Tonight, we took a walk on the wild side. For tonight, we plunged into deepest, darkest Homerton High Street. Our friend R knew the owners of a newish little pub called The Plough, which she said did great burgers, and once my burger obsessed buddy H heard this, it was immediately made the venue for our next gathering.

There was much nervous joking about hopefully not being mugged or stabbed on the way there (we’re SUCH London snobs) but in actual fact that turned out to be justified; see the end of this post!! However, we all got there without too much trouble. The Plough is a spare and minimally-designed boozer, with bare walls, bare bulbs, wooden tables and a brick fireplace. It sounds like it would feel cold and empty but it’s actually quite cool, and when it gets busy, there’s definitely a buzz. But we were excited about the food (and also about a good session of industry goss). House wine (£15) comes in water bottles, so we had a few of those, and then turned our attention to the menu, which changes regularly. It’s short and to the point, but there were several things that sounded good. The cheeseburger isn’t on the menu, but if you ask nicely, it can be arranged. When we went, the choices included hanger steak and fries, crayfish mac and cheese, a fried chicken bun, and sides like jalapeno slaw.

In honour of January, I’m giving up carbs, so I ordered the steak, substituting the slaw for the fries. V and H both went for the cheeseburger, and R mainly just had a bottle of white wine. Good on her! We also ordered the fried chicken bun, For The Table…My steak was nice and rare, and the slaw was deliciously tangy, while the girls both managed to devour their burgers pretty rapidly. The fried chicken bun was pretty good; for me there’s still no contest when it comes to fried chicken between Jackson + Rye and Q Grill, but it was nice all the same.

But I just HAD to break my no carb rule for the crayfish mac and cheese. It’s definitely the most amazing thing I’ve eaten all year, and quite possibly of all of last year, too. It was just delicious; thankfully they don’t make it here with breadcrumbs on top – that really annoys me – there’s just a massive, semi solid cheese crust. And underneath, the creamiest, cheesiest mac with big chunks of fresh crayfish, just all adding up to a pretty phenomenal experience. I would go back there just for that (although I’ve just looked at this week’s menu and they’re doing blue mac and cheese, with stilton and parmesan; that sounds most pleasant also…).

It was good fuel to go with the booze; and obviously cooked well. By the time we staggered out towards the overground at about 10.30pm (I know, lightweights), we were happily stuffed. We got to the overground station to find the main entrance closed off with police tape; and then heard later that a man brandishing a machete had been running around the rooftops. Only in Homerton, eh! Well, just try not to let it put you off a trip to the Plough.

Value for money: 7/10 – mains around £9-£12

Atmos: 7/10

food: 8/10