Today represents one year of blogging! It’s been a great experience and i’ve really enjoyed it. Over the last year I’ve cooked some great recipes, travelled to some amazing countries and eaten in some of the best restaurants in the world. It’s been a real privilege to share it with well over 3,000 of you out there on the interwebnets. Here’s to another year of amazing food!
This place is a foodie mecca. It’s been sat on or around the top of the ‘most talked about’ lists for months. Take the chef from Pitt Cue Co, great ingredients and a top location, add a sprinkle of glowing media coverage and you’ve got yourself an enticing proposition.
Situated in Islington at first glance it’s just one of many small bars and cafes. The decor is sleek and modern, with a definite warehouse theme. The tables are large and communal, the water jugs comical and the atmosphere relaxed. While it can be nightmare-ish getting a table, I had no trouble on a quiet weekday lunchtime.
The menu itself speaks heavily to current food trends. Pulled pork, nduja, cod cheeks, lardo – these are all great things, but when every other trendy restaurant is doing them too, you need to be good. They also have an extensive beer selection, pulling on some great local producers and a wine list that has several great options by the glass. Perfect for lunch!
To start I went with their raw beef salad. Little cubes of steak, tossed in a sticky sesame/soy/chilli sauce and served with spring onions and pear cubes. Light, beefy and wonderfully exotic – they’ve got the spice level just right. It’s a great dish which shouldn’t be too hard to copy at home.
The main event was the Pork Hash. This is a hodgepodge of pulled pork, pork belly, roast potatoes, peas, sweetcorn, black pudding and a breaded egg. It’s really comforting cooking – the kind of thing you can imagine a friend pulling together after a hectic weekend. The pork was meltingly tender, the egg perfectly cooked with a molten centre, and the flavours all blended together really well. The only thing it missed was a bit more sauce to tie it all together.
I also went for a side of their kimchi fries. The tart korean coleslaw is appearing everywhere these days, but it actually works really well with chips – the slight vinegary note hinting at that classic chip shop condiment. Lumps of pulled pork are mixed through it and make it almost a meal in itself.
For dessert I had their chocolate, peanut butter, oreo tart. The light biscuit base is topped by a thin layer of peanut butter and a silky chocolate ganache. It’s rich, faintly childish fun – I would have liked a little saltiness on top and perhaps a hint of booze, but it’s still a top dessert.
The service was excellent throughout – as you’d expect on a quiet Tuesday lunchtime. I’m definitely going to have to visit again – if only to sample their banana dog (take one banana, fry it in doughnut batter and serve with sauce). It’s a great little restaurant and definitely deserves it’s current place in the London foodie pantheon – their real challenge will be to keep hitting the right notes as new fads come on to the scene.