fiver – and they also did very goodm very reasonable cocktails – loved the Cosmopolitan!
If you need somewhere to meet in Waterloo, I would recommend – and I will definitely try the restaurant some time to see if that is as good!