Far Rockaway, Shoreditch
When you think of America, which words come to mind? Huge? In your face? Unapologetic? Super-size? Yeah, that. Far Rockaway is quite a bit of that. However, Far Rockaway is also New York cool – urban, fun, loft-like and bursting with fruit flavour. Well suited to its location on Curtain Road in Shoreditch, ‘the heart of the creative district’, we both really enjoyed our evening here. The layout is labyrinthine with several different nooks to explore, the drinks list is fun and expertly executed, the pizza hits the ball out of the park and the walls are plastered with conversation starters. If you come here and the conversation dries up, ditch the date. STAT. The staff are passionate and friendly about this quirky hang out and once you’ve spent an hour here, you start to see why.
The buzzword here is fun. House creation cocktails are a good way to start the evening. The ‘Stairway to Heaven’ (Tanqueray gin, Limoncello, peach liqueur, strawberry, lime and lengthened with bubby) and Purple Haze (Pinky vodka, pomegranate and cassis liqueurs, cranberry, lime and finished with a flamed orange peel) have our stamp of approval. The ‘Lithium’ (Stoli Vanilla, Manzana verde, lime and sugar spiked with Pink champagne) and ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ (Finlandia smothered melon, hints of Xante pear and vanilla lemonade) almost finished us off. I didn’t have the nerve to try the indulgent Peanut Butter Cup; comes garnished with a Reese’s peanut butter cup and as the menu says, ‘gym membership not included.’ Nom nom.
There are also Milkshakes: peanut butter, banana, Oreo in addition to the regular flavours. Craft beers by the bottle, draught beers, draught cocktails – yuhuh, you heard me correctly. I think you are getting the picture. Food-wise, it is typical US fare here: 18” pizzas made to share, corn dogs, mac ‘n’ cheese and curly fries. It’s a bit of a laugh to split portions with your date. Just don’t take it all too seriously, ya?
We visited on a week night and it was chucking it down outside. My date and I were both in need of a stiff drink. The bar man got onto preparing our order quickly. Soon, the rain and the tough day sailed off on a sea of vodka. The bright, neon interior is quite something to behold – pure escapism: the lounge we were in had a ceiling made from skateboards, there are Marvel comic references everywhere you turn and the set pieces are real talking points. We enjoyed the cabinet of mini Star Wars figurines, the comic book library and the actual prop from the Super Girl movie. If you do as we did and come mid-week, you can have something yummy to drink, share some nosh and enjoy the chilled vibe. Come later in the week, a Thursday or a Friday, for more buzz and more people if that’s your date thang. We’re old and like to be able to hear ourselves think.
It has a tendency to get busy and may be full to the brim. Go early to avoid disappointment.
3. Leave your specs on, let your inner nerd come out and let your hair down. You might be surprised.