There aren’t many places to get a decent meal in Stratford and that’s where Darkhorse comes galloping in, a stylish eatery in a sea of chains.
The Spanish- and Italian-inspired menu works for both tapas-style sharing or a more traditional three-course scenario. We mixed and matched, finding small plates to be a bit hit and miss, with juicy tiger prawns and padrón peppers overshadowing a disappointing roast avocado with ricotta (there’s never any need to heat up an avo!). Melted Monte Enebro cheese with rosemary honey was satisfyingly indulgent but the charcuterie platter was a tad uninspiring. It would seem that Darkhorse’s strength lies in more traditional dishes, rather than faddish additions. A main course of seared neck of lamb was a highlight: pink, tender and served with a delicious dollop of mashed aubergine caviar. I could have had a bowl of that on its own.
Staff were attentive and helpful throughout the evening, in spite of failing to tell us that the kitchen was closing, so we sadly missed out on dessert.
On the plus side, the place was buzzing on a Friday evening, so Darkhorse certainly makes a welcome addition to the area, both for locals and those in need of a well-deserved glass of wine after a Westfield spree.