‘It’s amazing to think how far London has come as an eating town since [the early nineties], and the progress restaurants have made is nowhere exemplified better than at Canteen.’ Giles Coren, London 2010.
I had been wanting to go to Canteen for a while because I have their cookbook, Great British Food which came up in my search online for popular cookbooks last year. I love traditional British food and the recipes bring me right back to my childhood. We had lunch at the restaurant in Spitalfields and I was not disappointed. The food was excellent; it was by far the best restaurant we had been to in London and we returned two more times throughout our trip. This was confirmed to me by my stepfather: a true old fashioned gentleman who has spent most of his life wining and dining at the finest restaurants in the world; and came down from Scotland to meet us at the restaurant in Baker street for dinner. He told me he has never felt better after eating at a restaurant because the ingredients were of such high quality. This is not regular traditional British food like the kind you can find in restaurants all over England, especially pubs, which is loaded with additives and far from what our ancestors ate; this is real traditional British food because it is seasonal, nationally sourced, cooked from scratch (many restaurants buy pre-prepared food), their meat is pasture raised and additive-free, and their fish is sustainable, delivered daily from boats on the south coast. Their menu and design are reminiscent of classic British cafes of the past and their philosophy is honest, casual all day dining at a reasonable price.