Dinner at Wringer + Mangle, HackneyWhere
13-18 Sidworth Street
I didn’t realise it at the time of booking the dinner, but Wringer + Mangle was the first venue I visited after landing back in the UK following a year and a half hiatus from my beloved London. I turned up to my friend’s surprise birthday party horrendously jetlagged and struggled to sip on delicious cocktails from ridiculously big jugs. It’s all a bit hazy, but I remember hoping I would return when I was settled back to UK time.
I had far less of a foggy head during my second attempt and last night was joined by a couple of good friends for dinner and drinks. As soon as I arrived, I recognised the outside seating area immediately and plodded past to enter the huge loft style dining room, which stretched as far as the eye could see.
The space felt quiet for 7pm on a Thursday night and I hoped it would get busier as we walked towards our table at the end of the restaurant.
Since I have far superior timekeeping skills than my friends, I asked the manager to surprise me with a gin based cocktail. She obliged and brought across her personal favourite, The Pre Wash, a delectably sweet mixture of Bombay Sapphire, gin-infused cucumber, topped with cucumber and cardamom foam. You have to applaud the guys who came up with the cocktail names, most of which follow the ‘laundry’ theme that encompasses the whole venue (there is also a club below called The Laundry). It’s fun and puns full of undercrackers, drawers and frothy cleanliness were rife all night on our table.
One cocktail down, one friend arrived and we ordered starters. Standing proud at the top of the list was the Steak Tartare – I didn’t even look at any other starters before I ordered and was surprised and ever so slightly envious of Andrew who ordered the Pear, Walnut, Cashel Blue and Chicory salad. I was right to be envious, as my steak tartare had a bit too much mustard for my liking – I pretended not to care, but was longingly looking at Andrew’s salad out of the corner of my eye.
Mains were ordered when Seth finally arrived (hurrah) and we didn’t have to wait long before our mains were served. Two of us ordered the Pork Cheeks with Mash and Seasonal Greens and the veggie of the group had Westcombe Ricotta + Squash Rotolo. The pork cheeks were the winning dish of the night in my opinion and both plates were wiped clean. The veggie finished his, but proclaimed that it hadn’t filled a hole; nothing a bit of dessert couldn’t fix.
The chocolate tart was huge and I might even go so far as to say it was too big. I know, I’m sorry, I won’t say that again. Maybe it was my fault for having already eaten two courses, olives and pork scratchings! Size aside, it was everything I could have ever wanted from a chocolate tart – rich, smooth and creamy with a buttery pastry.
I left Wringer + Mangle with ‘Hang me up to dry’ by Cold War Kids running around my head like a child who had just OD’d on chocolate tart. Even today the puns are circling – what does that tell me? That these guys are onto something with their fun word plays on laundry related frothiness. Will I go back? For the cocktails, for sure. For the food? Well, I’ll definitely give the brunch a go. Until next time.
A 3 course meal for two with 2 cocktails costs around £120