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Urban Junkies is a free newsletter delivering the very latest London launches, trends and events.


Eat & Drink

Originally published on Thursday, 30th August 2012

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A delicious triple whammy from Soho House

79 Highgate Road, NW5 1TL

Inbetween Kentish Town and Tufnell Park, the restaurant trio has given suburban NW5 a kick of East London-meets-NY cool.

Pizza East, like the ones in Shoreditch and Notting Hill, is positively brimming with people at all hours. It’s mostly the North London set – gorgeous 20-somethings, groups of friends and families old and young (we were sat next to a clan, everyone from toddlers to gramps). The Chicken Shop is good late night – a crowded, dark, subterranean barn-like diner with loud music – while Dirty Burger out back fits with the American-style burger shack trend du jour. The latter two do brown-bag take out.

Pizza East’s menu is similar to its East and West siblings. Octopus and peas to start is meaty and fresh, while the 4-cheese Mac ‘n’ Cheese is the best one we’ve had since Spuntino. Pizzas come in both inventive and classically simple forms – think porchetta and crackling with mozzarella, classic margherita, San Daniele ham and datterini tomatoes, and burrata, aubergine and chilli. For simple eats and quick service, head downstairs to The Chicken Shop where you can order a whole, half or quarter rotisserie chicken and sides. The meat slides off the bone, the crinkle-cut chips are crisp and salty, and the corn is all buttery goodness (plus the hot sauce is a winner). And Dirty Burger is just that – an aged beef patty, thinly sliced gherkins, lettuce, cheese and a mustardy burger sauce, while sides are chips and (red) onion rings. Order a milkshake for extra indulgence.

Upstairs, Pizza East feels similar to the Shoreditch original, very “on the continent” (food bar, wine by the carafe, legs of Parma ham hanging from the ceiling) mixed with NYC (exposed brick, glass and wood). Downstairs, Chicken Shop is a suitably dark diner, with a counter facing the rotisserie and separate crowded tables. Dirty Burger stays true to its name, serving its patties from a corrugated iron shack with minimal seating.

Three great eateries means triple the fun: go for pizza with big groups, The Chicken Shop for dates and Dirty Burger for late night munchies.

by JC

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