★★★★★ | Iron Bloom, London
Iron Bloom restaurant in Shoreditch is easy to walk right past, not knowing it’s there. Well, don’t walk past, go straight in!
Iron Bloom, on Great Eastern Street, in one of the trendiest parts of London, is recognisable only by its beautiful chandelier in the large front window. Next to the window is an imposing iron door. Once you get into the restaurant, you will discover that it is cool and laid back and warm and friendly, just like the food and the staff.
The brunch menu, which was on offer on the bright sunny Saturday afternoon we went, is a potpourri of food. There are typical brunch items (French Toast, Full English Breakfast, Eggs), as well as more unique lunch items (Wild Boar, Sunday Roast Yorkshire Taco, and Spinach Pancake Fritters). The menu says that the main course plates are small dishes and that two or three dishes per person are recommended, so that is what we did, we ordered two dishes each. Boy, we were in for a surprise!
My first order was the Spinach Pancake Fritters, American style pancakes but made with spinach, with bacon and a poached egg on top, and lots of butter to substitute for syrup. They were nice and brown and delicious. While a bit pricey (£13) – I had never had pancakes made this way before. There was a hint of chilli in the fritter, but it didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the dish. My friend had the Wagyu Beef and Bone Marrow Burger with Bacon and Cheese (£15), and with the meat being Wagyu, it had to be very good, and it was, and perfectly cooked. The burger included fried onions and lettuce, with a black sesame seed bun for an extra dose of uniqueness – highly recommended. So these two dishes were main course sizes, and I was beginning to wonder if ordering second dishes was a smart move. Well, my second dish – the French Toast – was a massive portion good enough for two people! Huge Challah-style bread, with wild forest berries sprinkled all over, served with banana dairy-free ice cream & chocolate sauce – was an enormous dish. The french toast was also enormously perfect – perhaps the best looking ones I’ve ever had in London (I am American, and I know my french toast!). Chocolate Sauce is a very good substitute for syrup, though I still do prefer syrup, it was excellent and worth every pound (£14 to be exact) – highly recommended. My friend’s side dish of Crack & Cheese (the crack being a cracker of parmesan embedded into a macaroni and cheese dish consisting of brie, stilton and cheddar) was a perfect, and large, accompaniment to his burger.
All the food we ordered was just perfect. And I have to say that we left the restaurant with very full bellies!
The drinks were also very memorable! I had the Berrigroni – a drink that was light and fruity – with Put e Mes vermouth, and light syrup with an orange slice – which made for a delicious, and affordable (£10), drink. My friend loved his Bloom Sour – a twist on a Pisco Sour – with homemade pineapple, syrup, chilli bitter, lime, egg white and a sprinkling of homemade raspberry powder on top – all squashed into a petit cocktail glass. It definitely had a kick! Meanwhile, their Peruvian and Chilean coffee was perfect to end the meal with, and then we were treated to a shot each of Ammazzacafe´, a liquorice-tasting liqueur which is usually drunk after coffee. Highly recommended whether you have coffee or not.
Iron Bloom has an upstairs and a downstairs. It’s a very industrial look that fits in perfectly with the neighbourhood. There are two cosy booths upstairs that would each fit a party of 5 comfortably, while the rest is stool-style eating (for about 30 people total upstairs and perhaps a bit less downstairs, which is where the kitchen is). It’s actually very stylish and cool, as is Del the bartender, the lovely hostess and waitress Elena (Hi Elena!), and Dean the chef, a born and bred Londoner who really knows a thing or two about cooking. Thanks to the entire staff we had an amazing meal and experience. And you will too, just make sure you don’t walk past the iron door!
46 Great Eastern Street
London, EC2A 3EP
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.