Series two, episode one
A year on from series one and Dushane (Ashley Walters) is the drugs kingpin of the Summerhouse estate. It’s something of a mixed blessing. His mate Sully (Kane Robinson) is still more interested in cracking skulls than making enough money to get out. Everyone is leaning on Dushane to keep supplies going. And most importantly, he has no idea how to get out of the game.
This last point is particularly pertinent given the presence of a slightly clunkily introduced love interest who seems likely to widen our man’s horizons as the story develops. ‘Top Boy’ still feels like a striking and realistic slice of a certain kind of London life, maintaining a certain understated melancholy which sucks the gangster braggadocio clean out and leaves something altogether more thoughtful.
In case you didn’t know, Scandinavia is cool right now. The food, the fashion, the facial hair – plus the Vikings have invaded the British Museum. All we need next is a healthy economy, a reliable public transport system and a sense of social justice, and London will be indistinguishable from Oslo. Meanwhile in Hackney, there’s yet another Northern European-inspired incursion. Or apparently so: the website claims this bar-restaurant-club draws on ‘a Nordic aesthetic’, although it’s not immediately obvious within. Oslo occupies the previously deserted old Hackney rail station and takes on a bit of a railway theme with its luggage-rack lighting, plus there are industrial stylings that give the whole place a Janet Jackson ‘Rhythm Nation’ video feel. The restaurant part is rather fancy, its food incorporating a few of the forages, pickles, jellies and marinations of New Nordic cooking. The kitchen is regularly given over to guest chefs, and you have to book – it’s always heaving. Eat in the bar and the food is more straightforward. Where once the standard snack in pubs was a toastie, sausage roll or pork pie, now it’s the slider or fried chicken. These are served alongside frankly obscene portions of chips, slathered with the likes of cured bacon fat and bacon salt, or braised oxtail, gravy and cheese. There’s a commendable range of craft beers from the vicinity, including a couple from Five Points Brewing just five minutes up the road at the Downs.Head upstairs and you’ll find a
Venue says: “Join us every Thursday night until late for Soul Soul Soul – a night of vinyl appreciation with DJs playing soul, funk, disco and more.”