While lacking the intimacy of the Bethnal Green original, Islington’s Little Georgia still stimulates interest in the under-documented culture of Georgia, with old telephones, traditional drinking horns and graphics-heavy political posters bringing originality to the otherwise standard jade green and cream interior.
The menu is identical in both outlets (owner Tiko Tuskadze makes the dishes for the two restaurants in the N1 kitchen), and is a pleasing introduction to a cuisine that has influences from Europe and Asia. Cold starters include russian salad (a filling mix of potato, carrot, spring onion, pea, egg, dill and mayonnaise), while hot starters feature borscht and a baked-to-order khachapuri, a moreish cheese-filled bread that’s a national staple. Homely mains – chashushuli (highly seasoned beef stew), kotnis lobio (a bean dish) and pan-fried poussin – are good too, especially on a cold night.
Unlike the BYO Hackney branch, this place is licensed, with an extensive wine list. Georgian wine is very good, but if you’re more in the mood for beer, then try one of the Russian lagers, such as Baltika.