Bounce around one of London’s most diverse, creative and weird & wonderful areas
By Cheryl Caira
Chapter 1: brunch
It’s the weekend, and Londoners around the city are waking up with only one thing on their mind: catching up on the antics of the night before, and brunch. But the shortest of walks from Hackney Central overground, bar and food spot, OSLO, is a go-to for whiling away the hours in an airy space with a relaxed vibe. Housed in the old railway arches of the station, blessing it with high ceilings and cool brickwork, the décor has a feeling of laid-back Scandi-chic, and there’s also a decent outdoor terrace if the sun decides to make an appearance.
So, it’s time to order. You can rock up for brunch from 11am, and we suggest you team any eating with a cocktail. There’s a big list of classics if you know what you like, otherwise you can adventure away from the norm with the bar’s house cocktails, with concoctions like the ‘Jubilation’ with gin, prosecco and elderflower & orange flavours and the ‘Bull Fashioned’ with rum, aromatic bitters and blueberry syrup.
The menu encompasses British classics, some with a Nordic twist. The ‘Nordic Cure’ is a tasty alternative to the Full English, featuring two eggs any style with chorizo, bacon, halloumi, avocado, grilled peppers and homemade chilli beans on a waffle. Waffles are a running theme throughout the brunch menu – never a bad thing in our eyes. Buttermilk chicken atop a smoked bacon waffle with sliced chilli, homemade slaw and honey and mustard gravy is a surprising creamy-tangy-sweet taste combination that works well. You can also opt to go full-on sweet, with Nutella on a waffle teamed with banana, butterscotch sauce and candied walnuts.
There are also some appealing, Nordic-themed options on the main menu: a starter of ‘Pølse’, comprising three tortillas with chargilled Norwegian sausage, pickled cabbage and mustard, a main course take on raw fish dish ‘poke’ with smoked salmon, spinach, barley, pineapple and mango mayo, and a ‘Grønn Salad’, tossed with broccoli tempura, avocado, candied ginger and coconut vinaigrette.