Food Review #1 – The LUXE (Spitalfields Market, London)

Mid afternoon on a friday I had a craving for something light but filling, grilled fish fillets alongside baby potatoes and salad with a refreshing beverage. My first choice for lunch had no tables so we took the scenic stroll from Great Eastern Street to Spitalfeilds Market via Brick Lane.

Why Spitalfields Market, why not venture to White Cross Street Market?

The weather wasn’t right for a food market, especially when there were no gazebos to sit under if the overcast skies opened up, besides I had been dreaming of #95 on the Wagamama‘s menu and Spitalfields was the nearest location. After talking my friend out of a pitstop at the Bricklane Bagel Shop, cutting through Truman Brewery and avoiding all temptation to stop at Café 1001 and the various food stalls, we finally arrived at our destination. I could see the Wagamama’s sign in all it’s glory, it shone bright like a divine light through a sea of pop up eateries and stalls selling second hand vinyl -one of which was playing a sample I had been trying to track down forever.

We proceeded to walk through the gates at the entrance of Commercial Street, passing a crowd of characters in the process, eyes on the sign when something had popped up into my periphery. It was like an alarm, the drill sound from Kill Bill, my vision was flashing a scarlet hue because I spotted a place I had never seen -well not never seen but never actually noticed. I stopped, turn’t around and looked at the menu which looked reasonable so we headed to the entrance.

The Luxe (Ground Floor Dining Area)

Once inside we were greeted before being seated, around the corner and out of sight, in front of what looked like the grill. I was pretty annoyed because it was blatantly the poorest seat in the restaurant, I could feel the heat from the grill which made it far too uncomfortable, and I got the feeling that the hostess wanted to keep us out of sight as we didn’t fit their key demographic -bankers, general suits wearing folk willing to pay above the average for a pub lunch. Spotting seats outdoors I asked the waiter if we could be seated outside -inside and under the roof of the Spitalfields- to escape the heat and to avoid smelling like cooked food.

The menu was, quite a juxtaposition of the standard with sprinkles of zany. I have this complex with ordering things I have never eaten in my life when eating at new places rather than playing it safe, I deeply regretted this when I ordered the Macaroni Cheese Haddock and Poached Egg with a side of Leafy Salad and a Coconut Milkshake. What sounded all posh and elaborate turned into an expensive episode of me force feeding myself into stuffing my face because I would of been better off burning a £20 note on the grill if I were to throw it away. The milkshake was a dire mess of coconut nesquick, it weren’t thick, it was just runny muck of coconut milk froth on top. The leafy salad consisted of a bunch of wet leaves thrown into a bowl with copious amounts of rocket which I find disgusting because it tastes and looks like some garden weeds in a bowl. When it came to the Macaroni Cheese, firstly I was shocked because it didn’t resemble any macaroni cheese I had eaten before, it seemed to look and taste like Kraft packet of instant Macaroni Cheese that had been coloured beige. It was soggy with hardly any cheese, and to say it was rather bland is an enormous understatement. I wish there were more flavouring as opposed to a random poached egg at the bottom of the plate which seemed to be a leaky surprise when I cut through the macaroni and discovered what resembled egg puss as if it were oozing from a boil. I still had no idea what happened to the Haddock, was it supposed to be a treasure hunt to find the fish?

Verdict

Perhaps I should of ordered something I was familiar with but when you have your heart set on sea bream fillets and you’re faced with a menu selling overpriced fish finger sandwiches, you’d opt for some diabolical macaroni concoction with diced haddock which you have no recollection of finding. Perhaps I shouldn’t of been sucked in by it’s appearance, I should of stayed focused on Wagamama’s rather than be told that after the overpriced food which I could just about deal with plus the 20% VAT, I’d also have to pay a compulsory service charge of 10% which I couldn’t opt out of. So on top of the overpriced food, I’m paying 30% in shady charges!

Rating – 2/7

Nice decor, not to my salary bracket nor to my style -if you’re wearing denim jeans, vans, a checkered shirt and a snapback cap, you’ll be put to the back of the restaurant in some dark decrepit corner because you don’t fit the image.

  1. Have you had a similar experience at The Luxe or was your experience totally different?
  2. How was the food?
  3. Would you return or recommend it to your friends?
109 Commercial Street, London, E1 6BG | 020 7101 1751 | Website | @TheLUXE_
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