So, what should we know about Ellory?
Its opening comes with high expectations. A lot of influential restaurant folk unreservedly loved Mayfields, which is where chef Matthew Young was last. He's now teamed up with Jack Lewens, the former sommelier at Spring to take over this newly opened space on the ground floor of Netil House.
Where is it?
You'll find it on Westgate Street, just as you turn off Mare Street. It's going to a super handy spot if you're heading over to either Broadway or Netil Market at the weekend.
Where should we meet friends for a drink first?
You're not short of places to go, but why not do what we did and pop into nearby Rita's Bar and Dining for a cocktail at the new bar they've opened at the front of their place. We had a top popcorn and brown butter old-fashioned there at the start of our evening.
And the space itself?
There's a bar with seating at the front of the dining room and folk seemed happy to perch and work their way through the top wine list here. Beside the bar is a run of smaller tables and then the back of the dining room - which gives you the chance to watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen - is probably best for larger groups.
So, the food?
There are two ways to approach your meal at Ellory - you can go for the a la carte style menu (we didn't see this on our visit so can't comment on the dishes or prices) or do as we did and go for the very good value five course set menu at £38 (plus an extra £9 if you add on a cheese course). Dishes are generous - much more so than you'd think for these prices - and for our dinner, standouts were:
- Endive with anchovy and hazelnut - braised into submission, this was a 'vegetable as king' dish - fantastic
- Turbot with cardoon and sorel butter - the grilled cardoons a perfect pairing with the beautifully cooked fish
- Candied clementine served with gingerbread and ginger ice-cream - Christmas on a plate
If there's a sommelier involved, the wine list's going to be good right?
The wine list is VERY good. You're going to want to start with champagne and - if you have sufficient funds and good sense - let Jack be your guide to the rest of it. If you do want to strike out on your own, bottles start at £20 and around 15 of them are by the glass, including some of the pricier bottles - which gives you a chance to really work your way through the list. Of what we had (and can remember) one favourites was the Muscadet Granit 2014 (£5/£28). Another was the kind of orange wine that succeeded in erasing previous disasters in other restaurants and reminded us why we loved this style of wine - La Maceration from Le Soula (£9/£49).
We went in, hoping - no, expecting - to love Ellory and we really did. With a larger kitchen and room than he had at Mayfields, Young now has the opportunity to pull out all the stops and he's found the perfect front of house partner in the affable Lewens. An elegant, grown-up restaurant for lucky London Fields.
Prices were correct at the time of writing. Hot Dinners ate as guests of Ellory.