All posts filed under: East London

The Old Red Cow, Smithfield

Looking for the perfect place for your Sunday Roast? Of course you are. Well the Old Red Cow isn’t perfect, but you could do a lot worse in the capital. This independent pub is situated on the doorstep of London’s legendary meat market, Smithfield, so there’s no excuse for shoddy roasts here. First impressions were good – it’s a homely, cosy little pub that was absolutely heaving on our visit despite being in the middle of bloody nowhere (Smithfield is deserted of a weekend, positively ghostly). On Sundays the Old Red Cow only does roast dinners. On this occasion pork belly, roast beef, or some sort of nonsense vegetarian option probably involving nuts and seeds (I jest, I jest, it was vegetable parmigiana). The wine list is a bit odd. It’s doing the Innocent Smoothies we’re oh so friendly and kitsch-ed up to our eyeballs thing, you see. Plonk, they say, with a hilarious smirk as if daring you to order it. I did though. Then the food arrived, and this just turned the whole …

The Clove Club, Shoreditch

The Clove Club has recently opened in Shoreditch Town Hall, and you should go as soon as you can. In the kitchen is one half of Young Turks, chef Isaac McHale. He’s the chap who used to dish out delicious stuff above the Ten Bells pub. Food at The Clove Club is simplicity done brilliantly – there’s a big emphasis on fresh seasonal veggies (asparagus, jersey royals) and a few oddballs thrown into the mix for good measure (gull’s egg, anyone?) The restaurant is two restaurants really. As you enter there’s a minimalist bar with lashings of ambience swilling about the place. Here you can dine on bar snacks and enjoy a cocktail or five. I tried the Gimlet – Kettle One Vodka, Green Tea, Home Made Lemongrass and Lime Cordial. Amazing. Then there’s the proper restaurant where they serve a five course set menu of seasonal modern British food, beginning with snacky type bits and moving on to more substantial main courses and TWO puddings. The setting is really rather lovely, all high ceilings …

Charlie Stocker Pop-Up, Clerkenwell

Remember Charlie Stocker? He was that little one on Masterchef. Looked about 12. Severed his hand in a horror-film-esque manner in the semi finals. Well now he’s ventured into the big wide world of pop-up restaurants. Stocker is a big fan of foraging, which is when you go to the woods to find things to eat which are not bark or slugs. It’s one of those ‘don’t try this at home’ type things, I reckon. I’d undoubtedly poison myself and die within hours. Anyhow, this pop-up restaurant happened at The Old Sessions House in Clerkenwell, a big old building full of fine architecture, big high ceilings and stuff like that. We began with house bread with home churned butter and Tollesbury sea salt. This was odd. The butter tasted of buttercream. I was confused by it. Then arrived an amuse bouche – beetrout soup, if you will. It was alright. Not amazing. Average. I don’t like beetroot though, I may be biased. Crisp pheasant egg with wild garlic panna cotta, asparagus and st. george’s mushrooms …

Bacchus Pub and Kitchen, Hoxton

A stone’s throw from busy Hoxton Square lies Bacchus, what I would describe as a ‘proper English pub’. A proper English wintry pub, though, not one for Pimm’s and beer garden tomfoolery. You know the ones…they’re lovely of a winter time when it’s cold outside. Inside is full of wood panelling and smouldering log fires and most importantly, wine. Yes well it’s like that. As you may have guessed from the noncey title of this place it’s definitely a gastropub. Pub and Kitchen? Triple cooked fries? Funny shaped burgers? And before you ask… yes there were blackboards, and yeah, they were jam packed full of ‘banter’. *Shakes head slowly in muted shame* I visited during the Opening Ceremony of this Olympic thing that everyone’s banging on about currently, and was very excited to see Bacchus were showing it on their big old telybox. Sadly for Mr Bacchus and his BFF Senõr Pub & Kitchen this hadn’t encouraged much business. There were only two other sets of diners there. On a Friday! At dinner time! In LONDON! I’d find …