I am a creature of habit and convenience when it comes to eating out, long passed the phase of being prepared to queue for a burger ( which probably explains why I haven't had one in a good few months) and not easily convinced to venture into an unfamiliar part of London, particularly on a Friday evening after a long week at work. However after my friend Isabella had for weeks tried and failed to convince me to make a journey to Hackney Wick, which to me was until then like a foreign country despite in fact not being really far at all on the overground, she finally persuaded me to make the trip to try one of her local favourites Crate and thank god she did. Hackney Wick has of course become known for it's many warehouse conversion filled with young creative twenty something's from around the world and Crate definitely has a bit of that vibe going for it too. In an old brewery and by the canal, it's location is pretty stunning. Despite the freezing temperatures we sat by the canal and Hackney Wick's industrial charm, the water shimmering with reflections, and a bustling atmosphere made it a unique and enchanting place to enjoy a dinner.
That is not to say that it's coolness over substance. In fact Crate's short menu centred around a few pizzas delivers on all fronts. Stone baked and served on solid wooden slaps, these pizzas are far from your average margahrita. We tried the sweet potato, blue cheese and walnut variation which was complex in flavour but worked beautifully in its sweet and saltiness as well as the chicken laksa one, on paper a rather odd sounding concoction of chicken, laksa sauce and mushrooms but upon sampling surprisingly moorish with a fiery hint of chili. Wines are well priced and perfectly matched to the pizzas and service is friendly and welcoming. Whether you sit inside where a DJ regularly provides a good musical backdrop or brave the cold on one of the benches and tables by the canal ( I recommend bringing a blanket to experience the amazing setting), Crate immediately won me over and made the trip out of my usual comfort zone definitely worth it. Hackney wick, you will see me again.