LOTI EATS | THE DRUNKEN BUTLER
Chef Yuma Hashemi, who’s worked everywhere from Berlin to San Francisco, settled in Clerkenwell a couple of years ago with his restaurant The Drunken Butler. It’s taken us a while to get around to visiting but after trying Yuma’s amazing Persian feast menu at an event recently, we were keen to check out the restaurant itself.
On Sundays, The Drunken Butler serves its classic Persian menu, a set menu at £55. If you’re unfamiliar with Persian food and you fancy trying something a bit different on a Sunday, we suggest you check this out.
In the evenings, The Drunken Butler has more of an international flavour, with a mix of French, Persian and Vietnamese flavours across the menu as well as lots of fermenting, smoking and preserving. It’s a tasting menu set up, with the option of a short version for £49, and a longer one for £69 with wine pairings at £39 and £55 respectively.
We went for the shorter version, kicking off with two fresh Irish oysters dressed in quite unusual ways: one with sweet strawberry and the other with a Vietnamese-inspired dressing similar to nuoc cham, and they both worked perfectly. A grilled scallop was next out, served with a little spoon of fresh caviar and another bowl containing thin slices of raw scallop in a citrus dressing.
Grilled aubergine, with fermented buttermilk and smoked mackerel might not sound like a combo that works, but we loved it. The aubergine was rich and smoky like a baba ganoush but the strong mackerel flavour was more than a match for it. A beautiful pink lamb cutlet with crisp skin was served simply with some grilled cabbage, but the standout was a little side dish of soft lamb shoulder with peas, mint and tahini. We finished up with a very moreish sliver of chocolate ganache on a thin pastry base, paired up with a pineapple sorbet.
The food at Drunken Butler is genuinely interesting and for us, everything worked really well. It’s a beautiful cosy room too, with big tables and an open kitchen that make you feel as if you’re in someone’s house. At £49 it’s excellent value for cooking of this quality so if you’re looking for something a bit different, we can really recommend giving this place a go.
20 Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4SX