Review: Cockney Pie And Mash Just Got A Posh Makeover At Blacklock

Balclock Shoreditch, Worker's Lunch ★★★★☆

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 7 months ago

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Review: Cockney Pie And Mash Just Got A Posh Makeover At Blacklock Balclock Shoreditch, Worker's Lunch 4

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Is what we're doing right now bordering on sacrilege?

Scoffing a posh pie and mash cover version, when there's somewhere down the road that's been open over 150 years, and will do you the real deal for virtually half the price. Is this gentrification's final coup de grace? Are we going to end up slathering an East End church in neon street art on our way back to the office?

Blacklock Shoreditch's new 'worker's lunch' guarantees a boot-filling repast of 'proper' nosh, borrowing shamelessly from neighbours like F Cooke on Hoxton Road, and the area's deep-rooted history of salt beef. It's a showboating meat-fest of sarnies collapsing under layers of meat, emmental and sauerkraut; and steak ciabatta lacquered with bone marrow and beef dripping.

As far as we're concerned, Brick Lane will never relinquish its salt beef beigel crown; but then, Blacklock's not really vying for it. Their NYC-style oozing toasted sandwich is more of a direct competitor to nearby Monty's Deli than anything, and boy, does it give it a run for its money. That salt beef: so sweet, so flaky. As for Blacklock's pie and mash: this is more of a straightforward rendition of the cockney cockle-warmer. Tender mince practically fizzles away on the tongue, while each crackle of buttery pastry under the knife is almost as glorious as every mouthful. Much as any true cockney might like to write this off as as expensive imitation, that'd be disingenuous.

Will this stop us from ordering double pie and mash at at an F Cooke or M Manze? Hell, no. Those spit 'n' sawdust establishments are far too esteemed — far too affordable — for us to turn our back on. But if you and your colleagues are treating yourself on payday, Blacklock it is.

The sole veggie dish on the menu — when we visited, a wholesome jumble of buckwheat, squash and green beans — is very good, although the £10 price tag seems steep, compared to the bargainous £8 for its fleshy counterparts. A small hill-sized dollop of homemade cheesecake, scattered with cubes of tart rhubarb (£6), immediately makes amends.

Blacklock Shoreditch, 30 Rivington Street, EC2A 3DZ

Last Updated 05 July 2019