Brick Lane sure ain’t what it used to be. Gone are the days of the East End drag being solely your destination for a lacklustre curry. The Lane and its surrounding area are now of course home to many new businesses, many chain businesses and thankfully some great new restaurants. And Pickled Fred falls firmly in that category. Take a shuffle to the east on Hanbury Street and you’ll find an unassuming little eatery with big flavours and comfortable vibes. Founders Ben (front of house) and Can (bar) opened the restaurant last year with know-how gained from working in some heavy hitting London venues (Som Saa,Berber & Q, Hawksmoor). This particular project – their first in going out on their own – was inspired by a trip to the Philippines where they got to know a monkey, named Fred, who like to steal pickles. Chef Dan Boreham shared their penchant for punchy spices and the outcome is a menu packed with interesting Asian fusion fare and some creative cocktails. We loved our flatbreads and the churros that capped off the meal (not Asian, we know, but still delicious). Pop in with a group or a date. The relaxed atmosphere is ideal for both and the Happy Hour offer of £5 cocktails and 20% off food is a skint January winner (PS it’s also very vegan friendly).