With the tarted up versions in the refined settings of Hawksmoor and Little Social, the less than successful incarnations at The Advisory and Dip & Flip, and the downright criminal 'melted cheese' version at the Maple Leaf in Covent Garden. It looks like London is finally beginning to embrace Canada's favourite hangover cure, Poutine.
Now successful pop-up incubator Birthdays have opened up their kitchen to Sunday Brick Lane traders The Poutinerie, and what has been birthed is the stock-laden Stacks.
Their 'classic' certainly looks the part. The chicken gravy is impossibly deep and rich with great flavour and consistency, just thick and sloppy enough. And the chips are bang on as well - good-sized with a solid crunch and the structural stability to hold their own through the thick gravy.
The lumps of dairy lacked the bite and squeak that you would expect from curd, with a texture more similar to ripped mozzarella, but added a welcome soft, salty hit. Dubious though we were about curd credibility, it is certainly the best of the non-fancy restaurant versions we've had in town.
They throw out some variations too, like pulled pork to satisfy barbecue minded, or coq au vin for those who like watching repeats of Howard's Way and are still petrified by the novelty of chicken kiev. We plumped for the cheeseburger version, with sharp gherkins and sweet caramelised onions topping cheese-covered beef and tasting convincingly like a cheeseburger on top of chips, curd and gravy. Confusing, but enjoyable.
It is sturdy snack food that could do with being open past 11pm for true drunken appreciation. Saying that though, if you plough through a few of their exceptional cocavinos first you might just get yourself in the right state.