Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pie in this guy

For the purposes of research, balance and bit of extra boot-filling - it seemed only fair to visit two of London's other legendary eel and pie houses - both called Kelly...

First stop - G Kelly, 414 Bethnal Green Road - of the three shops tried, this East End eaterie is easily the most functional and fru-fru free. Almost East European in it's minimalist finish: from the wonky white tiling, to the splashed vats and blocked window filtering the outside light into an all-day-grey interior tint.

However for old-school authenticity it's unbeatable - with framed photos of local boxing legends hung above the tables and a foggy, waft of boiling spud-steam, mash and liqour saturating the shop - creating a carbohydrate blast so heady it was a time jolt straight back to the seventies. Like the 'locals only' tabacs and bars you'll spot but never visit abroad.. .Kelly's can have the feel of a minimal-eye contact gaff - in, out and put the kettle on as Monkfish used to say... but having said that, for all it's bare-bone decor - this Bethnal Green pie-house is the easiest commute for me and I will be revisiting.

But back to the food - the mash was a highlight and a delight - super smooth and creamy, served alongside a decent enough pie and liqour.

Scores on the Doors

Pie - 8
Mash - 9
Liqour  - 8
Total - 25

Special mentions:  the earthy, eastenders atmos' and the smell and spirit of Pie shops past..

By contrast G Kelly (no relation), 526 Roman Rd is like wafting into the an episode of the Duchess of Duke Street,  where be-pinnied dinner lady types dust the doorway with brooms and finish every question with "love?'

It's bright, inviting and bustling with locals and office escapees. For the few moments I was a Kelly's customer, playgroup-run mums were nipping in for multiple pie take aways or treating the kids to an eat-in lunch. Add in it's neat, clean Victorian(ish) interiors: dapple grey marble, clean steel,  eel themed windows and mirrors - and it could be the perfect place to start if you're a pie and mash newbie. Kelly's menu also a offers a veggie option, fruit pies and crumbles to tempt the sweet toothed and a frozen option for stashing away.

Pie-wise this was the meatiest of the three venues, and similarly the most generous with the portions - Kelly's double mash is closer to a triple, although too under-salted for me, it was rescued by the almost pitch perfect liquor flooding and filling the plate.

Scores on the Doors

Pie  - 8
Mash - 8
Liqour -  9
Total - 25
Special mentions: Victorian interiors, friendly, family atmosphere, extended menu options and belt-busting portions

Kelly's Interior - found on Flickr

Big Boss Man - Pies And Pastiche


Simon said...

Oh you're going to get so fat doing this series.

When I was a kid we used to go for pie and mash down Hoxton market. That was quite decent. There was an eel stand in those days too, eels, winkles, cockles served up in a newspaper cone with vinegar.

Mondo said...

It's only a once a week Friday treat - and I'm good-ish Monday to Thursday..

That must be Cooke's on Hoxton - they're my fave pie shops of all time (Dalston branch). Broadway Market has got a Cooke's too

Do you know I've never had eels (too squeamish) - I've heard they taste nutty though - would you recommend? I'll give 'em a spin if it's a yes - honestly!

Phil Norman said...
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Sarah S said...
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Suzy Norman said...

Three years ago there were two Kelly pie shops in Roman Rd. The missing one is now a decent Turkish rez.

A friend went in there once to ask what the pie filling was: the response? 'Pie'!

Kolley Kibber said...

You'll end up like Gregg Wallace if you're not careful...

Mondo said...

I looked for the other one Suzy, but yes gone now. Although there's also an S R Kelly down the Liverpool St end of Bethnal Green Rd that I'll have to try - as well as Manze's (perhaps The Angel branch).. On the subject of Turkish I can't recommend The Premises enough. It's a recording studio upstairs (client list here) and delicious Turkish restaurant downstairs. The food is incredible, really reasonable prices and always a good chance of a sleb spot.

It's all Boots Healthy Options the rest of the time ISB - lo-cal' wraps, tuna salads and suchlike (never more than 350/400 cals for lunch).

Simon said...

It's not a good look when you can't do up the top button a shirt! Still that's what cravats are for; mopping up the food you're spilling down your chin and hiding one or two of the other chins!

Eels are not necessarily my favourite thing. They taste nice enough...it's the other stuff I'm not too keen on thinking about.

markus reeves said...

sadly george's pie n mash in canning town had closed down ... so i may have to make a special trip to one of the kellys to reminice..... and get fatter

Mondo said...

I'm going to have to try Eels Simon - my mum loved them. If someone dares me I'll do it...

If you're ever that way M, Kelley's in Roman Rd is perhaps the place to drop in, your two tots'll love it - and all the sweet treats for afters too. Delish!

Piley said...

note that the pies have equal lowest scores on both reviews?? Stick with Peters pies mate! ;-)

Mondo said...

Pies were much of muchness P. Cookes are the Kiddies for best pies of all time though - no Q