Sunday, 15 April 2012

The Young Turks At The Ten Bells

The Young Turks, Spitalfields

The Young Turks at Ten Bells is definitely one of the most exciting pop up restaurants in town. Two talented chefs, Isaac McHale and James Lowe, have taken over the first and second floors of the Ten Bells pub (yup the Jack The Ripper one) since November 2011. The weekly changing modern British menu has won them many happy customers since their opening. It is so popular that they now have extended the pop up till the end of April.

It was a bit of a challenge to find our way to the first floor dining room on a Friday night. You might have thought that people tend to stay at home during the Christmas aftermath, but no, the bar was jam-packed. After fighting our way through the bar and climbing up a narrow staircase, we saw this:

Loved it.

Our meal started with a canape of goose and oat cracker. It was a thin oat crisp, topped with a silky smooth goose mousse and chutney. We then had two small plates - devilled crab and cauliflower cheese. Underneath the grill-finished crumbly layer I found fresh crab meat in a creamy spicy sauce. It had a kick but not too strong, I could not stop myself from wiping the plate clean with their homemade crusty bread. Having seen and eaten so many variations of cauliflower and cheese, I think I have found ‘the one’. Each individual floret was covered in cheese, breadcrumbed and then deep fried. Excellent texture.

The highlight of the three mains was the pig's head. It came with strips of salted turnip and a thin apple slice. I love a bit of fat on my meat. The richness from the charred pork fat together with the slightly pickled vegetables had taken this simple dish to a whole new level.

Next up was chunks of beautifully smoked haddock with kale and herring roe. I feel bad for saying this but I really think that this dish, particularly the saltiness from the roe, would be ideal with a bowl of steamed rice. We were then served a charming plate of pan fried pheasant, parsley root, onion and chestnuts before dessert. I am a big fan of chestnuts, they were toasted and sliced to accompany the tender breast of pheasant. A true winter treasure.

We ended the meal with a heart-warming plate of baked brioche, custard, marmalade and segments of fresh clementine.

We were well fed by this fixed price £39 menu, and it was great to dine in the buzzing, neon light filled dining room. Unfortunately the dining room was quite dark so the food shots were not great from my humble camera. You will just have to go and try it for yourself!

The Young Turks

Young Turks at the Ten Bells (Pop-Up Restaurant thru January) on Urbanspoon


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