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Lahpet isn’t somewhere you’d easily stumble upon.

Hidden away under a railway arch in Hackney’s Helmsley Place, it’s a world away from the madness of London Fields on a sunny day.

When I arrive, mid-week at 7pm, the restaurant is empty bar two other hungry souls. Come 9pm the placing is packed to the rafters – a true testament to the calibre of food on offer.

The space is inviting; white walls jazzed up with various pots of hanging greenery, which gives it a light and airy feeling.

I start with four types of fritters: kidney bean and ginger, shrimp and watercress, sweetcorn and tofu accompanied by a rich tamarind sauce. The winner for me is the sweetcorn fritter with lashing of the sauce – a taste of deep-fried heaven.

Next up, is Lahpet’s signature dish – their tea leaf salad. Having been subject to too many limp leaves drenched with greasy dressing, I’d usually pass on ordering a salad. Sweeping away any reservations I had, the salad is delicious – full of colour, crunch a dash of magic in the pickled tea leaves. It’s one dish not to miss.

For main course, I try the pork and­­ mustard green curry (slow braised pork neck / ginger / star anise /peanuts) and the King prawn curry (tomato / turmeric / paprika / pae pote / spring onion / asparagus) both served with a side of rice. The prawns are delightfully juicy, as they should be, and the paprika added that extra kick to the dish.

For me, the star of the show was the pork curry - where a cheap cut of pig has been lovingly transformed into a sweet and sticky dish that leaves you wanting to lick the inside of the bowl.

Dessert-wise I opt for the papaya sorbet – a perfect balance of sweetness and ice.

For much of 2017 Myanmar has been touted as a go-to destination. If you’re looking for a taste of Burmese food closer to home ,then Lahpet is well worth travelling the shorter distance to Hackney for.

Lahpet, 5 Helmsley Place, E8 3SB


Review: Lahpet, Hackney
Digital Mag

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