Restaurant Review: Stories

Lively Broadway Market plays host to this friendly, laid-back eatery

Just a short walk from Hoxton you’ll find Broadway Market, a little East End street between the Regent’s Canal and London Fields crammed full of a kaleidoscope of tastes and cultures, ranging from pubs and restaurants to cafes and vintage shops. Broadway Market is full of life, and if you are fortunate enough to visit on a scorching summer’s evening you will get to see it at its best.

As I had never experienced this area before, I was a little bowled over by the “casualness” of the restaurants, but after entering Stories I couldn’t help but fall in love with the relaxed attitude on display. It really did whisk me away from the everyday stresses of life.

The restaurant/bar was very quiet when we arrived, with just a couple of tables filled with twenty-somethings enjoying cocktails and lively debate. Despite the lack of numbers, the atmosphere was still good and at no point was there a chance of uncomfortable silences or awkwardness as the hustle and bustle on the street outside made for some very interesting people-watching.

We were shown to our seats and given a chance to acquaint ourselves with the small yet appetising menu. We ordered cocktails, which came quickly, looked great and packed a real punch, and shortly after received the nibbles we had ordered as a starter.

We shared a plate of lightly battered calamari with a delightful lime and cracked black pepper mayo and perfectly crunchy giant tortillas, topped with a sweet and smoky take on pulled pork that melted in the mouth. Both came in huge portions, ideal for sharing, that left us extremely full and wondering if we even had room for our main course.

As we sat enjoying our second round of cocktails (while feeling distinctly warm and fuzzy from the first), we started to really absorb the vibe of Stories and admire not only the chilled-out environment but also the buzz that was starting to happen around us, which the staff were taking in their stride.

When our main courses arrived the place was heaving, and at this point we could really see what Stories was all about: a calm, chilled-out setting for people to come and relax and just be themselves, welcoming anyone from families with small children out for a summer evening bite to stressed City types after a long journey on the hot tube. To us – the dating couple – watching and listening to the world go by whilst sharing every bite of dinner like there was just one plate between us and realising there’s more to life than work, this place was almost like a mini-holiday.

Our mains were fab burgers encased in brioche buns, oozing with cheese and served with golden triple-cooked chips. We were stuffed!

I would definitely recommend Stories as a place to go and enjoy some quality time in a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere; I will certainly be returning again.

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