With an exciting cider bar, sourdough pizzas and a dedicated vegan menu, The Stable has a lot to offer foodies of all tastes. We head over for a slice of the action…
Pizza and cider (mostly)
In a Word:
Casual diners, mainly couples and small groups. It’s an ideal place to hang around with friends. It’s also a good place for vegans as there’s an extensive menu. We see a few customers order take-away food here too.
Pizza and cider are not the most obvious pairing, but here at The Stable located in the heart of Whitechapel, they go hand-in-hand. The team behind it all first started in Dorset and are enticing London foodies with their inventive approach using locally sourced ingredients and cider from proper craft producers. (Some cider is made on-site too!) So what do we make of their bold ideas?
Firstly, however, it’s worth noting the restaurant’s design and layout. It has a laid-back, cosy atmosphere thanks to its low-lighting, lit candles on tables and wooden benches. The plain, brick walls and exposed pipes along the ceiling, give the place a rustic and slightly industrial feel. There’s also another bar at the back with more varieties of drinks and we’re guessing this is where their live music events take place. Overall, there’s a chilled, relaxed vibe here.
The menu offers a great selection of pizza, a few pies, sides and of course starters, but one of the main things to note is that there’s a separate section dedicated to their vegan dishes. There are a variety of options, so if you’re vegan, you’ll easily find something you’ll like.
The other thing is that while The Stable proudly boast of their cider menu, there’s a surprisingly extensive wine menu. So there’s plenty to choose from. Of course, we settle for a cider. I go for a Sheppy’s 200 which is a sweet, sparkling cider. It’s seriously delicious and easy to drink, especially as the bubbles are gentle. It’s certainly got my appetite going.
Jack and I decide to try out some of the vegan dishes as the menu is full of curious combinations. So we start with Sticks & Dips and the Purple Haze salad. Both dishes are beautifully presented and intrigue us even more.
When you think of sourdough, it’s likely you’ll be thinking about soft, chunks of bread, but that’s not the case with the Sticks & Dips. We are surprised to see thin, crispy, flat strips. They’re addictive and immensely satisfying in taste and feel, you can break it into manageable sizes and just dunk them into the dips. All three dips are bursting with flavour and colour. While the Butternut Blitz is intensely moreish, my personal favourite is the Beetroot Hummus. It’s creamy, light and sweet but not too sweet. Jack’s favourite is the Mushroom and Olive Tapenade which has a rather bitter taste. It’s my least favourite.
The Purple Haze salad is a delicious bowl of veg. Full of vibrant colours and delightful textures. Red cabbage, sprouting broccoli, cherry tomatoes, baby corn – you’re easily lured to your five-a-day with this dish. It’s boosted by a light, citrus vinaigrette and a gentle hint of red chilli. Perfect.
Onto the main event – pizza. I’m oddly excited as I’ve never had a vegan pizza before. More to the point, I’ve never tried vegan cheese before so I’m not sure how it’s going to go down…Anyway, I go for The Good Life pizza and Jack opts for the Four Cheese Special.
Sadly, I’ve been informed that they’ve run out of aubergine – not a good sign to run out of vegetables, particularly if you’re making a vegan pizza, but luckily there are other options. I choose mushrooms as they always do well on a pizza, in my opinion.
I am not disappointed. It certainly doesn’t look vegan. The base is thin and crispy with a generous helping of red and yellow peppers, red onion, roasted courgette and mushrooms. The big surprise is the vegan cheese. Its texture and colour has a strong resemblance to a cheese sauce but it makes an excellent alternative to mozzarella. The pizza is also very light, I don’t feel stuffed after eating it. Superb.
The Four Cheese Special is, as you would expect, a lot more heavy and strong in flavour. Jack and I call this the English Quattro Formaggi as rather than having four Italian cheeses, there’s four English ones: Coastal Cheddar, Blue Vinney, Rosary Goats and Dorset Red Smoked Cheddar. I’m quite fond of the red smoked cheddar, it has a rich, creamy taste that complements the pizza base. Jack is also impressed with this pizza, although we both have reservations about having blue cheese on a pizza…Overall, though it’s pretty tasty.
Despite scoffing down an entire pizza, I find room for a dessert. The vegan dishes have left me feeling a little too healthy, so I’ve made up for it by ordering a latte and a Chocolate Brownie with salted caramel and clotted cream. It sounds like heaven…
It’s taking a while to arrive and we’ve been told they’ve run out of milk…Luckily, there’s a few non-diary options, which further emphasises why this is a good place for vegans. Slightly odd having coffee before dessert, but rules are made to be broken!
The brownie soon arrives on a wooden board sprinkled with icing sugar and a drizzle of salted caramel. Just the look of it would satisfy you. It’s a generous portion and is incredibly indulgent. The brownie is rich, dense and extremely chocolatey. The salted caramel cuts through the flavour with its sweetness and the clotted cream adds a cool, silky touch to the brownie. I have to admit it does defeat me, but it makes a great finish to the meal.
Despite occasionally running out of things, The Stable is a great place to have a pizza and a drink with a few friends. You’ll find there’s something to please all kinds of eaters whether they’re vegans or meat lovers, so everyone can enjoy themselves. There’s lots of unique ideas and combinations on the menu – although we’re still not sure about blue cheese on a pizza…still, there are a few people who would probably like it! The Stable has a great social vibe, a cosy atmosphere and chatty, friendly staff. Definitely worth a visit.
16-18 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1EW