The Diner, Shoreditch
128 Curtain Road
020 7729 4452
by Blake Pudding
A diner isn’t just a place or a style of food but a reflection of national character. A diner should be generous, friendly and brash; the food may not be that good but there will be lots of it and it can be served any way you want.
I was hungover with a couple of advertising types, Marie Voss and Tom Dean. As their stock in trade is the ersatz, I thought where better to take them than an imitation American diner in Shoreditch. This place was almost exactly what you would expect from a trendy diner. The food was good, probably better than you would get in most diners in New York. My corn beef hash was delicious and the bacon I had on the side was some of the finest I have ever tasted. The coffee was bad, which struck a note of authenticity, but they had to be reminded about free refills. Tom and Marie both had eggs, hash browns and bacon, all excellent.
I don’t suppose I need to say that the service was atrocious. It felt as if there had been a death amongst the staff and we were intruding on their grieving. All this could have been made up for by the excellent food if we had not been so hungry on finishing it. Portions were, however, tiny. We headed across the road to soothe our still rumbling bellies with pints of ESB and those ludicrously strong salt and vinegar crisps that you can only get in Shoreditch. You wouldn’t have to do that in Albuquerque.