Beagle – Review

Beagle                                Hoxton


397-400 Geffrye Street, E2 8HZ

020 7613 2967/www.beaglelondon.co.uk/

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 I’ve been going to Hoxton for years well before it became so trendy that even the train station sign is cool. From the mid 80s on I used to play at The Bass Clef jazz club which also became an important venue in the early drum and bass scene, the club nights subsidising the more swinging bass and drum sounds of the jazz cats. Watching an area you know change so radically is a bit like watching a child develop. Brats can become sophisticated, urbane and charming and the sweetest children can turn into monsters….

Beagle is a restaurant and bar situated in a couple of railway arches right next to the station. It’s the baby of Danny and Kieran Clancy who are music promotors and in the kitchen is James Ferguson, who used to run the kitchen at Rochelle Canteen, Margot Henderson’s (wife of St. John’s Fergus) critically acclaimed East London joint. I don’t know Margot but she has danced to my piano playing a few times-I admire a woman who will shake a blue stockinged leg-and on that basis I’m hoping for good things from Ferguson.
The Bar at The Beagle

The Bar at The Beagle

The bar space is bright and buzzy and in the evening when lit up it looks pretty sexy. But down to business-we are here to sample the cocktail and bar snacks menu.
Hoxton Fizz and a Master Grey

Hoxton Fizz and a Master Grey

We start off with a Hoxton Fizz (£8). It’s a cool cucumber, vodka, lemon juice and elderflower concoction and is a perfect cooler for an early  summer’s evening. The Master Grey (£8) has more of a citrus flavour and tasted like a Tequila Sunrise that had gone to finishing school. It was a blend of blanco Tequila, Earl Grey, lemon juice, orange juice and marmalade.

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With the alcohol starting to hit the spot it was time for some nosh. Grilled pepperoncini (£3.50) were hot and salty-without the kick of the now ubiquitous Padron peppers but still very good.

Brisket with red cabbage

Brisket with red cabbage

Slow cooked beef brisket with pickled red cabbage( £6.50) needed something creamy to pick it up , maybe some horseradish, as brisket is a dry cut.
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Smoked cod’s roe (£5) was tangy and had a depth of flavour  like a proper Greek taramasalata. It came with really good  toasted  bread and was the best of the dishes.
Lady of Bergamot

Lady of Bergamot

For “dessert” we had a Lady of Bergamot made from Gin, Bergamot,  lemon and egg white (£8.50). It was a kind of  runny lemon syllabub cocktail and pretty good for that.

I’d be very happy if Beagle was my local hangout. The cocktails are reasonably priced and well made with distinct flavours and there is an attractive selection of local beers; the small but perfectly formed bar menu had some definite hits. I’d like to try the restaurant next to see how Ferguson fares on a bigger scale.

The Hedonist was a guest of Beagle

Beagle on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

3.5 / 5 stars     

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