Monday, 23 January 2012

Review - The Stew House Pop-up Experience in Hackney

The Stew House is a Pop-up restaurant run by the Dead Dolls Club that has been running in short stints since December.

Having met Adam and Katy, the organisers, I was expecting really good organisation, and I wasn't disappointed.  The venue was a large room, usually used as a gallery, and they'd decorated to the theme of the night - a large fireplace and grandfather clock drawn on the walls and more; add the candles on the tables, and it was very atmospheric.  The invite showed a dress code - think extras in Sherlock Holmes - so I'd bought a bowler hat in Oxford Street before coming, and worn my long coat - but it wasn't compulsory.

We were quickly seated with some others, and then offered drinks.  We started with mulled cider and then moved on to cocktails and beer.  The cold drinks were served in jam jars (a nice touch), and as the room had begun to fill up we ordered our food.

We went for the Ham Hock Terrine to start (vegetarian option also avaialable), and then chose our stews.  Four different ones were on offer, and we chose the Venison, Port & Chocolate, and the Welsh Cawl (lamb).  Both were very tasty - it was a good job we had lots of bread to clean the plates with.  An empty plate is the best review!  All food is locally sourced, and they also take a lot of care with the drinks - for example beers from the local London Fields Brewery.

Then dessert - Apple Crumble with Fresh Custard.  This was probably the highlight of the night for me.  The apple came in big, succulent chunks, and the custard was a revelation.  I really don't like custard (a combination of school dinners and a job working in a kitchen cleaning the custard pot with an ice scraper) but this was a million miles away from a carton of Ambrosia.  It was light, creamy, and not too strong; I was very, very impressed.

We left a bit after dinner as my friend was just getting over a cold, but we'd had a great night.  This is a very unique night, with great food, great drinks, and great hospitality, and great value for £20 a head.  Go as a two, or go with a group, and you'll have lots of fun.  Following the success of December and January, the Stew House is now going to be open on 3rd & 4th February, and you can book tickets here.

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