Date

Sept 2015

Meal

Dinner

Ordered

SMALL PLATES

  • Deep fried oysters – 3 gbp each

STARTERS

  • Quail, hazelnut pesto, remoulade & foie gras – 10 gbp
  • Scallops, coco beans & cèpes – 15 gbp x 2

MAINS

  • Plantation pork belly, turnip, forgotten carrots & pickled quince – 19 gbp

FOR SHARING

  • Ox cheek, smoked creamed potato & black pepper for 2 people – 36 gbp

ON THE SIDE

  • Cream potato – comes with the dish
  • Cauliflower & almond – 4 gbp
  • Green salad – 3.50 gbp

PUDDING

  • Vanilla tart – 7.50 gbp
  • Madeleine – Complimentary

COCKTAILS

  • Pomaberry Spritz – 10.50 gbp

Food

Complimentary bread

Complimentary bread

SMALL PLATES

Deep fried oysters – 9/10

Deep Fried Oysters

Deep Fried Oysters

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Deep fried oysters

Deep fried oysters

I was told the Deep Fried Oyster is a must. We ordered one each. I am not a big seafood/oyster fan, but this was delicious.  I expected the batter to be oily and thick. However the batter was light, and crispy.  They tasted so damn yummy! I might start falling in love with oysters now (I know, i am strange for not being in love with them already)

Quail, hazelnut pesto, remoulade & foie gras – 10/10

Quail, hazelnut pesto, remoulade & foie gras

Quail, hazelnut pesto, remoulade & foie gras

I couldn’t resist ordering this as my starter. I just couldn’t get my eyes off it on the menu, quail and foie gras, super good combo!  It didn’t look as delicious as some dishes in this meal,  however I can asure you this taste 100 times better than it looks. The quail was finely cooked and seasoned, tasted divine with the foie gras!  I wanted to order another dish straight away as my main.
Scallops, coco beans & cèpes  – N/A

Scallops, coco beans & cèpes

Scallops, coco beans & cèpes

I did not taste the scallops, but according to my friends, my quail tasted better!  The scallops were slightly small, but was still very tasty.

MAINS

Plantation pork belly, turnip, forgotten carrots & pickled quince – 9/10

Plantation pork belly, turnip, forgotten carrots & pickled quince

Plantation pork belly, turnip, forgotten carrots & pickled quince

Plantation pork belly, turnip, forgotten carrots & pickled quince

Plantation pork belly, turnip, forgotten carrots & pickled quince

The pork belly was flavorful, tender and juicy, yet the skin was super crispy.  Surprisingly the’forgotten’ carrot was not forgotten, it was probably just as tasty as the pork belly itself!

FOR SHARING

Ox cheek, smoked creamed potato & black pepper for 2 people – 10/10

Ox cheek, smoked creamed potato & black pepper

Ox cheek, smoked creamed potato & black pepper

Ox cheek, smoked creamed potato & black pepper

Ox cheek, smoked creamed potato & black pepper

The Ox Cheek is another not to be missed dish here. The meat was heavenly.  It was tender, juicy and flavorsome.  It can’t get any better,  The meat was so tender, every bite was intense.  Do remember it is for two people so the portion was big.

ON THE SIDE

Creamed potato – 10/10

Creamed potato

Creamed potato

The Ox cheek came with creamed potatoes on the side.  The potatoes were definitely creamy and soft.  Definitely a hit!

Cauliflower & almond – 7/10

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Cauliflower & almond

Green salad – 4/10

We ordered some green salad on the side and i am not too pleased with it. the salad was somehow very salty. They must have over seasoned this salad which is disappointing.

 

PUDDING

Vanilla tart – 9/10

Vanilla tart

Vanilla tart

Vanilla tart

Vanilla tart

Vanilla tart

Vanilla tart

The choices on the dessert menu didn’t really appeal to me, so I was rather sceptical with ordering the Vanilla tart. The Vanilla tart was ridiculously delicious.  Don’t expect it to be a custard egg tart, it is definitely 100% vanilla tart! It was creamy and smooth, the tart crust was crunchy but not hard. Best vanilla tart i have ever had in UK.

 

Madeleine – 10/10

Madeleine

Madeleine

Our waitress brought over madeleines after we paid our bill. These were gorgeous.  I don’t think I can find any faults in these.  They were big, fluffy yet moist.  The best is they came warm, warm madeleines!  I had to have at least one even though I was so full and satisfy!

COCKTAILS

Pomaberry Spritz – 8/10
Aperol, Lillet Blanc, elderflower, fresh pomegranate, blackberries & lemon, topped off with Prosecco

Pomaberry Spritz

Pomaberry Spritz

Pomaberry Spritz

Pomaberry Spritz

I love Spritz ever since I have had the best in Venice. The spritz here is with elderflower, and I am a slave for elderflower too.  Despite having a nice bar at the front, this cocktail didn’t impress me much, lack of alcohol and I could hardly taste elderflower here.

Ambience & Interior

Dining area

Dining area

Seats

Seats

Comfortable seats

Comfortable seats

From the outside, Merchants Tavern just looks like a normal bistro you get, especially around Shoreditch area, I must say it isn’t too eye catching.  However, once you walk inside, you will feel differently towards it.  Merchants Tavern is definitely more than a bistro but just a little less than a fine dining restaurant. Would I dress up for the next time? Yes I would. It is a place where you bring your date, a place to impress yet not feeling too pretentious.  You could come looking hip and trendy just like Shoreditch’s style and not feel out of place.  The bar and lounge seats at the front of the restaurant, with the dining area at the back.   The dining area has a high ceiling with green leather banquette seating, which I sat very comfortably for 4 hours.

Service

The staff here was incredibly helpful and humorous. I was acknowledged as soon as i walked in.  Our waitress was very patience with us and even made serveral joke.  She was actually very attentive and caring, even apologized when they made a mistake on our coffees.

Menu

Please click here for the full menu

Recommendation

  • Deep fried oysters
  • Quail, hazelnut pesto, remoulade & foie gras
  • Plantation pork belly, turnip, forgotten carrots & pickled quince
  • Ox cheek, smoked creamed potato & black pepper
  • Cream potato
  • Vanilla tart
  • Madeleine

Verdict

Merchants tavern really surprised me.  i expected it to be an average bistro with one or two awesome dishes.  Somehow all the dishes were perfectly cooked, although it would have been better if the dishes were beautifully presented too.  I loved the quail and foie gras, and the Ox cheek is still in my mind.  However the restaurant is slightly on the pricier side, I will return, maybe when on a special occasion

Would I go back again? Yes
Rating from my brain (out of 5 hearts): ♥♥♥♥ 
Rating from my heart (out of 5 hearts): ♥♥♥♥♥
Overall rating (out of 10 hearts) : ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ 9/10

Damage

The bill

The bill

Approximately 55 gbp per person with one drink each

 

Details

37-051

Merchants Tavern

36 Charlotte Road
Shoreditch
London
EC2A 3PG

Monday – Saturday
noon – 3pm
6pm – 11pm
Sunday
noon – 4pm
6pm-9pm

Reservation
Essential for dinner!

Merchants Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Square Meal