This is the new restaurant from Mr. Hospitality himself, Richard Corrigan, fellow Irishman and bloody-nice-bloke, John Nugent, and Tony Gibney, taking over the old Nuala site just off Old Street roundabout.
The gorgeous basement bar remains, which serves a mighty-fine Guinness, while the ground floor dining room has the addition of an oyster bar, where we perch while watching the open fire cooking. It’s all rather gorgeous.
We start with sticky puffed pork dotted with caramelised apple (Â£3) and beef tartare with oyster cream (Â£8) served in the discarded shells. Chicken liver parfait (Â£10) comes atop thick cut fried bread with a giant shaving of black truffle. I’m in heaven.
Jersey Rock and Colchester oysters (Â£2.90 and Â£2.75 each) are seasoned with a little black pepper. The man in charge of the oyster bar at Bentley’s, where they shuck up to 1,000 oysters EVERY DAY, once told me this is the best way to eat them. Black pepper and nothin’ else. He’s not wrong.
From the Specials Board, hot smoked salmon (Â£24), smoked in house, naturally, served with pickled shallots, a dollop of lump-less mash and horseradish butter, is a thing of simple beauty. But it’s the sugar pit pork cutlet (Â£23) that really gets me going. I’ve Irish butcher, Peter Hannan, to thank for that. Hannan cures the pig for up to 10 days in a sugar pit – the end result is soft, squidgy, crisp, charred, sweet, salty loveliness.
Brown sugar pavlova (Â£6) marries sharp rhubarb and creamy mascarpone for balance. Dark chocolate mousse (Â£6) is far more one sided. It’s a blend of choc, banana and milk jam which lovers of intense sweetness will swoon over for days.
We waddle off into the chaos of Old Street positively beaming about Daffodil Mulligan. The food is fun and vibrant, with a focus on great produce cooked properly. A glorious place to go for dinner, this certainly is.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant