Londonist asks that most pressing of daily concerns: where to go on your lunch break.
87 Tower Bridge Road SE1 4TW
020 7407 2985
Nearest Tube: Borough
Mon: 11am - 2pm
Tue-Thurs: 10.30am - 2pm
Fri: 10am - 2.30pm
Sat: 10am - 2.45pm
Expect to Pay: Between £2.70 and £4.90 for pie and mash, £3.20 for eels and mash.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Ahh traditional London fare. Food born out of the crushing poverty of the working class in London in the nineteenth/early twentieth century. Read Jack London's "The People of the Abyss" if you don't believe just how grim it actually was.
Every Londoner should eat at a traditional pie and mash shop at least once, even vegetarian Londoners (they can have soya pies here). Its the rules. The food here is just pie and mash, liquor, and eels. The eels come in stewed or jellied form.
Most people don't like jellied eels, it even induces the gag reflex in some. Ignore them, they are just wrong. A smaller number of people, this Londonist included, love them. I've never actually met anyone who is indifferent. We prefer the jellied eels you get down Brick Lane Market of a Sunday. But that's not to say they aren't good here.
The meat pies are lovely. They've been apparently using the same recipe for the last 100 years or so. Why fix something that isn't broken? The mash, well its good traditional mashed potatoes. No hint
of blue cheese, or any other gastro-tarting to it (not that that isn't nice). The liquor is a variant of parsley sauce. Not quite sure how it varies, as its ingredients are a closely guarded secret. It
complements the mashed potatoes very well though.
The place has a charming turn of the twentieth century look to it. The prices, well, have an old fashioned feel as well. Well ok, they are very cheap, especially considering the quality of the food. Our only gripe is the opening hours. If only they opened longer.
As with a lot of things truly British, this shop was set up by an immigrant family. In this case from Italy.
Words and photography by Oliver Gili