Wow! What an amazing lunch Kemey and I had a couple of weeks back at Stratford restaurant, cocktail bar and wine cave – Darkhorse.
Set at the base of one of the East Village towers (former Olympic Athletes Village) in Stratford, Darkhorse is a seemingly aptly named contender for one of the best places to eat in London I’ve come across in quite a while. Kemey and I certainly loved our leisurely Saturday lunch.
Our meal commenced with a couple of especially tasty starters. My squid ink arancini with aiola (£4.50) was one to savour – and to keep in mind for future visits while Kemey’s pear and walnut salad with watercress and Gorgonzola (£6.50 as a side, £12 as a main) did justice to this classic combo of yum.
My main though – whoa ho! 400g of dry-aged rib eye beef with grilled calcots, roast garlic, and vine tomatoes (£32; there was a 700g option for £42 on the menu as well) – was a beaut. Roasted in the restaurant’s Bertha (a giant indoor charcoal oven made in South London of cast iron and stainless steel that I am now slightly obsessed with), it yielded many of the sort of mmmm moments sought when having a steak. Kemey had no complaints about her Bertha roasted hake with pumpkin, chilli and Roscoff onions (£17) either.
Sides of a gem salad with baby spinach leaves and roast potatoes with rosemary and garlic (£4 each) paired nicely with our mains. A crème Catalana (£4.75) dessert elicited a few mmmms too.
For sips between bites, I nursed a gorgeous Antique Palo Cortado (75cl, £10.50) from Fernando de Castilla (Jerez).
Service was swift and friendly during our visit. We loved sitting by the wall to ceiling windows taking in the natural light.
Darkhorse is located at 16 Victory Parade, East Village, E20 1FS. Find out more at thedarkhorserestaurant.com.