“Would you like a wish?” our waiter enquired presenting us with an edible gel palette cleanser infused with beetroot and rose essence. Sitting in the stark surrounds of Tony Coniglario’s Untitled bar this is a fitting opening to our evening.
Japanese-style sharing dishes join the menu at Untitled
7th June 2017
Tony Conigliaro’s Untitled bar in Dalston, Hackney, introduces a new menu of Japanese-inspired sharing dishes created by executive chef Rob Roy Cameron
Taking its design cues from Andy Warhol’s the silver factory, the bar’s concrete and silver-foiled walls serve to – like the palette cleanser – bring the flavours of each meticulously created drink to the fore. And it is in this spirit that Untitled’s new restaurant menu has been devised. Developed by executive chef Rob Roy Cameron, the new menu comprising of small tapas-like Japanese-inspired sharing dishes, is characterised by clean, sharp flavours chosen to complement the robust cocktail menu.
As the cocktails are made from a host of unusual ingredients such as white clay, chalk, pine and beeswax, the cuisine is paired-back working enhance the surprising flavours of the drinks. Reflecting the cocktail list, not every ingredient in each plate is listed on the menu, so consumers are kept guessing.
Made for sharing, the new dishes include tart plates such as miso tomatoes with yuzu zest and fermented radishes with shio. Predominantly vegetarian, the menu plays with texture as well as flavour. Edemame beansare grilled to give them more body before being smothered in a sticky bulldog sauce, and normally slippery seaweed is served crispy battered and deep-fried before being sprinkled with mushroom powder.
Meaty options are limited to just two plates including a well-balanced cured duck dish drizzled with liquorice and mustard seeds and a melt-in-the-mouth glazed beef rib.
Perhaps the most surprising element of the menu is the play between sweet and savoury. Pickled peaches are served alongside the radish dishes, tangy yet syrupy they are grounded with a scattering of dried seaweed and wild chervil. While the unassumingly named ‘aubergine’ dish baked with miso and topped with hazelnuts is so sweet that it would perhaps be better placed on the dessert menu. But, sampled alongside the equally eclectic cocktail menu the dishes work, their flavours delicate enough to support those in the cocktails without being lost.
The drinks themselves deserve a mention. Each presented in a different vessel, they are made to take centre stage. The 'violin' cocktail that is served in a tulip glass that mimics the instrument’s curved form recreates the sweet woody aromas of the violin with dark oak, pine, beeswax, benzoin and black pepper vodka. The distilled matcha cocktail ‘green’ comes served in a stout ceramic mug, and the ‘snow’ cocktail made from white clay, chalk and enoki vodka is presented in a clear coupe. Designed to recreate the feeling of a snowflake melting on your tongue. The old-fashioned like 'gonzo' made from dark caramel, buckwheat and ambrette tequila is well-worth ordering too.
For those with a sweet tooth, the dessert menu is small but well formed. Petit fours-style mini sesame mochies, pillowy yuzu marshmallows and bursting drops of chocolate in sweet tempura batter are an indulgent way to finish accompanied by a final nightcap.
The sharing menu launched on the 4th May and is available for dinner from 5-10 pm Tuesday to Sunday.