Restaurant review: Tonic and Remedy, City Road, EC1
- Credit: Archant
The stretch of City Road between Angel and Old Street has changed beyond all recognitions during the past couple of years – where once stood disused car parks and Brownfield sites now stand glittering glass behemoths.
Whether you agree with this rampant commercialisation or not, there are some plus sides – and new eateries like Tonic and Remedy are definitely one of them.
Situated in the monstrous M by Montcalm hotel building at the south end of the road, the restaurant is on the first floor, where floor-to-ceiling windows afford a very attractive view of the bustle below.
Some serious time and effort has been taken with the cocktail list – it’s huge, the backbar looks like an 18th century apothecary, and the drinks are fantastic.
The bar manager even came over to explain our liquid delights: a beautifully presented raspberry and thyme affair and a diabetic-friendly, Hemingway-inspired daiquiri.
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The food is more straightforward – at least on paper. It’s a cliche to talk about giving British classics a twist, but entirely accurate in this case.
The cured meats board was full of excellent cuts, with a bowl of luxury dripping to lavish on generous hunks of soda bread. The smoked, potted aubergine was smooth in the extreme and smelt and tasted like a cold November night.
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Less traditional, but a bit of a stunner, was the octopus: lightly charred and served on a bed of black rice and saffron swimming in its own ink.
The tender lamb rumb and crispy belly was also fantastic, served with impossibly creamy mash and rich jus/gravy.
An unfortunate let down was the lemongrass sea bream – not as smoked as advertised, a bit undercooked and served tepid. All a bit of a shame.
But the pudding was a redeemer – zesty citrus cheesecake with a decadent helping of honeycomb, smothered liberally in honey and accompanied by a wonderfully tart sorbet.
With mains starting from a distinctly uncommercial tenner, we definitely left happy.