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Explore Harden's - The restaurant guide created by you for you
RestaurantsLondonHackneyE9

survey result

Summary

£50
   ££
3
Good
4
Very Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Well-known pub close to Victoria Park, whose gentrification predates much of up-and-coming East London. “It’s what a neighbourhood joint should be about”, with changing menus providing sufficient interest and variety to keep regulars returning time and again.

Summary

£50
   ££
3
Good
3
Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

This landmark east London gastropub near Victoria Park is an “easy destination for a great night out or a weekend treat... always fun and welcoming”. The menu “mixes conventional with more adventurous options”.

Summary

£49
   ££
4
Very Good
3
Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“This ideal local”“a sort of bistro-pub hybrid” beside Victoria Park that was one of east London’s first dining destinations – still “never disappoints”. “There’s an interesting and always spot-on seasonal menu, good beer and a varied and lively crowd”.

Summary

£46
   ££
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Jewel of a gastropub” beside Victoria Park, which was one of the first to gentrify in east London and which is “just what a local should be – friendly, good value and fit for all occasions”. “The food’s always good”, from “an interesting, changing menu”, and “complemented by a fun, buzzy atmosphere”.

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Have you eaten at The Empress?

Restaurant details

Highchair, Portions
Yes
70

Prices

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Pudding
£7.50 £16.50 £7.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £18.50
Filter Coffee £3.50
Extras  
Bread £2.00
Service 10.00%

Harden's says...

Empress of India E14

What a splendid 'throwback' name for an Indian restaurant! But sadly it isn't. Indian, that is. This East End boozer-conversion - having retained the name by which the site has long been known - is a thoroughly British gastropub.


And so we enter a second terminological minefield, as Gordon Ramsay has recently announced that the gastropubs he is to open later this year are not to be so described, but will in fact simply be 'pubs'. Perhaps this is the beginning of a new era? There have, however, so far as we know, been no similarly pompous pronouncements by the backers of the Empress. But what do they know? Unlike Gordon - a novice in the area - they already have the benefit of actually running three successful gastropubs: Shoreditch's Well, the much-fêted Gun in Docklands, and the well-rated White Swan, off Fleet Street.


The Empress is in the heart of a villagey little area (complete with an imposing church) to which the middle classes of Victoria Park repair when the want to go out without going Up West. Given this charming setting, the interior of their new gaff struck us as being rather cold. The space is mainly taken up with restaurant-style tables, and there are few sound-absorbent surfaces. Features are few, apart from some peculiar lampshades and a curious mural which just looks out of place, so the eye is mainly drawn to the long bar, which leads straight into a large open kitchen.


The food is pretty straightforward, solid and consistent. It's also - given the 'restaurant' prices - arguably somewhat short of the inspiration front. The staff are certainly welcoming, though, and there's a decent wine list. If we lived down this way, we suspect we'd pay our respects to the old Empress from time to time.


See the Review
130 Lauriston Rd, London, E9 7LH
Opening hours
Monday6 pm‑10:30 pm
Tuesday12 pm‑3 pm, 6 pm‑10:30 pm
Wednesday12 pm‑3 pm, 6 pm‑10:30 pm
Thursday12 pm‑3 pm, 6 pm‑10:30 pm
Friday12 pm‑3 pm, 6 pm‑10:30 pm
Saturday10 am‑10:30 pm
Sunday10 am‑9:30 pm

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