Marksman – a chef’d up boozer in Hackney get’s Michelin’s pub of 2017

The Marksman in Hackney opens in May of 2015 by two veterans in the game, Tom Harris and Jon Rotheram – both former chefs of St John. Before teaming up at the Marksman Harris had a run at  the now defunct One Leicester Street, while Jon Rotheram was the executive chef at at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen. The refurbished pub will bring the best of British food with wines of the world along with a healthy choice of ales.

Downstairs is a proper old boozer.

Upstairs seems to have good consistency with dark mahogany tables and matching chairs. 

A simple menu is always a good thing.

Quinta De Fao Mateus from Portugal £37. It’s full bodied and very sweet. Probably too rich for me, it’s all subjective of course but if you prefer them less rich then this isn’t for you.

This starter was on the specials – ‘crumbed puff ball mushroom, sous vide egg, Tamworth cured pork shoulder’ – this was the description we received and it was pretty apt! The crumb as crisp as you like akin to the panko variety which it probably was and that delicious savoury cured ham could have rubbed shoulders with the finest Jamón Ibérico!

Beef & Barley bun, horseradish £5. The bun chewy bun is the perfect little vessel to carry the intensely flavoured mince, slather with that fluffy horseradish cream – it is oven baked magnificence.

Cheese fritters £3.20 – crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside – they disappeared very quickly!

Treacle cured Tamworth belly, green onion and beer mustard £15. The flavour in the tender pork was stunning and it was easily the best of the mains. I’d order this again.

Spring greens & garlic.

Fried potatoes, burnt onion mayo £4. The potato mille feuille styled and deep fried into glorious crispy things to behold, all was all delicious from the craggy edges to the centre.

Chicken and girolle pie £34. The chicken filling had depth in flavour as did that thin crispy pastry. Considering it was a pie it was surprisingly light. In my humble opinion the filling could have been reduced more to intensify the flavour.

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Deserts –

Chocolate ice cream & salted toffee sandwich £7. As you can see it’s super rich, that goes for the ice cream and that brittle toffee sandwich and piped toffee sauce.

The verdict:
When did I go? Sept 2016
The damage: Expect to pay £60-£70 per head with drinks.
The good: The food here, I gather is meant to be simple, pure and nourishing. It was a delicious experience with precise cooking you’d find in white table clothed establishments. The beef & barley bun is a compulsory order as are the fried potatoes.
The bad: The pie albeit good was underwhelming in comparison to the other dishes.
Rating: 3.5/5
Would I go again? Yes
Address: 254 Hackney Rd, London E2 7SJ
020 7739 7393

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