My most memorable dining experience in London has nothing to do with Michelin stars, fancy wines & waiters…
Lennies Snack Bar in East London (just next to Shoreditch Church) is like no other Thai restaurant I’ve ever been too. Its life and soul is owner Irene who is the most welcoming host anyone can imagine. Eating at her restaurant is like coming home or visiting your favourite eccentric aunt.
Irene does all the cooking herself and will often sit at her customer’s tables and chat for a while, ask you how you’ve been or tell about her jet lag, her long life in London or the next party she’s planning to attend, dressed like Dolly Parton.
There is a varied menu to choose from, but we normally let Irene decide for us. We just tell her what kind of food we’re interested in and she’ll conjure up a wonderful mix of Thai curries, noodle dishes, fish etc. A lot of the vegetables come from her own allotment.
This is a BYO place, meaning you have to bring your own drinks. You don’t even pay extra for that and you rarely end up paying more than £ 10 per person for the food.
I really can’t recommend this place enough, I just love everything about it: from the kitschy cosy interior with red checkered table cloths, string lights and paintings of naked women to the fresh and well-prepared food. Hell, I even love the dodgy toilets.
But mainly I love this place because of Irene and her knack for creating the warmest and most welcoming atmosphere in East London.
Lennies Snack Bar, 6 Calvert Avenue, London E2 7JP.
Tel: 020 7739 3628 (it’s a good idea to book ahead)