★★★★★ | Victory Mansion
Dalston is a hive of Kabob shops, loud bars and clubs, and lots and lots of Turkish supermarkets. But a bit further north in Stoke Newington is a place that stands out on Stoke Newington High Street just down the road from the local Wetherspoons – it’s Victory Mansion.
Victory Mansion is both a restaurant and a bar and is doing things a bit different, delicious and decadent, than most, if not all, of the places on this side of town.
Victory Mansion, named after a mansion block that used to be on this site, is a restaurant/bar that intertwines its food and drinks with literature to create an amazing and memorable experience.
Victory Mansion, first off, has an absolutely amazing cocktail menu that’s practically scientific in its design. There’s an amazing array of drinks, drinks that are named after characters in famous books. There’s the Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye), a drink includes Aylesbury duck vodka, lillet rose, raspberry, apple and soda and the Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird) which has Wild turkey bourbon, plum sake, lychee, lime, chilli & peach bitters and ginger, among many others. We had a few of the others – one was the Patrick Bateman (American Psycho) which was a superbly delicious blend of Calle 23 tequila, banana and chocolate wine – it needs to be tasted to be believed! If you like it sweet, and who doesn’t, then please try the Henry Chinaski (the literary alter ego of Charles Bukowski) which was blended with Plantation pineapple rum, cognac, limoncello and pineapple sugar – it’s so sweet and so good. Victory Mansion’s cocktail menu is like a book, and I recommend you read it from cover and cover and sample as many as you can. It’s is an absolute standout menu.
But it’s not just the drinks where Victory Mansion is king, it’s their new Ta-Ko menu, introduced a month ago, that’s also a standout.
There are so so many choices of tacos (or as they would like to call them Ta-Ko) that you’ll be spoiled for choice. I highly recommend their Crispy Cauliflower, black bean & tamarind ragu with avocado and pepper mayo. It’s crunchy and is absolutely delicious. The charred sprouting broccoli & spring onion is also a standout – it sits in a nice dollop of salted duck egg relish for a creamy delight. Both the Nahm jim chicken and the Palm Sugar glazed beef short rib are deliciously filled – the chicken with pickles, crispy onions and mayo – and the short rib with pickled watermelon and blackberry sriracha, which were a burst of flavours in the mouth. All their Asian-inspired tacos are so good they really need to be tried. And while they are not Mexican-style (i.e. large) tacos, if you order several of them they will quickly fill you up. Each flavour comes with two tacos – so perfect for sharing for two so that you both are able to try each one. Other tacos that we didn’t get to try, but no doubt probably just as delicious as the ones we had include tacos with Blackened river trout, torched seabream, red pepper pork neck as well as one with fermented yellow bean leas, halloumi, sweet potato and mustard relish – it’s one I would definitely go back for. As a matter of fact, I would go back to Victory Mansion for pretty much the entire experience again. My dining companion and I enjoyed everything so so much, we want to go back again, and next time bring more friends. It’s just that kind of place, warm, hip but not trying to be, knowledgeable and very friendly staff, it just ticks all the boxes. Even the prices – those amazing cocktails previously mentioned go for between £8 to £10 each, and the Ta-Ko’s range in price from £3.50 to £4 and their absolute must sides (Asian cole slaw, charred corn, shredded beetroot, and MSG fries – basically Nori friend potatoes that are a must), all go for between £3 to £4 each. So there you go, all the above are reasons why you should go to Victory Mansion – what are you waiting for?
Victory Mansion does a 2 for 1 – 12 pm to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday Brunch where you get brunch Ta-Ko’s and £5 brunch cocktails.
There is also a basement that is perfect for private birthdays or dinner parties, for 30 – 70 guests.
18 Stoke Newington High Street
London N16 7PL
Tuesday – Thursday
5 pm – 1 am
5 pm – 2 am
Noon – 2 am
Tuesday – Friday
6 pm – 11 pm
Saturday and Sunday
12 pm – 5 pm
6 pm – 11 pm
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.