Pop the Cork on Some Fun in East London!
There's a new wine bar just opened in East London's super hip Shoreditch. It's a good one too, offering up a smartly curated list of French wines and a tasty menu of Lyonnaise dishes.
Owner-manager, Edwin Chan, thinks he's come up with a winning concept for a fine yet casual wine-n-dine experience for Londoners. And he reckons he's got the right connections across le Mange too, priding himself on being able to offer a high quality food and drink at remarkably low prices. He might just have a point.
My five quid glass of well-rounded cabernet franc (Domaine de la Perrière, Chinon, 2010) was tasty value and accompanied my ample starter course of a gorgeously lardon-laden salade Lyonnaise (£6, and I'd gladly order it again) while a glass of Sauternes worked wonders alongside my main of what Edwin believes to be the best 150g escalope de foie gras poele in town (£18, also available as a 75g starter at £9). Who knows if it actually is London's best (and who's got the constitution to conduct a thorough investigation?), but I can't recall a yummier foie gras experience on British shores.
Maybe not the most veggie friendly venue, but then again Lyon probably isn't either. A simple and low key establishment with emphasis placed on the vin and the carte, I found Edwin's to be an ideal setting for quiet conversation minus any hype usually associated with restaurants opening up around the 'Ditch. Edwin was on hand and happy to compliment on my choices and politely recommend his own suggestions.
A bit more about the owner …
Edwin Chan is about as French as I am. We're both fans of all things deliciously Gallic though. Whereas my interest in Frenchy treats ends at very appreciative consumption, this dude has figured out how to take his passion to the next level.
Chan's background is in advertising. At the height of his career in the 80s as Vice President of J Walter-Thomson in Asia, he walked through the 90s, Edwin started and ran a string of ad and branding agencies representing the likes of Proctor & Gamble, Samsung and Apple. Then, possibly out of boredom, he up and moved to France eventually re-inventing himself in 2007 as the owner of a wine bar in Lyon. So, the man has balls, knows what he likes and seems to be pursuing his dreams with vigor. He's got a nice wine bar with a proper French kitchen backing it up right here in London as well.
Edwin's French Wine Bar and Restaurant is located at 18 Phipp Street, EC2A 4NU. Find out more at edwinsfrenchwinebar.co.uk.
Add this wine bar to your list of things to do in the city once your flight to London lands!
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photo: Chris Osburn