Elliot’s 12 Stoney Street, London SE1
Having spent much of last year as an active member of London’s influential underground supper scene, trying out his restaurant concept last summer in a temporary location in East London’s Victoria Park, Isaac McHale will open Elliot’s this spring ‘It will be casual but gastronomic, fast paced and informal, but with a high level of skill in the kitchen’ says McHale. It will pare back the excess luxury of high end restaurants, such as napery, dedicated sommelier, 'free courses' and luxury ingredients. He is sourcing as much as possible from adjacent Borough market, and developing relationships with the farmers and artisans there, but he is also interested in heritage nurserymen and seed catalogues, and is working with Chegworth Valley Organic Orchards in Kent, who are growing rare, and forgotten varieties of fruit and vegetables to his specification – including china rose radishes, tokyo turnips, celtuce, veitch's autumn giant cauliflower, jaune d'obtuse carrots, mangold wurzel, sweete cicely, musselburgh leeks, white vienna kohlrabi, bella vista apples, hamburg turnip, root parsley, hollow crown parsnips, winter savory. He is also developing with Chegworth a cask-aged apple vinegar, in the Modena style, to a Danish recipe, with their organic english apple juice. Overall, McHale’s food is exciting, thoughtful and tasty but affordable.
Sample dish: Buttermilk fried chicken in pine salt; first of the seasons pheasant eggs with cauliflower and smoked fonduta; Pink Brandywine tomatoes with Iced goats milk; baked Plaice with elderflower and fennel; Smoked roast cap of ribeye (spinalis dorsi) with runner beans and beer pickled onions; Rump of lamb with summer squash, dates and curry leaves; Old Spot pork with cider apples and kohlrabi; Mackeral with celtic mustard and dill pickled cucumbers; Venison baked in hay with frumenty