Times are hard
You're afraid to pay the fee
The first rule of eating out is, always trust your instincts.
Hermano Segundo loves his Mac. Wherever he goes it’s never far away. Indeed, on the occasions when he brings one of his latest chums home, I’m sure I can hear, punctuating the debates about Uganda (or possibly the role of stemless Riedel glassware in the fine dining arena) the tippy-tappy of his notebook as he checks out how many hits Dos Hermanos have racked up. He also has a preternatural nose for WiFi connections. So it wasn’t really a surprise that when I thought he was safely on his way to Oz (watch out for the Wicked Witch, Hermano) I got an email from him suggesting a visit to a new place he had passed by the previous evening. I think the basis for his enthusiasm was the fact there was Rabbit on the menu.
Alarms bells started ringing when HS said he thought the place was called LMNT. I’d not heard great things about a restaurant with the same name in Hackney. Could this be connected ? Unfortunately it was.
For those who wish to avoid this er..eating establishment (and believe me you will) it’s in what was a dodgy old boozer called The Shakespeare’s Head located just off the Goswell Road which used to churn out, so I am told, unfeasibly large pizzas. The only external signs anything had changed was a small board scrawled with the new name. I entered into a largish restaurant completely empty save for a couple of friendly Italian waitresses, a few bored looking chefs and the James Bond theme (in a big-band stylee) blasting out of the PA. Nothing much changed over the next hour or so apart from the fact the music segued awkwardly to sad songs of the Seventies. Sung with feeling. In Italian (“Non posso vivere, se vivere è senza voi” if the Google translator is to be believed).
Everything was at a level of awfulness I have seldom come across in London (although St. Germain came close) from overcooked wood pigeon breast in a stale tasting jus through the tranche of pork belly, which had seen better days, reheated then served crackling side down (so that was the subject of all the debate in the kitchen) in the same sauce to the crappy wines. It was so bad I actually felt a bit sorry for them. I did try to point out some of the deficiencies in a helpful manner but no one seemed particularly interested. Tant Pis as our Gallic friends might say.
I politely declined a pudding and made a break for the door almost getting cut off by the sinister looking restaurant manager (think main baddie in BHC) who had suddenly appeared and seemed somewhat put out that a punter had actually come in.
The one good thing about LMNT2 is that it is just a short, run-like-the-wind-before-the MBIBHC(work it out)-gets-you, distance from the ever fantastic Vinoteca. Here you can get an interesting glass of wine, some terrific terrine (or in my case the best-ever potted shrimps) and still have change left over for a omnibus home. It’s your choice – I know which one I’m going for.