An eggy pop-up in a Dalston pub.
This summertime pop-up at the welcoming, few-frills Duke of Wellington pub in Dalston makes you wish all regular boozers had a similar food menu. The meat-and-egg-heavy offering served on weekday and Saturday evenings (plus an equally eggy weekend brunch) is miles from the expensive gastro approach – but it’s quietly, winningly foodie, with subtle spins on well-liked choices. It offers a tight selection of starters and mains with the twin themes of comfort and eggs (hence the name Yolk). It’s a menu that’s subtly international but stills feels as British as, well, eggs.
On paper, the menu is a weird mix, but it works brilliantly. It offers four mains, none costing more than £8.50: mac and cheese, confit duck bun, steak sandwich and salad lyonnaise. That’s it. You can add egg to the first two; the salad comes with a poached egg. With this level of devotion to eggs, Yolk would probably serve up a live chicken laying one in front of you if you begged hard enough.
The small dishes are just as eclectic: chorizo scotch egg, sriracha chicken wings, guacamole and pig cheek goujons. The menu is so limited that I tried almost everything apart from desserts (a choice of ice creams) and only the guacamole was underwhelming. The pop-up is most proud of its confit duck bun, but full marks also go to them for putting such a simple pleasure as mac and cheese front and centre (their version contains umami and a little spice). It’s all done with limited fuss: you order at the bar, you pay straightaway, and staff are as friendly as a simple pub allows. If I ran the Duke of Wellington – or any other straight-up pub without a decent food offering – I’d be egging these guys on to become permanent.