I had a strange experience tonight, when I went over to Beckton… read on.
Leaving the DLR station, a Lithuanian friend of mine led me down to the unassuming retail park that sits just down the main road and, right next to the defunct Woolworths superstore (with its signage still intact) you’re in for a real surprise, when you discover the largest branch of Lituanica in London, a fully fledged Lithuanian supermarket that sells everything from baby food to chocolate, via that unique malted bread soft drink from the baltic, Gira, as it’s known in Lithuania (and which you’ll find called kvass in Russia and Latvia).
Up on the first floor there’s a very pleasant and well-appointed Lithuanian restaurant that serves a wide range of traditional fayre, and which is themed around the first aeroplane to attempt a transatlantic crossing, the ‘Lituanica‘, which, apparently, was shot down by the Germans on the final leg of its journey (a crime even young Lithuanians seem to feel very aggrieved over to this day!). I tried a spicy chilli soup and the traditional ‘cepelinai’ (zeppelins in German) which are potato dumplings stuffed with sausage meat and served with a liberal portion of sour cream on the side – you can see from the picture below why they get their name. Also on the first floor there’s a jewelry store, an accountants, a busy beauty salon and a large Lithuanian bookshop that would put a branch of Waterstones in the shade in terms of its style and comfort.
|From Lituanica March 2011|
It’s an amazing find, and stepping inside you definitely get the impression that you’re no longer in London. I recommend it for foodies who are a bit bored and who want to try something really different. It’s very cheap too!