Restaurant review: Beard to Tail, Shoreditch, EC2

The interior has that classic Shoreditch industrial look Pic: Yeshen Venema

The interior has that classic Shoreditch industrial look Pic: Yeshen Venema - Credit: Archant

Flesh is very much the order of the day at Beard to Tail, as you might gather from the name.

The pig's trotter is a popular dish

The pig's trotter is a popular dish - Credit: Archant

But despite the name, it’s not really very offaly; apart from the odd bit of bone marrow it’s all pretty standard stuff, steaks and chops and so on. Nothing to offend the squeamish.

Steak tartar - deep south style

Steak tartar - deep south style - Credit: Archant

There’s a definite American vibe to the place; lots of maple syrup, bourbon and barbecue sauce. Even our waitress was American – her familiar and helpful manner upheld the best traditions of that centre of service industry excellence.

The theme continued to the steak tartar; a French classic Americanised to excellent effect with a sharp rye whiskey dressing.

The stuffed pigs trotter entailed sausage-like meat, mixed with bacon and sage, and was a bit like what you’d stick in a turkey at Christmas.

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Complete with crackling, sharp red cabbage and sweet apple sauce, it was like a mini-roast pork Sunday Lunch.

In fact all the portions were smaller than I expected; in my mind’s eye all the platters would be hulking slabs of meat, but the mains were surprisingly delicate.

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The pork cheeks came in three elegant medallions, each sat on top of a sliver of squash. The flesh was rich and succulent and smothered in a ginger-infused barbecue sauce.

The rump steak came out rare, rather than medium as ordered, but the meat was good enough to handle it.

The horseradish mayonnaise was wonderfully tart and the accompanying bone marrow was done to perfection – the herbs balancing some of its oily sweetness. Of course these came with lashings of slaw, chips and meaty beans. All very Texan.

The puddings were a less subtle proposition; the ice cream sundae could have lasted until Monday and the pecan tart was a welcome sweet slab.

Beard to Tail offers an inventive and tasty take on the Southern states style cuisine that’s currently all the rage.

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