[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ometimes the best places to eat are the ones that you find by accident. After our time travelling adventures with Time Run across the street, we gathered inside Joe’s Oriental Diner for some late night munch and drinks and it was the happiest of accidents…
Inside the Laundry Building, Joe’s is not exactly a diner. It’s spread across the ground floor of this vast warehouse. Every Tuesday- named Tightarse Tuesdays- meant that we could have everything on the menu for £25. I picked out the dishes I wanted, ordered a Sudthay cocktail and patiently waited for our food.
My cocktail came in a tiny tardis of a teapot- a concoction of lychee, apple juice, jasmine and Bacardi rum. It was lovely- not overly sweet, refreshing, and when everyone was ordering their second and third round, my little teapot just kept on giving. Definitely worth getting.
First to come along was the wonton noodle soup. The wonton dumpling was juicy and thick with filling, and not soggy. The soup was savoury but not overly salty and the noodles were perfectly cooked too.
Next to come along was the Thai Sausage, which was so fiery I only managed one slice. I could taste coriander, lemongrass and the chillies which left my tongue burning!
There were buttery slices of Roti (think of flaky crispy flatbread) perfect for dipping into curry sauces or in my case, the chilli jam that came with this…
…sticky barbecue pork belly. The chilli jam was delicious!
As was the Unagi fried rice. The Unagi was sticky sweet, however, despite not usually being a fan of Unagi, the slices of eel in this dish were thick and meaty and I didn’t mind the texture as much. The fried rice was lovely too, it tasted like something my Mum would whip up.
By then, the Walnut Prawns drizzled in Sriracha Mayo arrived, and I’ve never wanted to hug a dish of food more. Growing up, my favourite dish to order at our local hangouts was called Salad Prawn and I loved it. Worshipped it. To me, it was home on a plate. When I took a bite out these, I had to immediately put my chopsticks down and Whatsapp Ismay with the news that I had found the Holy Grail of our “Food-We-Can-Only-Get-in-Brunei” list. SALAD PRAWNS!
The prawns were fat and plump, encased in light batter and drizzled with that lovely sriracha and mayonnaise sauce. In fact, prawns here are pretty perfect.
Take a look at this bad boy.
This was the jumbo prawn in chilli sauce, which was also really authentic. The sauce reminded me of Chilli Crab that you can get all over Singapore. It still comes in it’s shell (but de-veined!) because that’s what keeps in the sauce and flavour, and the meat nice and juicy but not rubbery. In fact, if I was in Asia, I would be sucking the sauce out of the head, because that’s how I used to roll 😉
We stayed until closing time, but were never made to feel hurried or rushed. It was pretty relaxed and laid back in fact! I’m so happy this place exists close to home. I’m coming back for those prawns and those noodles, and my never ending teapot, and just everything.
To further sing my praises of this restaurant, the man behind Joe’s Oriental Diner is Scott Hallsworth -former Head Chef of Nobu in London as well as behind Kurobuta. Those credentials alone should sway you to try this place, at a much friendlier price point!
You can find Joe’s Oriental Diner here:
The Laundry E8 Building
2-18 Warburton Road,
It’s just down the street from London Fields station, along Mentmore Terrace.
And it’s all about the prawns. You should, no- need– to order the prawns!