Beard To Tail, Shoreditch
Beard To Tail. A rather gory restaurant name that refers to making use of every cut of meat possible in the kitchen – and almost put us off visiting altogether.
Lucky for us, a good friend had praised this Shoreditch (where else?) establishment so highly that we overlooked the moniker and made a booking, anticipating excellent meat and heady bourbon cocktails. To say we weren’t disappointed would be a colossal understatement – this restaurant doesn’t just serve meat, it lives and breathes it. And the bourbon? We’re converts.
Entering the hipster haven that is Curtain Road, we were expecting the usual Shoreditch scenesters to be propping up the bar at BTT, the latest venture from the lovely people behind Callooh Callay, one of our favourite bars in London. Instead, we were surprised to see a definite lack of snapbacks and head-to-toe American Apparel, in its place a mixture of young City slickers, nervous dates, middle aged couples and laughing groups of friends. Altogether a balanced crowd that was neither intimidating nor uncool.
A waitress shipped directly from the Deep South soon came over to introduce herself, rattling through the meat-heavy menu with a passion and enthusiasm I haven’t seen for a long time. Telling her I knew nothing about bourbon, on which this restaurant prides itself, I was asked to describe my tastes and she returned shortly afterwards with a sweet cocktail tailor made for me. Funny enough, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Choosing just one starter and main from the brand new summer menu proved seriously difficult, with perfectly cooked steak, pork and seafood jostling for our attention. In the end I opted for deep fried baby squid with almonds, crispy curry leaves & Sriracha (crunchy, salty and incredibly moreish) and a full rack of bourbon BBQ ribs with house slaw & crispy onions.
My partner ordered Devonshire crab with avocado, lime, cannellini beans, chilli flakes & melba toast (divine) and 10oz. sliced Angus rump steak with spiced fried green tomatoes – naturally, we had agreed to try eachother’s before the food arrived, but this was a difficult bargain to keep when it arrived on the table – I almost wrestled the crab from his plate, it was that good.
Fit to burst, our wonderful waitress said it wouldn’t be fair for us to leave without sampling dessert – and who were we to refuse. A bottle of Jack Daniels, sawn down the middle and filled with salt caramel ice cream, crushed Oreos, marshmallows and caramel sauce would have been far too much… or so you’d think. Somehow, just somehow, we almost polished it off…
When it’s time to leave in a happy haze/borderline food coma, be sure to glance to your right on the way out. Apart from the spectacular food, most impressive is the wall decorated entirely with 2p coins – we don’t want to know how long it took to build, but we remember following its progress on Twitter ahead of the BTT launch last year and it was pretty painful. Proud of how it turned out, and the restaurant in general, our lovely waitress showed us out with a beaming smile that told me she really does love her job, and no wonder. She’d previously confided that’s she’s tried everything on the menu for research purposes. I’m considering a change in career…
77 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3BS
020 7729 2966