Ellory in Hackney: A review of London Fields’ néobistrot
Ellory is a neighbourhood restaurant run by passionate people, and this is already a great quality per se.
It won a Michelin star last year, making a few headlines together with Pidgin as the first-ever Hackney – and North London, unless you count Angel’s Carriers from the 80s – stars, but it’s not the kind of place you’d naturally associate with the red guide; it’s not the kind of restaurant where you’d go for a celebration, it’s a local bistro with good wine and modern food.
Ellory’s heart is the bar where you can either enjoy a glass of wine or consume your meal. However, we sit at a table for a more traditional experience. We pick a few courses from the menu, which are more than fairly priced considering the accolades. Our first appetiser is their signature Whipped Cod Roe; this cod roe mousse is served with potato crisps and would make for a very yummy snack if you were to stay just for drinks. It’s tasty and filling, and hints at the creativeness of chef Sam Kamienko. We also try Pumpkin Chestnut Soup, an earthy dish perfect for the autumn season. Ellory also offers the bread from socially conscious Dalston bakery The Dusty Knuckle, which will help you clean up the plate.
One of our mains doesn’t get to the table (Smoked Eel, Pear and Turnip), instead we are offered a not very impressive – and a bit too generous – Chicory, Walnut and Ossau-Iraty. Scallop, Lardo and Black Trumpets is a joy for the palate, the thin slices of cured meat well melted underneath the mollusc. A Saddleback Loin is, however, the star of the menu: tender, flavourful and paired with a glass of grenache La Bruja de Rozas 2015 from Comando G that co-owner Ed Thaw is particularly proud of. The accompanying kelette gives the right touch of bitterness and complex texture to the dish.
Apple and Caramel Millefeuille and Poached Pear with Chocolate Sorbet are our dessert choices. It takes serious pastry chef technical skills to pull off a millefeuille, and this one doesn’t exactly get to that level. The chocolate sorbet is, however, a revelation and very intense.
When I first visited about a year ago, something didn’t click for me with Ellory. It was mainly due to the service and I’m happy to say either it was a bad night or the front of house team has sorted its issues. This place should be a role model for those who wish to propose a néobistrot-inspired restaurant in London, cultivating that cool Londonness that Paris doesn’t have.★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
To book a table at Ellory, 1 Westgate St London E8 3RL, call 020 7318 8715 or visit their website here.