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Oct 14, 2011 02:33 AM

The Young Turks [London]

I don't think I've mentioned the Young Turks on Chowhound before as their brief pop-ups would be difficult for the short-term visitor but with the news they've secured a three-month stint at a pub in East London I think it's time to tell the world.
Isaac McHale and James Lowe formed the Young Turks collective after meeting cooking with Rene Redzepi at Noma. Until recently Isaac worked with Brett Graham at The Ledbury and James was the head chef and St John Bread and Wine.
They've done a series of pop-ups in the last year with an elongated stint at an office block in Canary Wharf with the Clove Club, a series of dinners at the Loft Project and some rooftop cooking in south London.

We went to the Clove Club dinner which was four courses with extras of sensational food. Their approach seems to be to take Noma's attitude to ingredients and presentation and adapt it to British produce. We ate Tomatoes with Goat’s Milk & Wild Marjoram, Raw Mackeral, Gooseberries, English Mustard & Crystal Lemon Cucumber, waterbathed Angus Rib, Grilled Onions, Porter & Wild Watercress and for dessert Loganberries, Ewe’s Milk Yoghurt & Beremeal Cake.
The mackeral dish particularly was stellar, for some reason we'd eaten raw mackeral in a series of restaurants in the weeks leading up to the clove club and their version was better than that of Hibiscus, Viajante and a couple of others.

They start at the Ten Bells in Spitalfields at the end of October for a three-month run. Booking details aren't available yet but should be forthcoming pretty soon.

127 Ledbury Rd, Kensington, England W2 5, GB

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  1. im super keen to try these guys food so am excited to hear theyve got a residency somewhere - but the ten bells/?? that seems weird! does the ten bells even serve food normally? i thought it was just drinking

    2 Replies
    1. re: t_g

      The restaurant is going to be upstairs so it's separate from the pub - although you'll have to walk through the pub to get to it. There's also a private room for 12-16 if I recall correctly.

      1. re: ManInTransit

        indeed went to the Clove Club a year or so ago, when they did them in their Dalston flat. Isaac's food is sensational. Well worth a visit..

    2. their run at the ten bells is scheduled to conclude at the end of april but i join man in transit in recommending that people try and get a table.

      i had a great meal there a couple of weeks ago. full review on my blog if you're interested but, to give you a hint, my favourites included wonderfully rich offally duck hearts, served with a smear of jerusalem artichoke puree, meltingly tender squid tossed with wild garlic and crunchy monk’s beard and the intense rhubarb sorbet which accompanied pink poached stems and buttermilk, served in both ice cream and crisp format.

      great wine list too - half are natural wines and all are good value.

      did anyone else make it?

      2 Replies
      1. re: abby d

        yep we made it in december this is what i emailed a friend at the time:

        we had -

        pigs blood cracker w/ schmaltz + crispy onion + little bits of chopped apple (this was the bomb)
        pumpkin w/ pine salt (this was pretty tasty, just sort of sweet and deep fried-ish)
        turnip w/ brown crab (this was my least favourite, the turnip was bland (i think intentionally?) but then you were meant to dip it into the brown crab which i assume was meant to be nice and rich but it was also pretty bland)
        ^^ these all came out together and we shared them

        then "mains" that we got individual portions of were -
        pear w/ cured pigs cheek + chicory (this was amazing, maybe my favourite? kind of like how you have melon w/ proscuitto. the pear had just been cooked a tiny bit to make it really sweet and the pigs cheek was sliced really thin)
        mallard w/ red cabbage and pickled elderberry (i was into this, my gf wasnt, i think the pickled elderberry were slightly bitter? they were a bit unusual)
        some white fish w/ leek puree (just well-cooked fish)

        dessert was malt icecream i think? they need to get a pastry chef or something because they obv dont care about dessert. doesnt really bother me but my gf would have preferred something a bit more exciting.

        1. re: abby d

          I returned last month and had a fantastic seaweed mussels and oyster dish, pork and the fantastic pheasant with pine salt. Was consciously not reviewing but their wine list is exceptional, the service is astonishingly friendly and the changing of the menu every week is an incredible feat.

          I'm fairly sure this will run and run until they find somewhere permanent with the odd hiatus as at the end of the March when they are off the Paris and New York.