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The Hackney Pearl Restaurant Review: The Hackney Pearl advertises itself as ‘gran’s kitchen meets continental bar’ and that pretty well sums up the place. A former clothing factory, the space is full of odds and ends from old dressers to Formica tables. It suits the trendy, artistic crowd of locals from Hackney Wick which has the greatest concentration of artists in Europe. The menu is short but very good, the food cooked by chef James Morgan. Go for a casual lunch of panini, soups and salads or try the evening menu, perhaps a simple but beautiful braised squid with fennel and aïoli, followed by roast lamb rump with anchovy and olive oil butter, runner beans and roast red peppers, then a strawberry Pavlova. It’s all very reasonably priced as well and there are some interesting wines on offer. Go for the Monday night pub quiz or pizza on Wednesday. It’s casual, friendly, fun and happily very successful.