Untitled, Dalston: restaurant and tasting menu review
Here's why you need to head to Dalston to try Untitled bar and restaurant's exclusive, five-course Japanese-inspired tasting menu next month
What's the draw
Once a month Untitled – Tony Conigliaro's concrete emporium of art-house-hipster tropes – turns the usual Japanese-inspired fare on its head to play host to a special five-course tasting menu. Designed by executive chef Rob Roy Cameron, formerly of Michelin-starred Catalonian restaurant El Bulli, the spread is peppered with seasonal, one-off specials to be teamed with optional yet sensational drinks pairings from Conigliaro's Drink Factory team. Your forks (or chopsticks) won't follow the same course as ours, but boy will your taste buds be put to good work while you're there. This is creative fine-dining, without the commitment that comes with the likes of Roganic or Adam Handling's Frog(s), and if you're into that (but not the price tag) Untitled's monthly teaser is for you.
What to drink
Tony C's has won many an award for his unique style of 'molecular mixology', so don't expect the 12-strong cocktail list to be full of straight-forward serves. Be brave and go in for a Snow and put its potent mix of enoki mushroom vodka, white clay and chalk (yep, really) to the test or try the Eden – a lightly sparkling and subtly sweet blend of gin, fig leaf syrup and soda served in a tall glass with a cheeky penis penned on the side (no, we're not joking). Elsewhere the optional drinks pairings could see you sip on the likes of a Tantastic-like serve of rose vodka and champagne (known as a Coral Fizz) or cloudy sake with sake lees (the yeast used in its fermentation) – which, when paired with our fresher-than-fresh oysters, horseradish and lychee granita transformed from pleasantly sweet to intense and creamy, much like the milk that runs through a homemade rice pudding. Don't hold us to these pairings though, because remember, each month's menu will be different from the last.
What to eat
Not every dish on Untitled's tasting menu keeps to the one-off rule – if something goes down well it'll often stick around. Which means – you lucky thing – you can pop into the restaurant any time and melt, just as we did, over Rob's rich, caramelised yakitori sweetbread skewers with ginger pickled apple and peppery wasabi leaves. These skewers – along with our intense, coffee oil-cured strips of beef and a bowlful of miso-buttered flakey brill – might just be the best thing we ate that night, if not that month.
Tasting menu £45 per person; drinks pairing £25.45 per person. 538 Kingsland Rd, London E8 4AH; untitled-bar.com.