REVIEW: Franzè & Evans, Shoreditch
WHAT? A very special cafe, bar and restaurant whipped into one, crushing Redchurch Street’s fierce competition with inventive booze, colourful brunch plates, freshly-made salads and a show-stopping cake selection. Oh, and the staff are wonderful, too.
You’ll need a little extra time to pore over the Franzè & Evans brunch/lunch menu, a deluge of fresh options forcing you to choose between a light, healthy breakfast bowl or a warm, filling pasta that’ll see you through until dinner.
Of course, you could go back for your evening meal too – the likes of whole-roasted mackerel with fennel and harissa new potatoes definitely worth a return visit. We stopped by just shy of 12pm – the perfect time for a coffee followed by a cheeky Saturday cocktail. There’s an interesting beer and sprit menu (try the thyme and gin lemonade) plus a decent wine list and fun Prosecco mixes for brunch time.
Lunch options include a short menu of Italian-influenced treats, such as a Ploughman’s with prosciutto, spicy salami, sour dough, frutta di mustarda, radishes, apple and artisan cheese, or a bubbling mushroom, truffle oil and parmesan risotto. Aubergine parmigiana and beef lasagne will fill the emptiest of bellies, but it’s the cakes you need to save room for.
An on-site baker makes the *huge*, beautiful display from scratch, changing daily and always building up to a ‘Sunday showstopper’, GBBO-style. We tried a gorgeous banana loaf with salt caramel icing, and a mini Victoria sponge cake piled with fresh berries. A quick look at their Facebook and Instagram pages shows you the cakes you might’ve missed – a perfect excuse to return and try your luck for an Oreo crumble cake or gluten-free lemon yoghurt and pistachio mini loaf.
WHERE: A second location has just opened in trendy mixed-use space The Bower – a new walkway tucked behind Shoreditch Grind boasting a throng of new shops and eateries (think Draft house, Bone Daddies, Honest Burger and more delicious, albeit gentrified, options). This venue is on busy Redchurch Street, right by Brick Lane.
HOW MUCH: For breakfast, hearty porridge bowls start at £4.50 and climb to a decent £9.50 for the Franze & Evans Breakfast, comprising fried tuscan egg, sausage, bacon, tomato, mushroom, Italian style beans and sourdough. The lunch menu options hover around £9-10 and dinner options start from £7.50 for tapas-style plates up to about £14 for lasagnes, seafood pastas and bright, zingy salads.
STAND-OUT DISH: The Tuscan egg omelette with pesto, cotto ham, sun blush tomato and a slice of sourdough will cure most hangovers (as will two glasses of the pomegranate Prosecco, so we recommend both).
ADDRESS: 101 Redchurch Street, London, E2 7DL