Disco Bistro EC4

It seems that the latest thing when cooking in London is a residency. This is where the pop-up becomes the slightly-more-stable-but-not-quite-a-restaurant-yet happens and I thinks it’s a great idea. Most pubs in London have an upstairs room, often this will have a kitchen attached. Such places were the mainstay in feeding city workers before the advent of the sandwich bar or the now ubiquitous street food. As custom for a simple, three courses, set price, pay with luncheon vouchers, meal failed many of these rooms started to serve often indifferent Thai food. I’ve no idea why but you would see signs for Sate and Pad Thai outside the most Dickensian of dives. Naturally many of the rooms now lie empty and a simple arrangement where a chef in need of a kitchen and a pub in need of a taker for the spare room has ensued.

The Rising Sun on Carter Street, one of those streets close to St Paul’s Cathedral that at once has you back in Pepys’s London, did serve Thai food but as I never ate there I can’t comment on it’s quality what I can say is that the new incumbent Carl Clarke is a cut about the ordinary and his food more than one cut above the mundane.

I first met Carl at his Shorditch pop up The English Laundrette. It was my first experience of a pop-up restaurant and it was quite brilliant, with good food that was both witty and well cooked, and clever styling. A lasting memory is of Dot Cotton’s face whirling round in a washing machine projected onto the back wall. Two things happened after that meal: the first that I found out quite quickly that not all Pop-ups are as good as English Laundrette and the second, that I found Carl was a highly regarded chef with an integrity that I warmed too. I wouldn’t want you to think that this was love, I really do believe that foraging will be short lived but still………..

I missed God Save The Clam, Carl’s Diamond Jubilee clam bake on the roof of a building overlooking Victoria Park, but was there for the press night of Disco Bistro EC4 which is now in residency upstairs at the Rising Sun. The room is simple with wonderful lights, and on the night I was there, great music. We ate a selection of dishes from both the upstairs and the bar menus, for the Sun has been clever enough to bring the great food down to the bar as snacks. And what snacks they will be! Anyone for a lobster corn dog or a cheddar and apple doughnut?

We had native shrimps, Dexter beef so good I still dream about it, brown bread toast cream with rose hip jelly and much, much more. I sat next to Howard Marks @OfficialMrNice. It’s not everyday you eat great food, while listening  to good music, sitting next to someone who spent seven or so years in a federal prison for drug smuggling and where, seated just along the table, is a beautiful young girl who has angel wings tattooed on her shoulders.

I can’t guarantee the company will be quite as exciting next time but I’m pretty sure the food will rock.



Disco Bistro EC4 61 Carter Lane; EC4V 5DY; 07709 470325



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