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Ellory (CLOSED)

Restaurants, British London Fields

Time Out says

This modern bistro is a joint venture from chef Matthew Young, formerly of Pimlico hit Mayfields (now closed), and ex-Spring sommelier Jack Lewens.

Please note, Ellory is now closed. Time Out Food editors, March 2018.

‘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.


Address: Netil House
1 Westgate St
E8 3RL
Transport: London Fields rail
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