We Tried The New Wood-Fired Menu By An Ex-Oren Chef At This East London Rooftop Restaurant

There I was, on a Tuesday evening, eating arancini a couple of floors above an ex-prison cell of a former Victorian police station that these days exists as a sultry cocktail bar. “You can still see the tunnel where they used to take people to the magistrates,” our waiter exclaimed, egged on by the horror in my eyes.

However, I didn’t come for historical titbits (though I greatly appreciated them). I was here to bypass the subterranean bar, ground floor liquor store and independent cinema, all the way up spiralling steps to dine at TT's restaurant and rooftop. Newly revamped and sporting a wood-fired menu from head chef Sam Lone of Oren fame, it's hot on the Kingsland Road block.  

TT Restaurant And Rooftop Kingsland Road Review | DesignMyNight

A TT-totally great time. 

Surrounding me were Scandi-inspired interiors: wooden booths kitted out with plush cushions, vines winding around beams and golden, dangling orbs of light around every corner. Chunks of logs were piled up in unassuming nooks and looking out you could see illuminated city skyscrapers which felt worlds apart from my cosy surrounds.

My dinner date and I sipped cocktails from a seasonal list that featured a lot of homemade syrups. A Venetian Spritz (£11) was my poison, made up of a select aperitivo, which judging by its vibrant red appearance I could have guessed at being Campari, prosecco and London essence soda. It was incredibly mellow and refreshing in contrast to my friend’s Dilla Instinct (£12) which was sweet and herbal, thanks to a drop of St Germain Elderflower liqueur.

I was excited to delve into the plates we’d ordered, mainly because I love a creative vegetable dish and the smoked oyster mushrooms with Burford brown egg yolk (£10) did not disappoint. I’d eaten similar variations of this in my time but something about the addition of confit garlic uplifting the umami flavour sent me into food heaven, so much so that I devoured the entire plate.

TT Restaurant And Rooftop London Review | DesignMyNight

Expect Scandi-vibes and pretty views at this rooftop spot.

This was fine because my friend wholeheartedly embraced the grilled cauliflower (£10) of which I was only able to snatch a nibble. Moreishly creamy, thanks to the whipped river of ricotta and pumpkin seed pesto surrounding it, I got a glimpse of what was a spectacular way to dress this humble flower.

While she cut in half a tender, juicy lamb kofte (£17.50), I sliced open a smoked haddock and Montgomery cheddar arancina (£3.50 each). Steaming hot and fluffy on the inside, the golden crumbs dissolved in my mouth and waves of smokey fish and mild, gooey cheese followed leaving me with the urge to order more, but refraining with the knowledge that I had just eaten a questionable amount of egg yolk for one person. 

Two cold dishes that captured my attention (and stomach) were the burnt aubergine (£12) alongside brown butter yoghurt, topped off by a scattering of pomegranate seeds and almonds, as well as the citrus salad (£6) with house tajin. The former was something special; the wood-fired cooking technique had made the vegetables' flesh so tender and, immersed in a pool of thick yoghurt, complemented by the sweetness of the pomegranate, it was yet another addictive plate.

TT Restaurant And Rooftop London Menu | DesignMyNight

Smokin' hot: the wood-fired menu is utterly delicious. 

I couldn’t place the salad as it was a far cry from anything I’d ever had before - chunks of grapefruit were sliced and arranged in a sphere, drizzled with a mix of molasses and chillies. When I popped a piece in my mouth its juices burst open and instead of the sour aftertaste I anticipated, my tastebuds were met with nothing but vinegary sweetness. In stark contrast to this light side, we ended our savoury feast by dipping slim-cut fries (£4) in a modest pot of confit garlic aioli.

Somehow, we had room for dessert and I’m glad we did as the sticky toffee pudding with crème fraiche (£9.50) sent me to a nostalgic, special place. I hadn’t had a treat like that since childhood; it was the type of sponge that was chunky to cut, drenched in a golden caramel sauce but still allowed the sharpness of raisin to occasionally cut through. We cleared our plates and when our waiter came to take away the final dishes, even he couldn’t help but muse “mmm, yummy”.

DesignMyNight Digest

The TT restaurant and rooftop menu was worth travelling east for - innovative and incredibly smoky, I loved how elevated the vegetarian dishes were, on par with the meat. I’d return in a heartbeat as it was one of the top spaces in London I’ve been to that offers both pretty city views and an upscale food menu for a fraction of the price. If I took a date here, they’d be seriously impressed. Which reminds me…

  💰 The damage: £100 for two, excluding service charge.

  📍  The location: 17 Kingsland Road, E2 8AA.

  👌 Perfect for: Date night with a view or cosy, summer evenings with friends.

 ⭐ Need to know: The roof is retractable so you can still dine there in winter months.


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