REVIEW: L’Ami Malo, Liverpool Street
WHAT? A dark, stylish French galette restaurant tucked away off Liverpool Street, pairing sophisticated wines and gluten-free pancakes topped with decadent meats, cheese and fish.
WHY GO? Aiming to bring people together over undeniably good food, the name takes from the French words for ‘friends’ and the traditional town St Malo, famous for its high-quality galettes.
WHERE? Surviving bastion of the Ripper’s London in the middle of Spitalfields, Artillery Passage is now home to a handful of shops and restaurants – but it still affords a relatively untouched view of what London looked like hundreds of years ago.
At number 14 sits L’Ami Malo, where you’ll also find clandestine cocktail bar Le Moulin (with its own entrance on Parliament Court) serving up gin and Calvados mixes.
L’Ami Malo’s succinct menu begins with buckwheat goat’s cheese croquettes, onion tart and a creamy Jerusalem artichoke soup, which we were grateful for on yet another wet and windy day in London.
There’s a choice of sushi-like Maki rolls (essentially rolled up wraps filled with smoked salmon, avocado or ham hock) but we saved our stomachs for the carb-laden main event – the buckwheat pancakes and crêpes.
Galettes come smothered in everything from confit duck leg and braised red cabbage (pictured) to cider-braised pork cheek, goat’s cheese and Scottish salmon, priced between £9 and £14.
There are mains to choose from that aren’t centred around pancakes, but just two – an unctuous ox cheek slow cooked in red wine, and cod served with braised fennel. The short menu of accompanying wines mostly hail from Langeudoc, Loire, Alsace and Burgundy, each carefully chosen to show off the best of what France has to offer.
For dessert, it’s more of what the Gallic do best. We sampled a delicious poached pear crêpe with chocolate sauce and roasted almond, as well as the banana and peanut option smothered in caramel sauce – both incredibly good, though very filling.
Upon leaving, we rather wished we’d taken part in the most traditional drinking pastime in Northwestern France – The Trou Normand or “Norman Hole”, where a shot of Calvados is taken mid-meal to create a “hole” for more food. A thoroughly pleasant meal in a cool, understated setting – don’t just save this for Pancake Day.
DETAILS: 14 Artillery Passage E1 7LJ / email@example.com / 020 7247 8595
Amy was a guest of L’Ami Malo