Monday, 17 February 2014

Discount Suit Company

Sneaky Secret

'Where are you taking me?' was a phrase uttered more than once as I dragged my (actually highly willing) companion around the dark backstreets of East London in search of what I expected was going to be a completely unmarked doorway. 

Congratulations to me, one unmarked doorway coming right up! I must confess that I did have a little bit of help however. The music oozed out of the entrance to Discount Suit Company and as we looked up, it was very clear(ish) that we had arrived. 

Upon descending the stairs and sliding past the curtain, we were greeted by a warm, fuzzy feeling, like a hug you never want to end. The exposed brick-work was deliciously unpretentious and anywhere trying to use it to look edgy should take a leaf (or entire chapter) out of this bars book.

We perused the menu and after identifying which spectacles, hat and bag were our favourites, quickly decided that ordering everything was probably the best shout.

Reigning our excitable selves in a little, I went for a Pina Fumada, mainly because I was intrigued by the velvet falernum. Either it was a type of fabric cleaner or a highly poisonous flower. Definitely not a type of alcohol. It was a type of alcohol. Don't listen to me. Actually, do listen, it was fantastic. Sweet and sour all at once without a hint of sickly coconut. Also, check out the 'nice ice.' One must always appreciate 'nice ice' .. and the genuine topiary because let's face facts here, who doesn't love a good old bit of grandma's air freshener in their drink! I jest, it was a delightful touch.

While our lovely barman was concocting the Flor de Cana, we tried to figure out what the antika formula could possibly be. Perhaps a measure of excitement, a drop of debauchery swirled together with a dash of charm?

It certainly looked the part, all rich and porty .. (can you tell I'm not much of a port drinker? I think 'porty' says enough). After a moment admiring the cut glass, we moved on to admiring our surroundings.

Intimate without a hint of cram, Discount Suit Company somehow manages to be unassumingly romantic while maintaining a super chilled vibe that envelops you right from the moment you enter. I don't know if it was the low ceilings (never an issue for me and my 5ft1") or the clothes mannequin in the corner but for me, this bar was the perfect fit.

We strayed away slightly from the menu when it was decided that I had to taste what our waitress referred to as 'gin and juice'. Elderflower and apple along with cucumber and gin work to make the most refreshing cocktail I have ever experienced. Pimms is going to have some serious competition this Summer!

Take a perch at the bar or along the side of the room and let your worldly woes wash away as you sit in this underground cave. For one such as myself who really does love boardgames, Discount Suit Company is what I imagine the secret passageway in Cluedo to be like and that was my favourite (albeit non existent) room in the game so they were onto a winner before I had even walked through the door.

Slipping a couple of these guys into our pockets before we left, we realised something wonderful. This place isn't going anywhere! There was no sadness lurking as we ascended the stairs back to the outside world but anticipation for our return. Have I persuaded you? 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Blind Pig

Hidden Piggy

After one trip through this secret Soho doorway, you'll want to keep coming back for more. And then more. It's leathery, low ceilinged interior oozes gentlemanly charm and the cocktail menu is another thing entirely. For all the chaps out there, add The Blind Pig to your woo-ing list.

Keep your eyes peeled for this little fellow, he's very easy to miss and this is the door you will want to enter time and time again.

Above The Social Eating House (next on my ever-extending list) is this wonderful cocktail bar where mixologists whip up creations in their shining apothecary. Just look at the concentration on their faces!

The Cereal Killer was always going to be my first choice and with its tempting Galliano vanilla, my decision was made in a flash. This one was a creamy concoction of rum, white chocolate, Galliano, coco pops milk, Xocolat bitters and perfectly presented in a miniature milk bottle fully equipped with stripy straw. Deeeelicious.

Below is the 58 Poland, a blend of vodka, lime, cardamon bitters with apple and ginger soda served in a shining copper cup. I'm off to purchase a copper cup of my own since it seems a necessity in my life now, along with the miniature milk bottles, the jam jars and all those other pieces of wonderfully pointless kitchenware.

The Tennyson lighting up the walls in neon was fully appreciated as we descended the stairs. Anybody else get that smuggy 'I just won the crossword' feeling when they get the literary reference? (And yes, you totally can 'win' crosswords), anyway, this was no different and it just added to the already fully formed smile on my face as we left, vowing to return in the very near future. Dinner anyone? 

Saturday, 8 February 2014


Perfect Pasta

Bright eyed and bushy tailed, we tumbled into the Islington sunshine in search of Trullo, a much whispered about but carefully tucked away Italian charmer. With a claim from The Apposite that the Beef Shin Pappardelle was the best dish he had ever paid for, there was no way I was going to miss out on this one! 

The cuteness of this Italian eatery positively oozes through the doorway. Bright and fresh, the interior reflects the simple yet perfectly prepared dishes we were about to experience. My choice had already been made for me but with one glance at the menu, I resolved to return to taste, well, pretty much everything else. 

We rather pathetically ordered a side salad to offset our approaching carb heavy meal but were very pleased when it arrived all lemony and with so many different leaves to choose from .. the more reasons to love salad the better. I'll be back with more another time.

Then the pasta arrived; steaming, melty, creamy, meaty, tender mouthfuls of deliciousness. Hats off to my tip off, he certainly knows his stuff. I would very happily eat this dish over and over again.

My fellow restaurant rabbit went for the pumpkin ravioli (below) and promptly inhaled said dish. Buttery and smooth, the homemade pasta was some of the best we'd tasted. 

Really, if this hasn't whet your appetite then it's time to rethink your entire existence. Trullo is right up there on her majesty Grace Dent's restaurants to woo at list, so really you have no excuse not to go. Plus it's in Islington and if you didn't already know, Islington is probably the best place in London. Just saying. 

Trullo on Urbanspoon

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