Tonic & Remedy, Hoxton
Across the ground and mezzanine floors of a futuristic looking city hotel, M by Montcalm; sleek, trippy architectural angles make a dramatic first impression as you approach. The Tonic & Remedy concept is a nod to Shoreditch as a historical home to apothecaries, which makes for drinking and eating with a dash of theatrics. It’s a city slick style of venue, which may not be your usual manoeuvre but the imagination and panache of the drinks and small plates make it worth the trip.
Start with a Lady Marmalade champagne cocktail enriched with jamminess or the Summer Negroni, playfully served to your table via a spritzer and tasting pretty as a summer’s day – it’ll leave you just as heady (and perhaps with the warm glow) so order some small plates. Smoked eel, jelly and scones are excitingly good. G&T cured salmon and treacle bread were fresh, light and special. The chicken liver parfait, rhubarb chutney and toasted brioche is a decadent treat. After food, go for a cocktail like the Salted Jimador: not too sweet, deliciously balanced and with a marshmallow foam, as an alternative to dessert. Finish with the Mys-Erious Sazerac; this evocatively mists up as the waiter pours the drink mix from an apothecarial vessel over a freeze-dried candy floss bundle.
Use the drinks menu to woo your date with a bit of magic (menu headings include ‘Elixirs’, ‘Relievers’ and ‘Potions’). Talk about the cocktails with the staff – they’re narrators well versed in the story of your menu. State your preferences but make fun with your date’s choices and try each other’s. Order the exciting, theatrical drinks to enliven your conversation. Work your way through the menu because this is very special eating and drinking. Of course, it’s attached to a hotel too should things go really well.
Although the menu of mixology and gastronomy is inventive and quirky – the initial vibe is very slick and belies the uniqueness of what’s being concocted inside.