Let me start by saying this was a lunch that turned out to be more enjoyable than we first thought. I only say this as there are a lot of small sharing plate menu restaurants in the area. Therefore as this place was recently awarded a Michelin Star we wondered what made it that bit better than the others. Well after our visit you can quite clearly see why as this place offers something different with it’s Spanish influences and an open wood fire grilled kitchen your in for a treat. The restaurant itself is set in the trendy Shoreditch area just off the high street. You enter through the door on the street level before making your way upstairs to the first floor. As your walking up the stairs you can already smell the wonderful aromas. We received a very friendly welcome on arrival before being shown to our table. The restaurant is set out with the open kitchen at one end and the tables set out in horizontal rows in front of the kitchen with the bar area along the side as you enter. The bar area is available for walk ins so if you are unexpectedly in the area then do take a chance. Once seated the friendliness from the staff continued as we ordered a cocktail & a glass of red wine while we looked at the menu. The menu is on a sheet of paper and changes regularly. On the front is the food with its selection of the smaller plates at the top followed by the larger plates and sides with cheese & desserts at the bottom. Then on the other side is the wine list and a great choice of wines by the glass something which I personally like to see as it gives you the one to try different wines. There’s also a lovely selection of sherries and sweet wines mainly Spanish of course. After a couple of minutes we was asked if we needed any assistance with the menu to which the waitress was very helpful indeed by not only giving us a guide on how many dishes they recommend we should order but when we asked about certain dishes she then explained how they were cooked and prepared. So with her assistance we placed our order and eagerly waited for our food to arrive. We started with some chargrilled sourdough bread and homemade butter which was delicious. This was followed by our first course of Game Sausage , Blood Pudding & Beans simply fantastic.

Bread & Butter

Game Sausage , Blood Pudding & Beans

We then had a little break which was nice so ordered two more glasses of red wine. Then came our next two dishes from the smaller plates section the Soused Mackerel and the Moorland Beef Tartare. Both of these dishes were beautiful and full of flavour.

Soused Mackerel

Beef Tartare

Now it was on to the main courses and these were a real treat. We ordered the Whole Mallard which they brought to your table just after it was cooked and to explain how it will then be prepared before it was then taken back to the kitchen to be carved. We also chose the fabulous Herdwick Mutton and a side of heavenly Smoked Potatoes.

Mallard (before)

Mallard (after)

Herdwick Mutton

Smoked Potatoes

After enjoying these amazing dishes we definitely then needed a rest before moving on to desserts. This was not a problem as you are free to spend as long as you want with no pressure of the table being turned. While we were resting we took to opportunity to have a little glance around and have a look at the other dishes on the menu and I have to say they all looked very appetising. So after a rest it was time for dessert which were a Burnt Cheesecake & Rhubarb a Cream Caramel & a choice of ice cream. The three flavours were Almond & Cherry , Olive Oil & Brown Bread. The waitresses face when we said just bring everything was a picture. To accompany these desserts I ordered a delightful Moscatel Sweet Wine.

Burnt Cheesecake & Rhubarb

Caramel Cream

Almond & Cherry , Brown Bread & Olive Oil Ice Cream

We finished with a coffee which brought to an end a truly fantastic lunch and one that I’m looking forward to repeating in the not to distant future. This is a great place with amazing food which is full of stunning flavours. The service was excellent as each member of staff was so friendly and very helpful. The restaurant also has a great buzz to it making here a excellent choice for smaller or larger groups. So yes I would highly recommend a visit.

The Open Kitchen

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