I have walked past The Jugged Hare (on Chiswell Street on the way to Barbican) many times on my way to / from yoga and had always gazed in thinking that looks like a pub with a good atmosphere. Well, big mistake not trying it out sooner!
The Jugged Hare is a lively and welcoming pub for a few drinks but the exciting part is the large restaurant area which focuses on serving delicious seasonal game dishes with a twist. The menu helpfully describes which game are in season and the chefs update the menus in accordance with the season and add their own flair to the dishes to make them more interesting and quirky.
Although the main menu has a number of game dishes, it also serves more traditional gastro pub dishes including steak and a few different fish dishes. They also have a ‘Play It Dirty‘ daily specials menu which has the quirkier dishes on – usually with lighter dishes in the summer and heavier dishes in the winter.
To start we just had to try the Squirrel Croquettes with hazelnut sauce and, oh wow, were they good. Three huge croquettes bursting with filling and flavour and the hazelnut sauce accompaniment was spot on. These are big enough to share if you want to save room for your main and dessert and very reasonably priced at £7.50.
On to the mains, we just had to try some more of the Play it Dirty specials. The All Day Breakfast caught my eye – wild boar bacon, venison sausage, pheasant leg hash browns, black pudding, fried duck egg, hedgehog mushrooms and roast grouse beans. Definitely a less traditional full English, this dish had character and more interesting flavours and I absolutely loved the pheasant leg hash browns.
Luckily for us it was Game Curry Club on Wednesday offering two choices for a twist on a curry – we opted for the Wild Boar Dopiaza – slow braised wild boar leg in a traditional onion based sauce served with pilau rice, naan bread, papadums, lime, pickle, mint raita and mango chutney. Again, a real winner.
We also had the Wild Boar and Venison Burger in a double patty but I must admit I do just prefer beef in a burger (so unadventurous!) and the Roast Brixham hake, parsley root, turnip, horseradish, crab chowder which was beautifully presented and really tasty. Oh and do not forget the Pigs in Blankets Mac n Cheese!!
Given my weakness for Sticky Toffee Pudding I just had to try it out and oh boy was I not disappointed – up there with my top 3 of all time – lathers of butterscotch sauce just made me so happy and it was so moist. The Chocolate Mousse, camp coffee and walnut ice cream was also pretty spot on!
There is an extensive wine list at The Jugged Hare with over 50 wines served by the class! If you are a wine connoisseur they also have a large selection of fine wines.
We had a fantastic evening – the staff were friendly and the food was brilliant.
East London Girl: The Jugged Hare