Fermentation is very in; kimchee, kombucha, pickles all promise joy to your gut and your palate. Capitalising on this with their quirky, charming new joint are Ben Tucker and Can Turner, the duo behind Pickled Fred on Hanbury Street in Shoreditch. The pan-Asian menu excitingly offers many gluten-free and vegan dishes, but also plenty of meaty dishes for us carnivores.

Pickled Fred: The Food 

Kick off your menu perving with some snacks, like the Fred’s pickles and the Jackfruit Scotch egg. The guys have raised the humble Scotch egg to modern standards. It was nicely warmed and full of cosy flavours with a perfect soft egg in the middle. This egg is a real flavour sensation extraordinaire; when the egg yolk mixes with the delicious masala mayonnaise, it releases a taste sensation of M1 services meets Silk Road. A definite must.

Move on to the small plates – the grilled octopus with harrissa marinated chickpeas, black tahini, pickled red onions and preserved lemons was the highlight of the menu. Perfectly cooked octopus and slightly charred on the outside – it worked wonders with the smoked hummus. Scattered all around were bundles of al dente chick peas, adding texture and crunch to the whole experience. I’d go back running along Brick Lane day after day for this dish alone.

We also recommend the roast cauliflower with the intensely rich tahini dressing. It has all the comfort of a warming bowl of mac n’ cheese, only this was the humble cauli. And the mustard oil cut through the dish – added balance and a slight hit of heat. We say, share some flatbreads such as the chickpea pancake (suitable for the gluten-free hunnies), and served with a variety of toppings; from the bahn mi pork mince  to the more Middle Eastern flavours with chermoula aubergine, labneh and dukkah.

Squeeze in some pudding with an imaginative turmeric panna cotta with a brilliantly wobbly texture.

Pickled Fred: The Verdict 

Pickled Fred offers the classic best of both worlds: various dietary options but delicious punchy flavoured food, with a truly unique menu which never sacrifices flavour for anything ‘clean’.

61 Hanbury St, London E1 5JP