I was recently spending a fair amount of time around Aldgate for work. Now you will have realised from the proliferation of reviews of restaurants in West and Central London, that I am a West Londoner. I occasionally venture to the East – who can say no to the lamb chops at Tayyabs – working around Aldgate would give me a proper chance to sample the best of the East!
After a depressing few days getting lunch from Pret, I stumbled upon Goulston Street Market which seemed to be a popular lunch spot amongst the City workers. Basically a street food market, without the hipness or Twitter presence of Eat Street, it is a great spot for getting a tasty and filling lunch for less than £5!!!
Notable options include:
Chicken Katsu Wrap ( my colleagues, ravenous young men, were hooked to the HUGE portions and tasty fried chicken filling – only £4.50 for the large including a bottle of water
Chicken satay – tasty marinated grilled chicken available as a wrap or with rice; they can be a little too generous with the sauce so let them know if you are not quite a sauce fiend
Other stalls include Indian, Carribean, Thai, Vegetarian, Chinese and Middle Eastern. It is mostly a takeaway place but there are a couple of seats available if you want to soak up the atmosphere.
Goulston Street is also home to a famous East End delicacy – jellied eels at Tubby Issacs. Made by boiling fresh eels, the cooking process creates its own jelly which acts as a preservative, crucial before the advent of refrigerators. I persuaded my colleagues to try them with me, unfortunately it was 3 votes down. Not sure we liked the slimy and fishy taste too much! Though it seems the stall has its regulars, some of whom in their eighties and nineties!