I love a good pop up, and even more so when it’s hosted by two of the hottest chefs in town – James Lowe and Isaac McHale. Together with Ben Greeno (who is currently out of the country), the trio are collectively known as The Young Turks.
For one week only, their latest collaboration with Clove Club sees the gentlemen operating out of a quirky 1980s era building in the heart of Canary Wharf, as part of “Restaurants in Residence”; which aims to showcase the best of East London’s underground pop-up dining scene.
Like stepping onto the set of “The Office”, we were greeted at the door and given a bar tab card and told we’d be sitting at the “Accounting” table. Our group, all being Marketers, were only slightly offended…but it wasn’t anything a stiff drink out on the balcony overlooking the concrete jungle couldn’t fix.
The much anticipated meal was kicked off with a selection of appetisers. The bowl of sugar snap peas in their pods were incredibly crisp and fresh. All of us bit into these while exchanging nervous glances across the table. To eat the whole thing, or just nibble at the peas leaving the pods behind?? Thankfully, a bowl in the centre of the table was left as a clue…
Buttermilk chicken, with pine salt on skewers were so scrumptious they would have put a tear in the Colonel’s eye, followed with bread accompanied by the yellowest butter EVER! And then came the real deal…this is what we ate:
Tomato Trio, Goat’s Milk & Wild Marjoram
Raw mackerel, Gooseberries with English Mustard and Crystal Lemon Cucumbers
Angus Rib, Grilled Onions, Porter & Land Cress Or Green & White Onions, Land Cress & Walnuts
Loganberries, Ewe’s Milk Yoghurt & Beremeal Cake
Admittedly, when the beef came out, I was a little apprehensive as it looked a bit rare for my liking. But on the first mouthful…Mmmm…Perfectly pink (but not bloody), with an apple wood smokiness coming through. DELISH!
The ewe’s milk yoghurt with Beremeal Cake and Loganberries which didn’t stand out on the menu initially, turned out to be VERY good too. But the surprise finale to the evening were the coffee ice-cream brioches to go with our fresh mint teas and perfectly plunged coffees.So gorgeous we gracefully stuffed our faces with these before they started to melt.
Our friendly, chatty waiter Vladamir, had us ordering shots of ice cold Poire Williams eau de vies, and like a mind reader, brought out another plate of these fine, ice-cream filled brioches…OK…so we shamelessly asked, and as a result up-sold additional shots of this pear infused concoction to help wash it all down…Oh gosh…and it was only a Tuesday night!!
An excellent night out. Great food, great company, and great service.
The Young Turks have absolutely nailed it with the menu. Simple, yet effective cooking (impressive for the kitchen space they had), allowing the natural flavours of the carefully sourced produce to be the focal point.
Get there before they’re gone. The boys are there until the 2nd July, and at the time of writing this post, they just added some new dates for the 5th, 6th, 7th July. £45 per head for a four-course meal, with lots of extras thrown in to fill your Gourmet Belly (very) comfortably.
Alternatively, you could always catch one of the other restaurants in residence – A Bit More of What You Fancy, Shacklewell Nights, and Bistrotheque, but get there by the 23rd July before the building gets demolished.
Did You Know?
What is a crystal lemon cucumber? Each fruit is the size of a small apple, and pale yellow in colour when ready to eat, hence the name ‘Crystal Lemon’. Reputed to be more digestible than many other cucumbers, this has a mild sweet flavour and is very juicy. Excellent for pickling also.
The cake which features in the dessert is a really old type of grain called beremeal (pronounced bear-meal) that grows in Orkney, Scotland (where Isaac is from).