Nest is a cosy restaurant in Hackney that serves British cuisine. I’d read a lot about Nest, but what intrigued me the most about the restaurant is what scared Shiima the most. At Nest it’s about sustainability; they only use one meat in the kitchen at a time, which is impressive. Plus, it’s predominantly a set menu. Both things scare Shiima, but I don’t mind them at all. I eat everything, and I think that concept of using one meat for several dishes will result in a good level of ingenuity, and I’m very ready to try creative food. So I went alone 🙂.
Nest, although on a main road, is a hidden gem – you wouldn’t guess the delights that lurk inside if you walked past. The closest station is Homerton on the overground, so it’s nestled (see what I did there? 😁😉 Yeah, funny stuff 😒) in the heart of new wave East London. As I mentioned, the restaurant is snug; it’s also rustic and oozes a relaxed “inn” vibe. The service is really awesome as well. It could be because I was sat alone at the bar right in front of them, but they were entirely friendly and helpful.
The meat for the day was Mallard, and you’re shown the set menu (it’s also online) on a board in the centre of the restaurant. There’s also a vegetarian set menu. For a very fair price they offered to include an extra course, a Mallard cottage pie that isn’t on the menu and, of course, I accepted 😊.
The tart was really tasty, especially the crispy onions.
Crispy seaweed oyster was fantastic. Perfectly fried and seasoned, and very moreish.
The broth was just wow! I’ve never been a fan of broths or soups, so I wasn’t expecting much but the broth was one of the most delicious things I’ve had in years. Packed with flavour. The soda bread was really good too. It’s right in our wheelhouse; fresh, warm, and soft. Had the texture of a cake as well. Excellent dish.
The Mallard cottage pie was a good touch. Really fluffy mashed potato topping and very rich duck filling. The perfect lead-in to the main.
The Mallard main was excellent. Tremendous balance of flavours and the duck was cooked to perfection. Only problem was it was too small a portion for me. I wanted more! And you probably would too!
The sticky toffee pudding was a standout dessert. One of the best sticky toffee puds I’ve had this year, and we’ve had a lot. An indulgent dessert with the perfect balance of sweetness and rich, also warm and moist. A good portion of ice cream as well, which is always a plus for me 😁.
I really enjoyed my solo dinner experience at Nest. The food was excellent, the vibe really relaxing, and the service top notch. I recommend for relaxed dates, and a mature meal with family or friends. The restaurant is quite small so do try to reserve. Plus there is a vegetarian set menu as well, for those with that preference. Nest is also fairly priced, £35 for the 7 course set menu.
Dress Code: Casual
Star Dish: Mallard Broth w/ Homemade Soda Bread
Price: £35-£40 pp (excluding alcohol)
Rating: 5 out of 5