January is the month where everyone struggles with their finances and I am no exception, yet I still manage to get by. I say get by, it's my best friend the credit card who comes up with the goods to bail me out.
So a few days before pay day and the day before a work tasting menu, I perhaps foolishly met up with Alex knowing what the outcome was going to be, drinking gallons of beer, eating lavish food and spending a (insert swear word) load of money that I didn't have. However I hadn't seen Alex since the day before new years and a good catch up was in order, so naturally we were going to go to a few pubs and drink a few pints.
Besides I had a long day at work and I definitely needed to neck a pint. The restaurant was booked at about half six and we met around four, so that's two and a half hours worth of drinking and knowing Alex that meant fifty pints would be consumed. People who know Alex knows that this dude drinks like an effing machine. We were in our element as we were drinking in what is perhaps our new favourite pub, The Seven Stars. Guys and dolls let me tell you right now that this pub is the bees knees. Great beer, great collection of books (my personal favourite, Tequila Mockingbird) and moreover a great menu. I haven't sampled the food, but come on, to serve chicken and barley soup and chicken and barley stew on the same menu is creative and ballsy.
Anyways before I start going off in a tangent, The Seven Stars is now my new den and hiding place.
After running a reasonable tab on my credit card, Alex and I set off to another pub/restaurant that he recommended did awesome food. Yes ladies and gentlemen this is what the article is all about, The Jugged Hare in the Barbican area. Can I just say walking there is horrendous especially on a cold winter night and that google maps tells lies. But anyways we made it to the restaurant gearing ourselves up for some tasty food.
It was a lovely restaurant from top to bottom and we were probably under dressed seeing that its a place filled with men that look like Patrick Bateman but that doesn't really matter. What matters was how good the food and service was.
The Jugged Hare bases its menu mostly on game that they get from North Yorkshire but obviously if you're not a fan of game meats, there are other dishes to suit your taste.
Having an open kitchen really gives the restaurant a real buzz knowing that the chefs behind the pass are cooking everything to order, with lots of dedication and passion. Not to mention as well that they can show off their state of the art rotisserie and charcoal grill.
To start we had wild boar croquettes and Cornish sprats with Tartare sauce. Both were delicious and set the rest of the meal up nicely. The sprats were ginormous, the croquettes had proper chunks of meat inside and the two sauces to go with them were perfect. No messing around with these bad boys and they were devoured in no time.
What followed was our starters, "sizzling" queenie scallops and chorizo and roast whole snipe, lentils, chanterelles, seared foie gras and game jus. Again both were fantastic dishes and the chorizo gave the scallops a real kick. I've never had Snipe before but it had a real pungent flavour.
Before I go onto the mains I went downstairs and all of a sudden a boozy young man points to me and said to his mate "It's Nick, It's Nick!, oh wait, it's not Nick".
I've encountered this a few times when going out, but can I ask do I really look like Nick Grimshaw? I really don't see it myself.
Anyways back to the food and the mains were banging. Top notch dishes executed very well. I had rare rib eye with triple cooked chips, cauliflower cheese, rotisserie gravy and green peppercorn sauce.
The steak was juicy, succulent, bloody and so easy to cut into. I drowned that behemoth with both of my sauces. It was FoodPunk heaven.
The cauliflower cheese was gooey, soft, rich and creamy and if I could I would have ordered another portion.
Alex had a whole bird roasted served with traditional garnish of game chips, liver pate, savoy cabbage and game jus. An old classic really and he tucked into it.
By the end of it, we were comfortably full. We had everything from deep fried to roasted to cheesy dishes with lots of sauces and jus to go with them.
I would highly recommend this place if you're in the area. The service was impeccable and the food and drink is produced to a very high standard. It definitely gets the FoodPunk thumbs up.