Cub, a Delicious Hoxton Hotspot with a Conscience…
March 27, 2018
Cub has been on my restaurant hit list ever since it opened in September last year. I had frequented this space often, when it was called the White Lyan, otherwise referred to as “The Fat Duck” of cocktail bars. It is my opinion that here you will truly find the most delicious and innovative cocktails in London – the Beeswax Old Fashioned is my absolute all-time favourite. We were relieved to discover the bar is still going strong, it has just been aptly renamed Super Lyan and now resides the floor below, allowing Cub to take centre stage.
This “sustainable restaurant” concept is the brainchild of both Ryan Chetiyawardana – one of the world’s best mixologists and founder of Dandelyan (currently ranked as the best bar in the world), and Doug McMaster, chef at and owner of Britain’s first zero-waste restaurant Silo. Cub’s staff were very passionate about what is stands for – sustainability driven from producer to plate. In real terms, knowing where and how all ingredients are grown and putting them together to carry through their provenance. This is a trend that sees no let-up in momentum as the world is becoming more aware of its environmental issues and challenges.
The aperitif was a small glass of Krug, turned on its head with a water jelly sunk at the bottom of the glass. It questions the idea of drinking a straight glass of fizz that we all know the sensory pleasure of – juxtaposing with a herbal, cloying finish. It was interesting to say the least, although you couldn’t help feeling some of the Krug subtleties were lost with the textural journey. The opener prompted some debate – as a Krug lover it was difficult not to want a straight, ice cold glass. But then again, that’s why people go to Cub; to explore and experiment.
The “10 course” menu is secretly deceptive with its descriptions. You can’t work out what you are getting. We saw candied beetroot, ‘bones’ (which was a delicious bone broth), something called Monk’s Beard (which was much better than what springs to mind); it was the dish of the meal. A particular type of mushroom with an underlying broth, finished with a sprinkling of blood orange titbits. One dish was a cup of tea! Not the typical ‘builders’, but something called ’Rare Tea’.
The menu is so difficult to predict in fact, what you think would be savoury or sweet seemed to come out the other way. A barley miso, rhubarb and quinoa we predicted would be savoury, and it arrived at our table sweet. An ice cream style block, a topping a miso reduction to a salty, sticky molasses style consistency, and the quinoa was a simple sprinkling to add crunch. A bit like salted caramel, for the hipsters, ‘obvs.’
The restaurant is just full of quirky delights; the gold-flecked countertops are fashioned from upcycled yoghurt pots (designed by Juliet Walmsley), the bartenders and waitresses take it in turns to present the courses, and they face off against the traditional A La Carte or paired menu experience, they serve you a drink then dish, drink then dish. Only one part of the meal actually came with an accompanied libation. This reflects their belief in the artistic nature of the cocktails, reaffirming that the drinks are almost as important as the food.
Cub offers you the ideal sensory discovery without the guilty conscience. You can kick back and relax knowing that the staff have only chosen the most delicious and sustainable items available, leaving you with a satisfied stomach and mind!
To sample the experience, it costs £55 per person and you need to book ahead.
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Lara Buckle
Photo Credit: Kim Lightbody