Eat Here: The Richmond, HackneyBy Gemma Perlin
Oysters are only a fifteen minute walk from Dalston Kingsland. Oh, gentrification you old pal. The Richmond is a charming neighbourhood restaurant and raw seafood bar. Neighbourhood restaurants to me are a fairly alien concept in London, when we are increasingly priced further and further out of our zones, and the best you may be able to hope for is Nando’s.
For the lucky folk of Hackney though, they are very foodie lucky, they can pop to have a shuck of some oysters on their way home.
The restaurant is stylish, trendy without being try hard, and everyone has reassuringly intellectual thick rimmed glasses. You feel comfortingly cool by being there, but yet in the presence of real foodies.
The Richmond: The Food
While pondering the menu, we ordered cocktails from the extensive and fun menu. Favourites include, Honey I shrunk the kids among others. We went for a delicately jasmine infused gin entitled Neferiti. I had a cough so our charming waiter kindly prepared a hot toddy for me in a good ol’ teacup.
The menu is always changing. But as this is East London’s first raw seafood bar, oysters are a sensible place to begin. From Monday to Friday 6-7pm and Saturday 5-7pm, oysters at The Richmond are £1 a shuck. There is not much to say about oysters, salty gulps which we paired with a hit of Tabasco.
For starters we shared devilled mussels on toast, which were wonderfully plump set alight by a cunningly spicy creamy sauce and a crab salad, which was wonderfully clean simple flavours with a hint of tomato.
Mains vary from fish to meat, and they also specialise in a Sunday roast come the weekend. We had cod, beautifully cooked, not the sort of food that makes you punch in the air but pleasing nonetheless. The pork on the other hand was much more interesting served with velvety butternut squash puree and diced pancetta, perfectly cutting through the saltines of the extremely tender pork.
Just like all the courses, puddings vary, but we imagine the cheese plate will be a stock feature, accompanied by a generous slice of quince, which as a non cheese eater I nibbled happily on its own.
Just to make sure we gave ourselves the best shot of a migraine, we went for chocolate after our cheese, with a surprisingly intense chocolate mousse, paired with a punchy sweet coffee ice cream.
The Verdict: The Richmond
There is something very intimate about dining at the Richmond, the service, the ever changing menu and the thoughtful food. There is style, but also substance. Take an out of towner/non East London dweller to happy hour and stay for munch. The Richmond is truly a hidden gem.