If you’re planning on exploring the Regents Canal this weekend, then why not pay a visit to Haggerston’s Arepa restaurant, too?
With its cool mix of breakfast, brunch, and dinner options, the eaterie is one of London’s best loved Venezuelan restaurants.
It’s also a great place for canal or people watching, with wonderful views of the water from both the interior and the small outdoor terrace.
Arepa’s menu is centred around a number of traditional corn based dishes, with arepas (a round, filled cornbread), cachapas (sweetcorn pancakes with a savoury filling) and rice based bowls. The drinks menu, meanwhile, has a good selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages, with smoothies, natural juices, and a host of cocktails.
I begin with the Tajadas from the small plates section. This proves to be a wise choice. Consisting of a generous helping of fried plantain, spring onion, mixed leaves and cheese shavings, the dish is sweet, warming, and the perfect start to my meal.
The arepas are even better. I try one with shredded beef, black beans, plantains & grated cheese and it immediately hits the spot. The cornbread itself is wonderfully light and fluffy and the filling forms a delightfully gooey mess.
The Toston Avo is good, too. The dish consists of a twice-cooked green plantain crostini loaded up with pico de gallo, picante mayo and avo mash. The plantain makes a crisp and surprisingly good base for the dish, and the mix of avocado, picante mayo and pico de galo is nuanced and flavoursome.
If you need an accompaniment for your meal,however, I highly recommend the yuca fries. Arepa’s fries are just perfect – soft and fluffy on the inside yet irresistibly crispy on the outside. The garlic mayo makes a great accompaniment with its smoky flavour.
The cachapa, meanwhile, is a thing of beauty. The combination of beans, plantains, cheese, and avocado leaves me purring from the very first bite, and by the end it is all I can do to stop myself from banging the table in satisfaction!
The service throughout is excellent, too. The Columbian waitress, Catalina, is warm, welcoming, and only too happy to take me through each item on the menu, and I feel at home instantly.
Hoxton’s Arepa restaurant is a little gem. Excellent service, a buzzy atmosphere, and cool interiors certainly help, but at the end of the day it is the delicious food which makes this Haggerston eaterie so very special.
More information about Arepa restaurant can be found here.
For information on other great places to eat and drink in London, please click here.