Pixels London lights up Tate Modern
March 27, 2017
Be wary of the giant mound of coats on the sturdy single rack at the reception of the restaurant… there’s no system, they chuck yours in the pile willy nilly.
Be wary of the giant mound of coats on the sturdy single rack at the reception of the restaurant… there’s no system, they chuck yours in the pile willy nilly. While this made for an interesting treasure hunt scenario at the end of my lunch, I did also feel an odd invasion of privacy when invited to rummage for my own coat. In a way, I admire this nonchalant FOH behaviour…. anything goes at James Cochran EC3!
There is plenty of potential in James Cochran as you will have undoubtedly read from elsewhere. The Chef has made smart marketing of his incubation period spent (a total of 5 years) between both of Brett Graham’s restaurants, and is the latest in a line of ex-Ledbury talent lighting up London on their own accord.
The appearance of Whitstable oysters on his menu piqued my interest as most London chefs are comfortable with Porthillys. As it turns out James started out over there, my speculation that he’s kept his contacts for sourcing and hence Kent coast produce making his menu. This is my first time with his food, as I have not tried any of his previous pop-ups.
His focus at the moment appears to be solely in the kitchen, neglecting to apply Ledbury’s renowned art of actually looking after customers, which I’m sure he has picked up during his time there. I don’t mind a little tardiness and in 2017, neither you, as you prefer fairer bottom lines, having left etiquette well and truly behind. As long as the food is up to scratch of course.
And here, EC3 hits the criteria and is in my eyes, a new addition to the landscape of London bistronomy.
At lunch, the menu is ALC with an average spend of £5 / £ 13 / £8 for small / main / pudding. For dinner, the taster menus start at £35 (for five courses) and max out at £55 (for eight). Pretty good pricing, shows JC’s ambition to pull in the crowds in the opening year.
I visited on a Friday afternoon by myself, and ordered a little too much food, probably enough for 2, and ate all of it, except for 2 pieces of chicken that I took away.
East London Toastie, with Mayfield cheese and smoked eel, £4.50
Lightly cured and thick-cut, I assume done in-house, and really quite well. If this was put next to Hederman or Hansen&Lydersen, I’d probably pick this. So yes I enjoyed it very much. Sweetness, acidity, texture, a wobbly cube of whisky jelly. Balanced and refreshing. All good here.
Jamaican jerk buttermilk chicken, pickled scotch bonnet jam, maize, coriander, £6