Brick Lane; rich with creativity, culture and art, there’s always something exciting, unusual or interesting popping up in this East London hotspot. But what about dinner? There’s one such restaurant bar that I’ve happily come to know in the area recently, and that’s Hopscotch.
The Venue and Atmosphere
Hopscotch brings a fun and contemporary, 1960’s-esque style dining room to the heart of East London; the room’s dark wooden floor and furnishings are brightened up by a fresh lick of white, while chic palm tree prints on the walls, copper nods and low hanging ceiling lights create an ambient and relaxed vibe. Minimalist-led staples? They’ve got it all here.
Bold in choice and style, the open kitchen brings about an inclusive feel, welcoming us in as hungry guests while families, friends and couples watched the dishes come together courtesy of cool and (from what we’d find out) perfectly timed chefs. The staff were just as cool and friendly, offering suggestions and having a quick chit-chat in between serving. Not forgetting the space found below the dining room, this a super trendy, contemporary New York style drinking den with splashes of contemporary artwork and dim lighting - a great, after dinner lounging space.
The Food and Drink
Brick Lane is commonly known for its bagels and plethora of Indian restaurants, yet amongst those is Hopscotch, turning its skilled hand to modern British dishes with a twist. The menu brings together classic British ingredients with notable influences from the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Ingredients like a simple scallop are rejuvenated with charred corn, fennel & garlic sausage, green pil pil, chilli butter (£11) and the simple cabbage is dressed up in miso butter, parmesan, togarashi, giving this initially bland vegetable a spicy kick and moreish flavours. The menu is designed to be ordered in a tapas style fashion, 2 or 3 per person, to share or not to share. Arriving as and when the dishes are prepared keeps the pace laidback and allows greater savouring of each of the dishes, especially needed if ordering the Beef Short Rib of master stock, horseradish, butter-pickled onions (£10). The juices from the meat and vegetables created the most divine gravy to soak the tender strips of beef before each mouthful
The drinks are not so much of the classics (although these can be ordered), and draw on a mix of local and global influences to concoct the final cocktail list, including a Hopscotch’ing mix of ginger, whisky, IPA, citrus and the ‘Brick Lane Swizzle’ of dark rum, banana falernum, lime (cocktails all priced at £9). The cocktails that took our liking were the ‘Mexican Breakfast’, a beautifully smooth and fruity mix of spiced peach, apricot, lemon, tequila, egg white and the ‘Musketeer’ with a stronger mix of cognac, rye, bitter, to sip alongside dinner. While not sharing a massive sweet tooth between us, we couldn’t leave without trying a liquid alternative to dessert - the 24 Carat Colada to share. A creamy, balanced mix of pineapple, coconut water, yuzu, blend of rum and sunshine vibes(750ml/£18), this is served in a large crowd pleasing golden pineapple.
Looking for a bite to eat, and a cheeky cocktail amongst the diverse array of restaurants and bars within the trendy Shoreditch/Bethnal Green crowd? Search no more, as Hopscotch definitely adds that extra pizzazz to the usual British menu, owing to a dining experience that won’t disappoint.