1. Half Cut Market (Photograph: Ella Doyle for Time Out)
    Photograph: Ella Doyle for Time Out
  2. Half Cut Market (Photograph: Amy Ruse)
    Photograph: Amy Ruse
  3. Half Cut Market (Photograph: Ella Doyle for Time Out)
    Photograph: Ella Doyle for Time Out
  4. Pasta at Half Cut Market (Photograph: Amy Ruse)
    Photograph: Amy Ruse
  5. Pork cutlet at Half Cut Market (Photograph: Ella Doyle for Time Out)
    Photograph: Ella Doyle for Time Out
  • Restaurants | Contemporary European
  • price 2 of 4
  • Holloway
  • Recommended

Review

Half Cut Market

5 out of 5 stars

Big on wine and even bigger on flavour, this small plates spot is worth a trip to the Cally Road

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Time Out says

What makes a perfect wine bar? Well there’s the wine, for starters. Lots of it. The classics and the stuff you want to take photos of. Then there’s the vibe of the place; cosy, dimly lit, but fun enough to laugh obnoxiously loudly and not get looks. The music mustn’t be too loud (I don’t like to shout) but definitely not too quiet either. The food should come out on little plates at random times so I feel like I’m in Spain. 

Half Cut Market, found in that no man’s land between Holloway, Kentish Town and King’s Cross (I’d probably say it’s in Cally Road, if one can be ‘in’ Cally Road), is a perfect wine bar. It’s a bit of a nothingy strip of shops, so Half Cut was welcomed with open arms when it launched in 2021, then got even more love after appointing Jack Newton as head chef and becoming one of the best restaurants in the area. It knows its target market; young and cool, with knowledgeable staff, good tunes, a wine rack labelled with multicoloured fridge magnet letters (‘zippy whites,’ ‘weird whites,’ oranges and more), as well as tables outside for that final glass of chilled red and a ciggie. 

The focaccia here reigns supreme, so mighty soft I want to curl it around me and sleep for three days

Every small plates spot worth its dough in London will start you off with focaccia, but the focaccia here reigns supreme, so mighty soft I want to curl it around me and tuck it under my chin and sleep for three days, or possibly slap my dinner companion round the face with it to hear the sound of it on her cheek. Desperate for a second bread-based round, the prawn and squid toast will snap you out of your doughy delirium, crispy, oily and bursting with mouth-numbing flavour, and a welcome vessel for some much milder chilli sauce. 

The pasta dishes here change a lot, but it’s always fresh and most likely always delicious. As a shellfish girly I get lucky; we come on a day where taglioni is tossed through tomato sauce with clams and mussels, mellow and sweet with that satisfying fresh pasta chew and little pools of butteriness to scoop up. A green salad comes around the same time, the best kind, with raw peas, pecorino and anchovies, crunchy and salty and zingy and a much-needed bit of green freshness.

These both end up as mere palette cleansers for two seriously meaty centrepieces. First, the rich and smokey szechuan lamb skewers, cut through with a limey, peanutty coriander salad. Second, a frankly enormous breaded pork cutlet, Half Cut’s signature and one of the only permanent dishes on the menu, this time drenched in a creamy massaman sauce, with peanuts and spring onions. By all means get a bottle of wine, but it’s more fun to go by the glass following staff recommendations; we pair the meaties with a chilled red and the fish with a light rosé. 

It feels a bit mean to mention our pudding, as it was a special that day, but the menu changes so much anyway that maybe you’ll get to try it. In addition to the on-menu ice cream sandwich (which we didn’t try), there was a panna cotta with chunky shortbread, cherries and a pistachio crumb, which was something very special, rich and crunchy and just the right amount of sweet. Our waitress said we had to order it as the chef had worked so hard on it that day. That’s the vibe at Half Cut. Everyone is besties. 

The vibe A chilled out café-bar style set up, well loved by locals and with very nice staff. 

The drink Chilled reds, fizzies, oranges, funky whites and more and a few good-looking cocktails. 

The food A seasonal (and sizeable) small plates menu with some permanent fixtures. 

Time Out tip Go on Tuesday or Wednesday for their pasta deal, where you get a bowl of the good stuff and a glass of house vino for £16. 

Details

Address
396 York Way
London
N7 9LW
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