I’m sure there’s a joke somewhere about Legs opening in Hackney but the name actually refers to the legs of wine – y’know, the legs that form down the side of the glass that can tell you how much alcohol/sugar is inside. Either way, this new restaurant on Morning Lane in Hackney is seriously one to look out for.
The chef/owner is a cool-looking dude called Magnus Reid, who looks a bit like a character from Sons of Anarchy. You can sit at the counter overlooking the small kitchen and watch him cook everything. The menu is small and changes daily. The wine list is also small and features small producers.
A simple plate of lardo Gombitelli (Â£7) let the quality of the pig, well, more pig fat, do the talking. Bagna cauda (Â£6), a fishy dip, came with radishes for dunking. Again, so simple yet so perfect and one you’d gladly keep going back to again and again throughout your meal.
Asparagus (Â£7) came crispy-grilled and grated with egg yolk alongside a dollop of anchovy sauce. Any chef who takes the time to grate an egg yolk is one who clearly cares about what he’s doing. Grilled onglet, tropea onions and mustard (Â£9) was a blend of textures and flavours most unusual – the onions were both burned and raw – yet it all worked so well together.
The best thing I’ve eaten in rather a long time (and I do worry I say that a little too often) would have to be this fried potato, cream fraiche and trout roe (Â£8). It ticked all the boxes; stunning to look at, textures aplenty and a blend of flavours good enough to make you question ordering another one.
Puddings were pure comfort food. Their take on a strawberry pavlova (Â£6) featured blowtorched meringue which turned the sweetness knob up to max, which was fine by me. There was however a puddle of strawberry water at the bottom of the bowl which curdled with everything. Baked ricotta, almonds and loquat (Â£7) was something of a revelation; baked ricotta is my new favourite thing.
Sometimes you walk into a place and just know it’s going to be good – and that’s exactly what happened here. What’s great about Legs is the whole place feels very cool, it’s even in a cool area, and the staff are genuinely friendly and seem passionate about what they offer. So often these days this isn’t the case. Go to Legs. I think you’ll really like it.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant.