Only a year old, Upstairs at The Ten Bells already has a loyal following. Set in the first floor of an infamous pub, not just known as the last drinking location of a Ripper victim but also as a recent stripper joint, this place has already had an interesting history.
With a simple, refined menu, you aren’t overwhelmed with choice which as a hugely indecisive individual, makes things easy. For starter I decided on the buckwheat pancakes with smoked mackerel and cucumber. It was delicious although the pancakes were a little big but the flavours mixed well. My friends went for buttermilk chicken that came placed on some old pine leaves, who said recycling Christmas trees was hard.
Main came and although delicious,Ii was slightly disappointed with the lack of size and variety in the meal. Braised swede with salsify and mushrooms implied a hearty meal and although bursting with winter flavour. I would have liked something with it or on the side. The fish on this course looked amazing with a thick piece of hake on a bed of vegetables and the addition of potted shrimp. The meat also looked grand with pork, lentils and vegetables. In this case, I think the veggie option looked like the poor relation to the other dishes but all the same it tasted great.
Finally, I couldn’t resist desert and this was the showstopper for me. Milk crisps with buttermilk ice cream and rhubarb sorbet was delicious. The sourness of the buttermilk went well with the sharp rhubarb and the milk crisps balanced it all whilst adding a new texture to the dish.
Overall, this was a great meal. The charm of the shabby decor, paired with the interesting history and delicious, yet innovative food makes this a top Shoreditch find.