REVIEW: Arepa & Co, Haggerston
WHY GO? To try authentic Venezuelan arepas and capachas – 100% wheat and gluten-free cornbread and sweetcorn pancakes fried to golden perfection, then stuffed with cheeses, meats and lashings of avocado (what else?).
WHERE? Perched on the river at Haggerston, just along from pizza and ping pong joint Proud East, you’ll find buzzy Arepa. From the get-go, the menu is delectable, but diet-busting – starters including the likes of Tequenos (pastry fingers filled with melted cheese), plantains sprinkled with white cheese and the classic dish, Domino – that’s black beans and rice.
For mains, you can choose between cornbread or sweetcorn casing for your meat and veg – we adored the Pernil, stuffed with pork shoulder, tomato and avocado, and the traditional Pabellón, full of shredded beef, cheddar, black beans and plantain. Vegans will love the Mulata (plantains, cheddar and black beans) and there’s an interesting smoked salmon option, spread with cream cheese.
Desserts are indulgent, to say the least. Carrot cake or the raspberry and chocolate brownie could tempt you, but we recommend the traditional Tres Leches (also known as pan tres leches). All you need to know is that it’s a sponge cake, soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated, condensed, and heavy cream. Nom.
ANYTHING ELSE? Brunch runs on weekdays to 11.30am and through to 4pm at weekends, promising a great alternative to your usual fry up. Cocktails are just £6 from 5-7pm on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Amy was a guest of Arepa & Co