Sunday, 13 January 2013

Review - The Florist Arms

Part of what led my housemates to choosing our flat was the surrounding areas. I enjoy the hubbub and the scores of ethnic supermarkets on Bethnal Green Road where you can get pretty much any obscure cooking ingredient that you could ever want. That facet of our environs doesn't appeal to my tall housemate one bit. What he likes (I like these too) the silly little shops which sell stuff no one would buy and the cafes and pubs with board games in them. What sold our flat to them was the pub around the corner, The Florist. All around the sign and above the door are awnings of fresh green shrubbery. I occasionally see them refreshing the greenery and so I can see the progression from plain bush to jewelled flowers. It's lovely. The inside is just as lovely, the flower theme continues with daffodils (and other species) in little vases on the table and spectacular black-on-red floral wallpaper. Over Christmas, they put up lots of fairy lights everywhere and that makes the already lovely atmosphere even lovelier. If a drink didn't cost around £5, I'd spend much more time in there. I spend so little time in there that over three months had passed before I'd tried their £5 pizza. It's only £5 at lunch and on Sunday and Monday evenings but somehow, I'd evaded it. The ideal opportunity to try it arose on Sunday when we realised that schlepping a month's worth of Caribbean luggage to Cafe 338 wasn't a practical idea regardless of how good their jacket potato is. Instead, we popped into the Florist without the bags and ordered a wild boar salami pizza and 'piri piri' prawns.
It's no secret that I enjoy meat a lot so it's surprising that I felt that the protein elements of this meal were what let it down. The pizza was thin, crispy, cheesy and mellow with tomato. The red chilli heat combined well with this mellowness. Only the wild boar salami that we'd gotten so excited about was a disappointment. It had that unpleasant aroma of slightly offness that meat gets sometimes. I've mentioned this ineffable quality many times but I've still not managed to find an adequate word to describe what I mean. But anyway, the salami had it. The prawns did too. They were small and kind of reminded me of ready cooked frozen prawns so that might've been it. The 'piri piri' sauce was thankfully just a garlicky, chilli, tomato affair and was delicious. I mopped up every little bit of it with the side of traditional, pizza-style garlic bread that came with it. Next time I visit The Florist (probably in another three months), I'll be choosing vegetarianly since that appears to be its strength. 

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