Bread & Butter from Shacklewell Nights with Ben Rymer
Shacklewell Nights has returned this weekend for the first time in 2011, popping up in another fantastic location in Hackney. I arrived a little late and had missed the waitress that would guide the diners to the venue so I followed the low rumble of almost 100 people talking. I thought that I had the right building, although I wasn’t entirely sure, until I turned a corner and was greeted by a large room lit beautifully and dramatically lit in red and yellow, with tables of silhoutted people drinking their aperitif and awaiting the starter.
Shacklewell Nights is an evolved supper club, much bigger than most, always located in an interesting and often dramatic place, with well respected chefs at the helm – Jonathan Woolway of Shacklewell Nights works at St John and is often supported by colleagues from there. Professional waiting staff effortlessly glide around the room ensuring that everything is perfect. British Seasonal Food is always on the menu.
We started with an aperitif, this time a cava from Codorniu. Sadly I missed which one as I had grabbed one of the last glasses after the bottles were cleared, but it was definitely one of their higher end offerings. I really enjoyed it.
The starter of Smoked Trout, Pickled Beetroot & Horseradish was served family style on large platters to tuck into. A lovely fresh combination and delicious and simple starter. Vegetarians had Perroche, Pickled Beetroot & Watercress. Pretty much the same dish with perroche – a fresh unpasteurised English goats cheese – instead of the trout.
Main course was Pot Roast Gloucester Old Spot, Butter Beans, Wild Garlic & Cider. The old spot was served sliced and was delicious and light. Greedy as ever I could have eaten more, which was available if you asked for it, although for once I had restraint and saved room for the following courses. The butter beans were large plump ones with great texture and flavour. It was a really pleasing main over all. Vegetarians had Wild Mushrooms, Leeks & Butter Beans.
My favourite course of the evening was the dessert – Orange & Cardamom Cream, Yorkshire Rhubarb & Hazelnuts – I am a sucker for Yorkshire rhubarb. There was some of my favourite honeycomb on here too. I cleared every last bit from my glass.
We finished with a glass of single malt Auchentoshan was served with a Neal’s Yard cheese plate, oat cakes & large kilner jars of hackney chutney
Tickets were £46 including booking fee, for 4 courses with the aperitif and single malt at the end. Drinks otherwise were BYO with no corkage. Good value I think, and a great experience in a quirky location. There are still some tickets for tonight if you have no plans and fancy something different.