Modenr British Michelin Starred restaurant in Hackney
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : British
Address : 52 Wilton Way, The City , London , E8 1BS, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.pidginlondon.com
Opening Times : Weds-Thurs: 6pm-11pm; Fri-Sun: 1pm-3pm, 6pm-11pm
Closest Tube : Hackney Downs, Hackney Central
Back in the day, it was generally verboten for us to write about Hackney. Too far from anything to be palatable to our City-oriented members, it was an unwritten rule that it was outside of our catchment area. Now it seems as if all things palatable are opening in the east. Pidgin has surfed the wave of new fine dining restaurants in the same pipe as Lyle's and Clove Club, and crested with the accolade of a Michelin star in 2016. Founders James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy are operating at the top of their game, with a Mayfair resto in the offing.
Wilton Way is nice enough on its own right but improved upon by the small little dining room that arrived on its southern side. Previously home to Mayfields, the jewelbox small room offers only a clutch of covers, situated at bare steel grey tables and matching banquettes. Austerity is the watchword here, which applies to the whitewashed walls and live wood wall installations, as well as modern paper pendant chandeliers.
Perhaps the most interesting fixture is James Ramsden, who was doing some admin at the computer during our visit. Formerly a food blogger, he wended his way into a position in the front of house with his Secret Larder supper club. Daniel Graham is the man rattling the pans and, based on our meal, a bit of a wunderkind. His talent was admirably showcased in his first dish: an array of chlorophyll coloured gnocchi fritti on a bed of avocado foam, spiked with Vietnamese herbs that Graham had poached from the shop around the corner as well as black vinegard and radish. Each bit of pasta extruded a beguilingly colourful liquid centre.
Following on from this we had some of the best cod we've had in recent years, served next to charred gem lettuce with a Szechuan-spiced tapioca crisp. The fish had a penetrating depth of flavour, and was perfectly grilled so that each bite melted sumptuously across the palate. Galician dairy cow was served with an aged beef fat rosti, tenderstem broccoli, scamorza and raw peas, then grated over with a hearty biff of raw truffle. After the precision demonstrated in the prior two dishes, it was nice to enjoy something a little more homely (if you were eating in Elena Arzak's house in St Sebastian, perhaps). Finally, we finished our meal with an elegant dessert of Muscat sorbet served with fennel marshmallow, maple parfait and caramel.
Our only gripe upon finishing was that it had come to an end, and we were perhaps a little saddened that the menu changes biweekly, as we would have happily returned to make our way through this one once more! Pidgin is easily one of Hackney's best restaurants.