Review: The Gallery café in Bethnal Green
Having recently moved to east London, it seemed like time to find a great dairy free brunch place. Gallery café didn’t disappoint: while the menu is completely vegan, non-vegans won’t feel like they’re missing out.
There are the classic brunch options: Full English, American pancakes, avocado toast, with a few unusual ones thrown in: Turmeric, matcha, and beetroot lattes. There’s also a good amount of vegan sweet treats: croissants, carrot cake, brownies etc.
I wasn’t quite prepared for how popular this place is – there was a queue when I arrived at 11:40am on Saturday, when I mistakenly thought I would’ve missed the breakfast crowd. By the time I got into the café, all but the avocado toast was sold out, so that’s what I reluctantly opted for. I mean, how good can avocado toast really be without a poached egg? Very, very good as it turns out! Perfectly creamy avocado on a piquant piece of sourdough toast, topped with a grilled tomato and a drizzle of fresh garlicky pesto. The surprising star of the show was in fact the tomato, it had a beautifully smokey char-grilled flavour that easily elevated this to one of the best avo-toasts I’ve had (and as a millennial living in London, I’ve had plenty).
Another surprise was the turmeric latte. It was aromatic, savoury, creamy, and a perfect amount of natural sweetness. The sprinkling of freshly cracked black pepper on top was particularly delightful. I would definitely recommend it if you want to try something a little different.
After my first trip, I knew that I needed to go back at some point to try the other options, so a few weekends later I found myself in Bethnal Green again with a craving for a turmeric latte (I’ve already mentioned that I’m a millennial living in London haven’t I?).
This time I was in luck, the café wasn’t too busy and most of the menu was still available with the unfortunate exception of the potato pancakes which I wanted to try. Instead, I opted for the full English: two veggie sausages, tofu scramble, sautéed mushrooms, spinach, homemade baked beans, fried potatoes, and sourdough toast.
Suffice to say, it was delicious and filling. The sausages were great, more like a veggie stuffing or nut roast than an actual sausage but they did the job. The beans were also excellent, I’m not a fan of tinned beans but I loved these homemade ones, they had a perfect balance of sweet and salty with a good bit of spice. The tofu scramble didn’t convert me though; it didn’t really deliver on flavour and could have used a bit more salt and spice.
I also got the chance to try a matcha latte this time. As expected with matcha, it tasted a little grassy and earthy, definitely a must for green tea fans but I’ll be sticking to the turmeric latte in future.
Let’s talk price, the avocado toast was an affordable £6 and would probably top my recommendations. The full English was £8.95, making it a good choice for those who like a large portion at a reasonable price. The lattes were all £3, so at the pricier end but definitely worth it. All in all, everything on the menu is very affordable for London, not to mention fresh and high quality. I will definitely be going back to try some of the dishes I missed and I recommend you make your way there if you ever find yourself in the area!