Made in the Shade in ShoreditchCultureFood & DrinksRestaurant & bar reviews
The East End of London has always been a colourful and quirky part of the city, steeped in history and forming an integral part of London culture. Being a melting pot of cultures and religions, the diversity of the East End has led to the rise of many micro-cuisines which have since gone on to spread their influence across the London restaurant scene. A quick look at the trends which have sprung up in this bohemian part of London and you’ll soon spot a familiar list of some of the food movements of the last 20 years – from the popularity of age-old Jewish delis, the authentic curry houses of Brick Lane to the more recent influx of Vietnamese restaurants along the “Pho Mile” and independent coffee shops of Shoreditch, there is an exciting buzz in East London that the rest of London keeps a close eye on.
Sandwiched just between the fashionable hotspots of Kingsland Road and Hoxton Square, Made in the Shade is the creation of three expert mixologists who have come together to create an Americana-inspired setting inside a unique space on Hoxton Street which combines a Stateside vibe with some creatively curated cocktails. Naturally, the cocktails take centre-stage here – the pub-cum-restaurant is so unapologetically grown up that its menu doesn’t even have a soft drinks section – with a page of unique and boozy, yet simple, creations which champion some fantastic spirits along with very simple ingredients.
A glass of Block Rocking Beets, for instance, is a refreshing mix of gin, beetroot juice and lime, kept cool by a huge cube of hand-cut ice. Lime and gin remove the earthiness from beetroot, instead replacing it with sweet tones which make this a great summer thirst quencher that’s dangerously easy to drink. Similarly, the Young Lady combines Aqua Riva tequila, crème de peche and blue Curaçao with lemon juice to create a grown-up, alcoholic version of a lemon sherbert.
The food menu is similarly very simple, yet leaves evidence of a creative streak – a starter of Deep Fried Pizza Slices for example, served with a punchy, garlicky houmous. With a welcome change from the all-too-familiar gastropub fare, interpretations of classic meat and veg combinations such as Pork Ribs with Crispy Sage, Kale and Carrots are served in generous American-esque portions at very reasonable prices. Both that and a slightly less adventurous, but just as well-cooked, combination of Roast Beef with Red Wine Gravy, served with a parmesan, rocket and radish salad were lacklustre in comparison to the calibre of the cocktails, but both dishes by no means terrible.
Whilst the food is palatable, the cocktail list is undoubtedly Made in the Shade’s most prized asset. Those with a penchant for espresso martinis will be happy to find a souped-up version containing Illegal Mezcal in No Sé, whilst Bond and Fleming fans will find solace in the Tiffany – a half-Vesper, half martini which combines vodka, gin, Lillet Blanc vermouth and others to explosive effect. If only to explore the space (the Gaslight bar upstairs was the former grounds for The Kray Brothers’ illegal boxing matches, whilst the main downstairs area was the Bacchus pub), Made in the Shade is well worth visiting for a slice of Americana in the humble East End.
Made in the Shade: 50/60
To book a table at Made in the Shade, 177 Hoxton Street, N1 6PJ, please call 020 7613 0477 or for further information visit here.