Last week I was invited to go and try the new Spring Menu at The Russet in Hackney.
The Russet is a community cafe that not only serves up tasty food, it also holds events, yoga classes and also not forgetting their new cocktail Bar, The Shrubbery.
The spring menu encompasses seasonal local produce where possible. Sourcing from places that include The Ginger Pig, Select Meats, McKanna Meats, The Fishery & Formans. The Russet’s Spring menu has also acknowledged the horrible wet weather we are currently experiencing so have added dishes that are warm and comforting.
So excitedly I headed down there and was introduced to a few other people which included David from Loving Dalston and Crummbs blogger, Stacey. Kathryn was our host for the evening, talking us through the menu and making sure we weren’t without a warming mulled cider. Yep mulled cider in spring and it works. Not to mention it isn’t called The Russet for nothing.
Chefs, John and Sarah, kicked off by sending out a selection of starters which included:
Roasted Spiced Cauliflower with Pomegranate and Almonds - This was tasty and reminded me of an Ottolenghi style recipe.
Courgette Noodles, Pea and Mint Pesto, Crushed Walnuts - Fresh, light and reviving.
Slow Cooked Dalston Cola Sticky Chicken - Wow! This is a very good word to describe these wings, oh absolutely delicious. Plus you can’t get much more local than making your own Dalston Cola - These chefs are serious about finding locally sourced produce! ;)
Beetroot and Vodka Home Cured Gravadlax, Avocado Mousse - This was one of my favorites! I am an such a big fan of beetroot and avocado, plus it was fascinating to see how John had cured the salmon in the beetroot & vodka coating. Made it all more exciting!
Roast Piquillo Peppers stuffed with Tofu, Ajillo dressing, which flew from their plates so quick I didn’t have chance to try them but they seem to go down well.
Soup of the Day, Sourdough which on this occasion was butternut squash. I have to be honest here because I am such a big soup eater myself, but I found this to lack a bit of seasoning and was a little bland.
Now that our appetites had been tempted the main courses arrived whilst the conversations flowed. These soon subsided to quiet appreciation of the new selection of dishes in front us.
Slow Cooked Pork Belly, Chorizo and White Bean Stew with Sourdough - This has to be one of the most comforting dished I’ve tried. A hug in a bowl with a soft fluffy cushion of sourdough bread on the side. Very handy to ensure you don’t miss out on any of that delicious sauce at the bottom.
Roast Sea Bass, Brown Rice, Tomato,Cucumber Salsa, Sweet Pepper Sauce - A zesty light dish which would leave you feeling pleasantly satisfied.
Raw Kale and Avocado Salad with Crushed Walnuts and Tahini Dressing (V) - I love kale, avocado and walnuts but due to the fact that tahini isn’t something I like too much this wasn’t one of my favorites.
Chunky Cheeseburger, Crushed New Potato Chips, Tomato Relish, Green Salad - I’m not a big burger person and rarely would choose this off the menu. However after one bite I can safely say I’m hooked. This burger was so delicious and full of flavour that when I go back I be having it again. Plus the slightly crushed new potato chips are a genius addition to this meal.
Lastly, I thought it was worth mention that during the week, if you nip down to the Russet you must try out their current ‘No-frills’ lunch time special. A cheap daily dining option for those looking for a simple yet filling meal under a fiver! They have both a meat and vegetarian dishes on offer, to ensure everyone is catered for.
Hackney Downs Studios
Monday to Friday open from 08:30 - 23:00.
On Saturday from 09:00 - 23:30 and on
Sundays open from 10:00 - 23:00.