Octopus at Pidgin

Pidgin, London: restaurant review

Pidgin is the permanent venture of James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy, the team behind supper club The Secret Larder. The tiny neighbourhood restaurant on Wilton Way, Hackney, serves a weekly-changing four course modern British menu and delicious cocktails.

In a nutshell

Successful supperclub goes permanent with a four course, modern British set menu that changes each week in an intimate nieghbourhood restaurant in Hackney.


Menu know-how

The four course menu changes weekly, and uses seasonal, carefully-sourced produce. Potato sourdough and butter is followed by two small dishes – pork fat and peas, and octopus and apple with peppery nasturtiums and a creamy almond milk dressing. The pork fat, a tiny piece of sourdough topped with whipped lardo, fresh-tasting English peas, and a punchy chilli vinaigrette, was delicious, although it could have been twice the size.

Beef picanha (the most prized cut in Latin America) from grass-reared, dry-aged Yorkshire Longhorn cattle was beautifully soft, and accompanied by rich and earthy flavours of coal-roast beetroot, sweet carrots and an intense jus. The light, sweet twist on panzanella for dessert was excellent – fresh strawberries and melt-in-the-mouth pieces of fennel brioche, with Thai basil and refreshing olive oil ice cream to lift the dish.

What we’re going back for

The great-value drinks. Pidgin G&Ts are made with homemade tonic and served with a large slice of pink grapefruit and a dash of black pepper for a punchy finish. The London Fields cocktail was like a vodka-spiked green juice. The sorrel and lime blossom syrup, celery bitters and rosemary worked well together to create a refreshing start to the meal.

What’s the room like?

The glass-fronted restaurant is a small and cosy room with a real neighbourhood feel, packed with stylish slate, copper-rimmed tables and wooden chairs. There’s a bar in the front corner and an open kitchen that you can pop your head into on the way to the bathroom (which has its own ‘out at sea’ soundtrack, and stylish, homely touches – a very pleasant experience!).

What we loved

The attention to detail, from the informed and friendly staff to the stylish copper menu holders and tiny handmade butter dishes, engraved with the restaurant’s name.

By Alex Crossley

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