Test Drives

noodlesThe rather wonderful cold sesame noodles

So, what do we need to know about Lucky & Joy?

It's a roaming regional Chinese residency from Ellen Parr, co-founder of The Art of Dining (ex Moro and Rochelle Canteen) and Background Bars Pete Kelly.

Where is it?

Under the railway arches by Cambridge Heath station - a short walk away from Bethnal Green tube.

cocktailsRoasted peach margarita and the Seven Spice Slush. You'll definitely want these. 

Where should we meet friends for a drink first?

You're not strapped for places to meet around this part of East London. There's Peg + Patriot just down the road or newly opened Coupette for cocktails. But given that one-half of the team here has a company responsible for the bars at Night Tales and the rooftop at John Lewis, you'd be foolish not to allow time to try one of his drinks. The Seven Spice Slush (£8) - a Shichimi Togarashi infused yuzu sake slushee - is up there with our best drinks of the year.

Where should we sit?

If the weather's clement, there's a decent space outside at the front to sit. But we went when it was sheeting down with rain, so we took cover inside. There are plenty of nooks and crannies to settle down in - including a nice alcove complete with disco ball - but we rather liked being up at the counter looking out.

stewThe pretty huge Silk Road beef stew

So what's on the menu?

It's a pretty brief one - think Bao-style brevity and similar in style, just mark what you fancy down on a chit. Split into cold and hot we kicked off with one each of the cracking aubergine and pork baos (£4 and £4.50 apiece and stuffed with flavour) and then tried the cold sesame noodles (£6) which you'll have to order.

There are a couple of big dishes - the Xi'an lamb burger is pretty easy to split if you both fancy a try and definitely worth getting - and the silk road beef stew at £12 was plenty for two, particularly when you added in a bowl of rice and we ended the meal with some of their homemade ice-creams - the ginger is the best one to get.

baoPork and aubergine bao

What about drinks?

There's a lot of punch in these dishes so you're going to need something to refresh your palate. If you're after something other than water, the Gruner at £18 is a decent punt or maybe splash out on the Pet Nat at £28.

Overall thoughts:

Lucky & Joy have another month here at Cambridge Heath before they look for new digs, so if you can it's certainly worth heading this way to try them out. Top cocktails, great mouth-numbingly good food - what's not to like? And the service is lovely too.

Hot Dinners were invited to Lucky & Joy. Prices are correct at the time of writing.

What: Lucky and Joy

Where: 298-299, Railway Arches, Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9HA

When: 1 August 2017 for two months.

Find out more: Visit their website and follow them on Twitter @ArtofDiningLdn.

 

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