There is always a spark of interest when a new restaurant opens in East London – particularly the part of East London I am in (Wanstead/Leytonstone/Leyton) and so I was delighted when my friend Cheryl opened her new venture – a Caribbean restaurant called Heart and Soul Restaurant in Lea Bridge Road, Leyton.
Within weeks of opening, Chanelle had made me envious with her elaborate descriptions of the seafood dishes she had experienced, cooked to perfection by the wonderful chef Mikey.
Chanelle joined the 30’s club a few weeks ago (Happy Birthday old cow) and booked a group meal at Heart and Soul. I couldn’t wait to see the restaurant for myself.
The restaurant is a lovely venue with ample but discreet seating for groups or quiet romantic meals.
Heart and Soul Restaurant has space for entertaining in the basement, ideal for low key entertainment or private dining for groups.
Heart and Soul also boasts an outdoor garden with seating and if the weather delivers, the restaurant will often host family BBQ’s.
12 lucky ladies sat down to dine and these are some of the fantastic dishes we had.
The food is well presented, extremely filling and you will receive rice or rice and peas as a standard side dish which I respect them for – because one thing I disagree with, is how Caribbean restaurants (particularly in London) think they are entitled to list sides like rice and peas as a separate chargeable side dish. This disgusts me because most Caribbean dishes will invariably be complimented with rice and peas and so this appears to purely be a money making service and patronising to diners.
The quantity of food on your plate is ample – Heart and Soul, unlike Cottons or Mango Rooms is not attempting to be a pretentious concept restaurant. The service, food and warmth from staff speaks for itself.
The only thing that lets this restaurant down – and this isn’t criticism of the restaurant per se – is the location. With no other attractive locales, the true beauty of the venue cannot be appreciated until you step inside. It does however benefit from regular traffic being on Lea Bridge Road which I hope will encourage it to thrive. With London 2012 Olympics around the corner (literally), this will hopefully keep the footfall consistent.
Finally, make sure you try the exotic range of drinks on offer – particularly Mr Kings Special Cocktail – what’s in it you ask? I can’t tell you – I don’t know because it’s a closely guarded secret!
Heart & Soul Restaurant & Wine Bar 512 Lea Bridge Road Leyton, London E10 7DT 020 8536 9903 Takeaway Line: 020 8556 7261 firstname.lastname@example.org www.heartnsoulrestaurant.co.uk