It’s January, and just because we’re detoxing in an attempt to squeeze back into our skinny jeans and starving ourselves for #ProjectBikini2012, doesn’t mean we have to starve our dedicated followers too.
So we have started eating (out) again…just for you…cause that’s just the nice people we are…we eat for YOU!
Not sure if you recall, but back in June 2011, we went to a quirky little pop-up called “Restaurants in Residence
“, set in a 1980’s office building in London’s Canary Wharf? Well the clever boys behind that successful pop-up are now taking it to another level and cooking up a storm at the Ten Bells pub in Shoreditch, which was originally made (in)famous by the attendance of Jack the Ripper himself, and some of his victims.
Collaborating with the boys from The Clove Club again, the concept is similar to The Young Turks previous projects. A no choice, weekly changing menu derived from unusual varieties of vegetables sourced from independent growers, and daunting meat cuts and extracts such as pigs blood have also been added to the mix. The focus here is on lesser-used, high quality produce.
We went last night with a couple of girls for a New Years catch up – our first meal out for 2012 due to the sort of detox, and errr…may have fallen off the dry Jan wagon too. It seems that if you present girls with some gorgeous looking cocktails to kick off a highly anticipated meal in this charming dining room, we’re hardly going to say no…And besides, there was beetroot (and Gin) in it, so technically considered part of our 5-a-day!
To start, we had Chicken Thigh & Pine Salt, Smoked Cods Roe Tarama, both of which we had tried before at their Restaurants in Residence and Franks Bar takeover pop-ups, but the Pig’s Blood Cracker, Pear & Lardo were an interesting new addition. The only time I’ve ever seen this used is on Chinese menus where the pigs blood is jellified and added in congee or stir-fried with chives. Mmmm…but I digress.
A procession of meticulously crafted plates of food came next for mains, consisting of Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Duck Egg and Anchovy, Pheasant, Parsnip and Oat Porridge, and Mutton, Cabbage and Seaweed. The simple techniques used on these dishes allowed the bright intense flavours of the ingredients to shine through on these subtlely balanced plates.
Despite the Pheasant Porridge being slightly salty and the Mutton a bit pink for my taste, all our plates were completely empty, with the final slice of table bread being used to mop up all the sauces.
To end, we were each served a giant bowl of Rhubarb, Chervil and Buttermilk. This was a panacotta-like pudding, and with the addition of bittersweet rhubarb, it really refreshed the palate.
The wine list was extensive and reasonably priced; we ordered a lovely medium bodied red Valpolicella from Italy for our warm up, and a delicious Mendoza Malbec to go with the mains. Service from the boys was attentive without being intrusive, and for £39 for all that food and the complimentary cocktail to start, it really is excellent value. The perfect night out with great food, great friends…and a great way to fall off the wagon with a thud – Thanks Boys!
They’re fully booked for the rest of January now, but will be operating out of the Ten Bells until the end of February. Reservations are strongly advised by calling 07530 492986, but tables do become free after 9pm Monday-Saturdays for walk ins.