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Lucky & Joy

Restaurants, Chinese Clapton
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A modern Chinese restaurant in Hackney.

Inside Lucky & Joy, there are seriously kitschy party vibes: funky lighting (all UV and pink neon), 1970s houseplants and loud, hip music. It’s a cracking atmosphere and unashamedly trendy. Come on, this is Hackney!

The menu is short and simple, inspired by the chefs’ travels through China and Chinatowns all over the world. Grab a pencil from the pot on the table, then mark on the menu what you want from the hot and cold sections. On the chilled front, the sesame noodles were fantastic: hand-pulled, cooked to a good level of bite, licked all over in a rich, nutty sauce, then sprinkled with earthy white and black sesame seeds and sharp spring onions.

Beyond the stellar noodles, though, everything else was good but not exceptional. The hot lamb skewers with a smattering of fragrant cumin were a bargain at £2.90 a pop. A plate of fried squid came with a nice, crisp batter, flecked with chilli. Still, it was a stingy portion for £14 and the accompanying cabbage salad was, well, just chopped cabbage with some coriander chucked in. Generally, there was a reliance on roughly chopped coriander, which was liberally thrown into pretty much everything, including my coconut-steeped vodka cocktail. 

Yet, we found ourselves having a great time. The friendly staff, banging tunes and vibrant atmosphere make this spot a great place for a cool evening out with friends. Sure, the food could be better, but it’s a lot of fun.


Address: 95 Lower Clapton Road
E5 0NP
Transport: Hackney Downs rail
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £90.
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