Another friend’s birthday but this time to the Hackney Road. Mr.Buckley’s, a neighbourhood restaurant and bar, is not named after a former owner as one may expect but rather a dude that was going to blow this shit up, Guy Fawkes style. Why? Apparently he was pissed some other dudes wouldn’t let him into their private club….
I missed out on a private Pilates sesh with the girls because of work but I managed to sneak out in time to make the dinner. For a Thursday night, Mr Buckley’s felt relatively quiet – we had a party of 12 or so and there were a few other couples dotted around the restaurant. Despite the small audience, it definitely had ambience and a good one to boot; laid back with attentive but not overbearing service.
Decor wise, they’ve opted for a rather simple setting: exposed bricks with copy emblazoned on parts of the walls.
Much of the menu was right up my alley. I knew I wasn’t hungry enough for a starter, main and dessert, so opted for the latter two. Their ‘jars’ and starters did sound darned good though( cumin scented feta with spinach & pepperade; grilled sardines, spring onion & aubergine salad – umm yes please).
As I don’t eat red meat, my options are fairly limited when dining out. However, in this instance, there was actually quite a lot on offer for non red meat eaters. For my main, I was tossing up between the chicken and the sea bream but eventually settled on the chicken breast stuffed with basil mousse, with a side of fondant potato, spinach & lavender jus with a sprinkling of pine nuts (£14.50).
The chicken breast was a little on the dry side but the basil mousse in its simplicty compensated for this along with the lovely lavender jus (a little meagre, so I asked for a small side pot which came swiftly to the table). The fondant potatoes were pretty good but didn’t rock my world.
Had a refreshing cocktail to wash it all down, the Buckley’s Grog No. 2: Kraken Spiced Rum, Kings Ginger, Lemon, Grapefruit (£8.00):
Followed swiftly by another, the Rumbullion: Rum, Dubonnet, Sugar, Rhubarb Bitters (£8.00) which complemented my dessert rather nicely:
The highlight of the evening without a doubt was the pudding: buttermilk cheesecake with candied fennel & pink lemonade jelly (£5.00):
I was a little terrified of the jelly because my last memory of the wobbly stuff was an image of my young self violently throwing up green goo EVERYWHERE. My curiosity overrode my fear though and I took the plunge and I am so glad I did because the pink lemonade jelly elevated the pudding from the good to the supreme.
There’s room for improvement but all in all, it was a good experience (food, drink, ambience and service) and I would return.
Cost: c.£35-40 (incl.cocktails)
Address: 277 Hackney Rd, London E2 8NA
Phone: 020 3664 0033
|Monday||6:00 pm – 12:00 am|
|Tuesday||11:00 am – 12:00 am|
|Wednesday||11:00 am – 12:00 am|
|Thursday||11:00 am – 12:00 am|
|Friday||11:00 am – 2:00 am|
|Saturday||10:00 am – 2:00 am|
|Sunday||10:00 am – 12:00 am|
LAST VISITED MARCH 2014