30 May , 2018 New on the Scene


Louisa Walters enjoys an adult family night out where Harlem meets Shoreditch

‘Fancy Friday night dinner at Red Rooster?’ I texted my son. ‘Really Mum? It’s hardly your kind of place,’ he replied. I realised he thought I meant the takeaway in Mill Hill. As a woman of a certain age, I could hardly be expected to know about the achingly hip Shoreditch Curtain Hotel and its uber cool restaurant Red Rooster, could I? Well the fact is I do, and not only that, but it is on the Restaurant Club Card scheme and so is Ba’Cino wine bar opposite so it was a journey worth making. And they’d invited me, so I could hardly say no. Best of all, as it’s somewhere he’d wanted to try he agreed to join me (and his dad) although he might have regretted that later… read on.

The restaurant is a very large space with a huge central bar which we sat at for drinks (mine was a stunning champagne and lavender cocktail), an open kitchen throwing out lovely warm lighting onto the tables right by it, a really pretty covered garden area with circular booths and the main seating area, which is dark and very atmospheric. It’s rustic with lots of wood and interesting wacky lights. The whole place feels very USA.

Red Rooster has landed here from Harlem and offers ‘southern soul food’ with a north European twist (the chef is Swedish). We started with his mum’s Swedish meatballs with cauliflower and apple purée (Ikea eat your heart out) and a grilled prawn taco, plus the cornbread, which is basically like having cake with butter (must try that more often it’s fabulous!). Hubby felt the bang bang chicken needed a bit more seasoning but son wolfed down his ‘Harlem-style fried chicken and waffle’ too fast to comment.

I had the fried chicken for main course and it was superb (and huge) and the men shared the beef short rib which was served in a large skillet with gnocchi, peas, morel mushrooms and a rich gravy. We had mac n greens on the side. Good, honest unpretentious food, well cooked, hearty portions. We shared the Drunken Doughnut for dessert – a rum-soaked sweet treat with with lemon curd and salted caramel ice cream.

And then….. the live music started. A really REALLY good soul band called Vibe, playing a mixture of well known (to us anyway) classics and one by one people got up and started dancing. My husband jumped up to join them…. And I was doing that whole jigging in my seat thing and my son was glaring at me like ‘don’t you dare’ and then this tall handsome (young) man grabbed my hand and pulled me on to the dance floor… After sneakily (but I saw) sending a few snapchats to his sister (no doubt captioned ‘kill me now’) our son gave in and got up to join us. So we’re all dancing and the place is alive and it’s possibly the best night out I’ve had since I was my son’s age (24)!

There’s live music seven nights a week and a Gospel choir brunch every Sunday.

TRC cardholders get 25% off food Monday and Tuesday night and Monday – Friday lunch. Click here for details.