The newest addition to the flourishing East and a great proponent of the whole casual dining contrasted by a classy climate thing, Bones, a cosy rotisserie definitely beats supermarket chicken and greasy spoons.
Thankfully, Bones takes bare-boned (sorry…) industrial decor and adds a few flourishes to push it slightly further up the luxe ladder than a lot of new ventures that only go as far as exposing brick and leaving floors un-tiled. On entry you get that warm, enveloping feeling that candlelight and burgeoning love give you, yet, despite visiting on Valentines Day, the coolness of the concrete bar with the open-plan kitchen completely visible behind, leaves you with just enough ‘contemporary’ to take the edge off the ‘cosy’.
Wood panelling and beamed ceilings are always good, as are oversized bulbs and clear light fittings (for that romantic yet vibrant illumination). Downstairs you’ll be greeted by a fluorescent flamingo, soft geometry, nude booths and low-hanging lights. The tables are set for an intimate dinner date and the pale mosaics along the walls nicely contrast the raw masculinity upstairs.
The organic ‘The Grocery’ next door has been around for a little while and this adjoining restaurant also champions fresh, seasonal foods is an extension of owners Joss, Simeon and Simon’s concept of healthy yet hearty eating. The starter of Pan-fried chicken livers with Oloroso sherry and smoked paprika could have been a little heavier on the heat but was a rich and creamy way to start off a chicken dinner without overdoing it with the poultry. If you would prefer to steer clear from chicken to make room for a rotisserie main then go for the Ceviche of sea bass with grapefruit foam or the Pan-fried artichoke hearts with paprika and truffle aioli.
For the main event you can choose between the quarter, half or whole chicken, with a side of fries, roast potatoes, salad or fine green beans & parmesan. The beans were as good as I’ve ever tasted this simple combo and the potatoes were a perfectly fluffy sponge for excess roast chicken juices beckoning from the bottom of the chicken’s enamel dish. The chicken itself was good, not the attention-grabber expected but we had no complaints.
If you’re not going for the £17 set menu of any starter, quarter rotisserie chicken and any side then roam free around Bones’ short but sweet menu that despite focusing on the chicken, has a variety of intriguing eats like Pigeon breast salad with toasted hazelnuts vegetable crisps and aged balsamic, ‘Spiced Rice” — Medjadarah rice and lentil pilaf with sweet fried onions or Chickpeas and smoked morcilla with honey and paprika cured pork loin.
The dearest item available is the ’3 days marinated bavette steak’ and even this high class number comes in at only £14, leaving financial freedom for one of the ‘bite size’ options of Crispy pigs ears with homemade tartare sauce or Soft quails eggs with sea salt and toasted cumin. Ingredients and stylish simplicity are reflective of the business’s core and good for casually sharing across the wood grain tables.
I highly recommend pairing your meal with a cocktail – they’re not on the menu but are made by the hands of a tall, dark and handsome mixologist with an encyclopedic knowledge of liquor and a scientific accuracy for getting a drink just right. I sampled a rum and pineapple punch served in a martini glass, it had no name but was definitely deserving of praise.
52 Kingsland Road
020 7033 9008
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