This modern bistro is a joint venture from chef Matthew Young, formerly of Pimlico hit Mayfields (now closed), and ex-Spring sommelier Jack Lewens.
‘It wasn’t that generous, was it?’ whispered my friend as I approached. ‘And,’ added his girlfriend, leaning in conspiratorially, ‘we’re a bit chilly.’
‘The pudding is excellent,’ I countered brightly, before leaving.
It was a cold Wednesday night and that loveliest of lovely London things had happened. Miles from home, we’d gone for dinner and spotted friends across the room. ‘What are the chances!’ we cried. Turns out, they lived nearby and were checking out their new local.
I wish I could have disagreed with their gripes, but truth be told, I’d thought the same. Ellory is a place that, to quote all my early school reports, ‘has potential but could do better’. A joint venture between an ex-Mayfields chef and an ex-Spring and River Café sommelier, the cooking is ambitious, with flavours that challenge and intrigue. Delicate artichoke was offset by sweet clementine, fresh goat’s curd and – here it gets interesting – salty cod roe. Mellow, faintly gamey hare tartare studded with cornichons was a highlight, as were meaty chunks of Portobello mushroom draped in translucent ribbons of lardo. But the best came last: a sweet, light yoghurt sorbet, drizzled in olive oil, with the liquorice hit of fresh tarragon.
The thing is, at £38 for five fairly small plates that leave you fantasising about having a cheese toastie when you get home (cheese, incidentally, is an extra £9), it’s on the pricey side. Even for somewhere with fluffy hand towels in the loo. And though the lighting is cosily low, the room on our visit felt cold: the result of high ceilings, concrete floors and an urgent jazz soundtrack straight out of Carrie Mathison’s off-her-meds early days.
Still, service is charming, and the wine is both well-chosen and affordable, so while this place beds in, wrap up warm and go for drinks and nibbles instead. Also, take friends – because it’s not every day that fate will bring you together.
1 Westgate St
|Transport:||London Fields rail|
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Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
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We went for my sisters birthday - I trawled many a website and read many a review to find somewhere suitable and near to where we lived which was a happy coincidence. I was taking a bit of a risk as the website didn't really tell you much and as it was new (ish) the reviews were a little sporadic.
I'm so glad I took a punt as it was a really good experience and I can't rave enough. They seemed to do two sittings and we went to the earlier one and were the only ones there - it was like private dining!
The menu was a bit light but what you would expect from a fine dining establishment. We plumped for the tasting menu of 5 small dishes. There seems to be a trend to serve small plates everywhere - maybe taking the lead from the continent and the size of these seemed just right and more generous than we recently experienced in Copenhagen. This went against other reviews I have read where it was suggested they were too small - so maybe this has been addressed.
The menus I'm sure change, but ours consisted of raw mullet and cod roe, a ricotta and blood orange salad with anchovies (the only dish that could possibly have been substituted in my opinion - but a great pallet cleanser), the most amazing brill with celeriac puree and deep fried artichokes (a kind of fancy fish and chips, the brill was cooked to perfection) a melt in the mouth lamb (the best I have tasted in a long time) and cows curd with tarragon granita and rhubard that rounded everything off with a flourish.
The sommelier recommended a marcillac red and was knowledgable on all of the menu. We followed his recommendation for a full bodied red and it didn't disappoint and at £27.00 a bottle was a steal!
The service was very attentive (maybe because we were the only ones there to start) and each dish explained in full (I haven't done it justice above).
I hope this restaurant stays around - we have already recommended to quite a few people as the level of cooking and the value for money in this area of town can only ever improve it. I would definately go again and urge anyone with a love of food and flavour to give it a whirl as you wont be dissapointed.
Wonderfully creative, sparkling fresh and delightfully simple cuisine by Matthew: sashimi mackerel with nectarine dressing, mushroom dish that revels in flavour and texture, perfectly prepared pork loin, fingerlickin' good dessert and all that for 38 pounds.... Jack's winelist has some great natural wines and my favorite Beaune premier cru is still affordable here. Service with real attention to needs and a smile. Hard to get a table booked in advance and without reservation you may get lucky with a seat at the bar.
Such a great bistro. Inventive and fresh approach, really needed in this part of town! Have been in twice now and once on the bar, great bar menu for a snack and a glass of wine with a friend of mine. Friendly staff, really happy this place came to the neighbourhood.