The long, communal table filled up around us, and like so many pop-up restaurants the normative dining rules don’t apply. I introduced myself to my neighbours something only mad people and Americans normally do. I recommended my cocktail, and they told me last time they came they were sat on hay bales, which ended in all sorts of rolling and rollicking by the night’s close.
I had a mouthful of both starters: the goats cheese tart was the perfect amount of sweet to creamy, but it was the terrine that stood out. Great chunks of pork with a sweet chutney garnish. The kitchen in the middle of the room was a cloud of steam and frenetic movement, as they slowly fed the table bottom to the top.
The premise of the Stew House is something to warm your cockles on a cold winter night - a choice of three stews each time, starter and dessert - and why not dress for dinner while we’re at it? I opted for the Venison, Port and Chocolate, and used my finger to lick the bowl clean. The meat fell away from the fork, and you could taste the chocolate without the overpowering quality of a mole (as in the Mexican sauce not the small mammal).
By the time pudding came out, the whole table had seemingly swapped places. Apple crumble was the classic British dish to finish, followed by a burst of dancing, letting us make-believe a little longer that we were not in the dark depths of Hackney but in a British banqueting hall befitting only the most decadent diners.
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