Dandy - CLOSED

Restaurants, Contemporary Global Stoke Newington
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
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Andy Parsons
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Andy Parsons
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Andy Parsons
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Andy Parsons
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Andy Parsons
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Andy Parsons

A permanent spot for the London Fields ‘shipping container restaurant’, now serving fashionable small plates in N16.

Please note, Dandy has now closed. Time Out Food editors, February 2018.

Stokey, N16. An area awash with excellent neighbourhood restaurants. So any new settler hoping to hitch their wagons and be noticed is certainly going to have their work cut out. Happily, the Dandy crew is up to the task. Ably led by two Aussies, they’re best known for serving marvellous coffee and modish plates out of a London Fields shipping container. Now they’re here, on the eastern, quieter side of Newington Green, in a building so unremarkable you’d never guess there was a restaurant inside. The space is roomy and utilitarian, with high ceilings and the character of a warehouse. Concrete floors, towering glass frontage. So far, so standard.

But then you look at the wine list. Because that’s right, I forgot to mention: Dandy also beats a rat-a-tat-tat for natural wines. You know, the intriguing – some say pongy – ones. If you’re new to these musty, tantalising flavours, the ones where the fermentation lingers on your tongue, just let the clued-up staff pick for you. And, ah yes, the cooking. It’s generally great. Small plates come piled high with pretty colours and uncommon ingredients. It’s not fussy or technical, but there’s a quiet ambition and creativity that you can’t help admire. One dish was so good I ordered it twice: a shallow bowl of hand-cut tartare, using lamb instead of beef. The thoughtfully seasoned, wobbly chunks of meat were an altar for a glistening egg yolk, plus several dried fronds of wild garlic. A dish so simple, yet beautiful, I don’t know why it’s not on menus more often.

There was a tumble of watercress with wood-roasted beets, their sweetness enhanced by a prodigal scattering of salt, set against a canvas of crushed, silken burrata. On top: the crunch of toasted pistachios, a hit of cumin. Later, spears of asparagus came deliciously charred, with smoked tomato – in itself a marvel – and moreish shards of coppa (a cured, salted Italian pork). There was even an ox tongue sandwich, packed with folds of thinly sliced, delicately flavoured meat and slivers of pickled onion. Finally, a stunner of a dessert – created on the hoof because they were out of the boring-sounding brownie – the kind you eat purposefully, with the smallest spoon you can get, rolling the flavours around your mouth as you try to decipher its components. First up was rhubarb compote with a zing of orange. Then: buttermilk sorbet, sweet and yoghurty. And what’s this? Ah yes, basil granita, singing, sotto voce, with perfume.

Dandy occasionally misses the mark (fried pork ribs had good flavour but a leathery texture; a dish of exotic wild leaves strewn with toasted peanuts proved better on paper than in practice), but when all is said and done, this is a fine little addition to the neighbourhood. Roll out the welcome wagons. 

By: Tania Ballantine

Posted:

Venue name: Dandy - CLOSED
Contact:
Address: 20 Newington Green
London
N16 9PU
Transport: Canonbury Overground.
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £90
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Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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Tastemaker

Having visited the previous Newington Green, I only just realised it has been taken over by Dandy, but that's no bad thing. There's very much an Australian vibe to this place, which is echoed by the hoards of Aussies who seem to frequent it - it does remind me of restaurants I visited in Aus, so perhaps it's a taste of home! I visited for breakfast and was immediately welcomed by a team of friendly staff. I plumped for a latte and the daily special, French toast with apricot blossom ice cream, clotted cream and pistachios. It was delicious, but very rich given all the cream, so perhaps an apricot jam would have been a little more fitting. Dandy is a perfect place to while away a few hours, whether alone or with friends. I'd certainly be keen to check it out for dinner, I can imagine the atmosphere must be great.


Just amazing - incredible baked goods, great coffee, interesting food and THE WINE!!
Couldn't recommend more.

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