Neighbourhood restaurant The Lacy Nook has launched a new Sunday lunch menu that promises fusion food with a Balkan twist for Stoke Newington locals.
The Lacy Nook restaurant review
With a name like The Lacy Nook you’d be forgiven for thinking you were visiting a tea room, but in reality this north-east London eatery is much more than that. Away from the main crowds of central Stoke Newington, on Casenove road, walk past the airy coffee shop/bar on the ground floor – complete with wooden floors, exposed brick feature walls and velvet sofas – and head downstairs to the restaurant proper.
It’s here that the reason for the quirky name becomes apparent, thanks to the cosy proportions and little lacy doilies placed on every table. The effect, though, is modern rather than twee thanks to a palette of Farrow & Ball-esque pastels and chic details such as marble tabletops and pendant lamps shaped like pineapples. There’s also a pretty sun-trap of a garden tucked away at the back.
The Lacy Nook styles itself as a fusion-style joint, serving up food influenced by the owners’ travels, namely dishes with Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian touches. We tried the Sunday lunch menu, which owes more to owners Elena and Jana’s Macedonian roots, with a roster of Balkan-style barbecue dishes plus a list of de rigeuer small plates to share.
Food arrives swiftly, and impresses with its attention to detail and clear, vibrant flavours. Earthy, rainbow-hued baked beets were paired with goat’s cheese, pistachios and a bright, zesty orange dressing. Balsamic soy roasted garlic mushrooms hit all the right umami notes. Even the spreads served with the (excellent) bread impressed: kajmak, an addictively moreish milk spread and malidzano, a smoky relish made from roasted green peppers and aubergines.
Our barbecue platter also delivered; we loved the classic smoked pork sausage with dijon mustard and the cigar-shaped cevapi (Balkan grilled beef patties). Pork rib, meltingly tender, came drizzled with a herby chimichurri sauce. Dessert was a final, delicious flourish: a playful baklava ice-cream sandwich, served with a syrup of poached fruits.
The drinks offering, like the food, is well priced and sprinkled with local producers; cocktails are under £7, and beers were all from London breweries.
The baklava ice-cream sandwich could have been an over-sweet mess of soggy pastry but instead was perfectly pitched: crisp filo and densely creamy ice cream, accompanied by juicy poached mango and strawberries.
The Lacy Nook price range
Bargain. Small plates range from £3.80-£6, barbecue items from £6.50-£15.