Jazz & Blues
Hoxley and Porter
London-City and East London
May 11, 2018
Whoever designed Hoxley and Porter, a new bar and restaurant in the old Grand Union space on Upper Street, has a great eye for detail. The interior is a mash up of colonial and Victorian influences, with palm print wall paper, beautiful etched glass screens, rattan chairs, and ceiling fans.The cutlery is pleasingly heavy in the hand and there’s an abundance of crystal decanters and delicate china teacups. We like. We like very much. The room itself has a slightly back to front feel with a low-lit and attractive bar area at the back and a narrow ‘dining carriage’ at the front which, with its many windows and slender proportions, they presumably hope will evoke the golden days of rail travel and the age of empire and exploration. The twin themes echo through the cocktail menu – the work of Michael Pendergast, of Battersea’s quirky Powder Keg Diplomacy there’s a focus on rum-based drinks, subtle spicing and traditional British flavours. A Dark and Stormy, which showcased their home-made ginger beer, was refreshing, ditto the Regal Roberts, which paired Earl Grey infused gin with citrus and fizz. A potent mix of peaty, whisky Benedictine, honey, lemon juice, and stout proved a complex and smoky, but our favourite was the incongruously named My Daddy Owns a Yacht Club, a sweet, sticky mix of rum, apricot brandy, their house sweet vermouth blend and bitters a delicious degestif. There’s also a decent, accessible and reasonably priced wine list. From the menu of modern British dishes, a piece of sea bream with prawns and peas was perfectly cooked, just lovely, but while the braised pork belly was spot on in terms of texture it could have benefited from more confident seasoning. Marks are deducted for a predictable vegetarian offerings – beetroot and goat cheese salad, mushroom pear barely risotto – a particular bugbear of ours, but the contrasting textures and flavours in their vanilla pannacotta with peaches and honeycomb made us very happy indeed.
Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/HoxleyAndPorter