Maybe it’s because I’m constantly inundated with news about Silicon Roundabout and Tech City and everything else related to being an entrepreneur in the U.K… but whenever someone asks me where to go, I’m like “Shoreditch?”
Case in point: my parents were hungry, there was nothing around where we were and, since we happened to be on the Overground line, I said “Hey, I bet there’s food in Shoreditch!” That was silly of me.
I mean, there IS food in Shoreditch (I took my mom and aunt to Jamie Oliver’s 15 there back in September), but most of the places around the Shoreditch Overground station are… well… very young. Hipsters and the occasional stupid teenage punks who like to throw trash at you to prove to themselves they are bad ass. Plus, the whole vibe is all industrial and/or graffiti’d – which is pleasant enough for me since it reminds me of my days living in Bushwick, Brooklyn, but which my parents associate with petty theft and assault.
Anyhow, they weren’t impressed with the neighborhood. Thankfully, they WERE impressed with where we finally sat down to eat.
Phew! Thank you Mason & Taylor.
Mason & Taylor is a craft beer bar that has a lovely if limited menu. I’d gone here before for a tech entrepreneur drink event and remembered it being a really nice atmosphere. When we went this time, it was uncrowded enough for us to get a seat, but crowded enough to feel like we were really out and about somewhere. They started the night off by bringing us a trio of beer tasters to see what we’d like. I chose the Porter, my mom (tickled by the thought of beer tasters) got a Lager.
Our three dishes for the night were: The Smoked Fish Plate – mackerel, eel and trout fillet with horseradish cream and a caper salad. It was yum!
Then there was the Dublin Chowder – a whole smorgasbord of seafood in broth. We were a little surprised, being more used to New England chowders, that the broth was so thin… but it was good to dip bread into! And oh my god, was there a lot of seafood to get through.
And finally, for a little extra healthiness: Roasted Portabello on top of Sweet Potato mash. This was absolutely divine. It was good enough to convince my mom that maybe eating vegetarian food for dinner wasn’t a bad idea. I could sing its praises forever, but instead all I will do is post this slightly fuzzy picture of this amazing dish. Sorry, it was really dark in there.
Mason & Taylor mixes up their menu constantly, so there’s no guarantee that any of these dishes could be ordered the next time you go there. But as examples, these dishes are good enough to give me faith in the M&T cooks – it’s great to not only taste some awesome local beers, but to have something delicious to eat with them.
Mason & Taylor // 51-55 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA // telephone: 020 7749 9670