Hands down London’s best poutine is from The Poutinerie — a market stall regularly found most Sundays on Brick Lane and popping up some weekday lunches around London. Follow them on twitter to find out where they will be next.
Wait, what is this food called poutine that everyone is talking about! Poutine is the unofficial national dish of Canada made up french fries, gravy and cheese curds. They’re great after a night out drinking or after the hockey game, or as a great hangover cure. Originating from Quebec, the popularity of poutine has spread across Canada and now it’s on a tour around the world. Don’t call them cheese, chips and gravy, the secret is in the balance between thin french fries and the right type of cheese.
Now for a big caveat, even in Canada not all poutine is great and if I’m honest I don’t remember the last time I had good poutine back home. I have high, possibly unrealistic, standards when it comes to poutine. The best poutine I’ve had have been in Montreal on cold winter nights, often after a night out; put it this way, poutine is the kebab of Montreal. Today you can get poutine anywhere in Canada, even at McDonalds, and there’s a wide range of quality which could make it hard to define good poutine; is it even edible is certainly one criteria. For me the rules defining good poutine are simple: did they use the right base ingredients and how does it taste.
Believe it or not there are several places to find poutine in London, including at London’s only Canadian pub, the Maple Leaf Lounge, so this pick did have some competition, however mediocre. The Poutinerie secured the top spot by making the best poutine hands down, one good enough to compete back in Canada (take that McDonalds)!
Using normal thickness french fries fried extra crispy, homemade gravy and specially made cheese curds, the Poutinerie’s classic poutine scores full marks on both getting the ingredients correct and being delicious. It can’t be stressed enough, cheese curds can make or break poutine, and The Poutinerie is the only purveyor in London using the correct cheese. Even with the right curds, the Poutinerie poutine also finds the best balance with the fries and gravy. While other poutines can be too heavy and overwhelming, this poutine fills you up just enough.
Until recently The Poutinerie had a residency at Birthdays in Dalston where they expanded their offering with a full-English brunch poutine and for Thanksgiving (the proper Canadian one in October) and Christmas, a turkey, stuffing & cranberry sauce poutine. The market stall serves up two types of poutine, Original and Coq Au Vin (roast chicken, bacon, mushrooms & onions with the fries, curds and gravy).
Various locations: Sunday on Brick Lane