Housed in a former iron factory bang in the middle of Shoreditch, this small-plates restaurant gets top marks for trendiness. With exposed brick walls, iron pillars, wooden tables and dim lighting, the look is industrial-chic. As you’d expect from a restaurant from the same people as nearby Looking Glass Cocktail Club, Iron Bloom has excellent cocktails. And, at peak times, a DJ on the decks.
There’s a succinct menu made up of ‘Nibbles’ and ‘Sharing Plates’. Best of the lot was the wagyu and bone marrow burger, which was bursting with perfectly cooked, succulent meat. Be warned: this burger is definitely not big enough to share (despite being £15). Almost as good was a plate of stacked crumpets topped with smoked cod roe, crab butter and caviar. Salty roe, creamy butter and spongy crumpets: a dream team. Wild boar, game and apple croquettes were expensive (£8)but worth it: the casing beautifully light, the filling tangy and generous. Another pleasant surprise was the eclectic and refreshing raspberry potato salad, like forkfuls of summer.
Despite the highs, there were lows: the promising-sounding pheasant parcel with beetroot purée amounted to something flavourless and small that couldn’t stand up to its price tag. The dissatisfying English lamb cutlet (£18 for one) was fatty and slippery in the mouth. The red mullet with rum and raisin went unfinished.
While the food looks good here and the cocktails and ambience are on point, the confusingly-sized portions and pricing need ironing out – then, perhaps, it’ll be ready to bloom.