Fridays nowadays revolve around all things Curious Pixie related. It’s the one day I have where I utilise my hours between 09:01 and 15:00 writing, photo editing and researching for the next post. Although I have been known to be lured away from my pride and joy. Usually the mention of food and drink does it. Well, a girl’s gotta eat!
An opportunity for a long overdue catch up with fellow blogger Seetal is exactly how I ended up at Magpie. Nestled in a vibrant back street off Regents Street, Magpie is the second venture from the duo behind Michelin-starred Hackney bistro Pipgin.
The menu is described as modern European with no fixed focus on any particular cuisine. More an amalgamation of ingredients usually with an unconventional twist to dazzle the taste buds.
The dining room radiates a hipster vibe synonymous with oh-so-trendy East London. An airy and industrial, warehouse-esque interior including a counter bar looking onto an open plan kitchen with scuffed wooden and concrete floors, hanging light bulb fixtures and a landscape mural covering the back wall. It’s undeniably edgy cool.
The vegetarian menu is a delight to read. The unusual and interesting combinations actually had me in a state of flux. Seetal was in a similar fix – Be warned making a decision is difficult.
My turmoil over the burrata and my new favourite vegetable Jerusalem artichoke finally extinguished with Seetal opting for the creamy dreamy cheese – Sharing definitely on the agenda for this meal!
And let’s just take a moment to appreciate this white beauty. The velvety burrata with a hidden oasis of basil oil, surrounded by puntarella leaves and smoked almonds (£9.50) is delectable.
The Jerusalem artichoke lay on top of an inviting pool of ranch butter (£5). Rich and naughty it tasted divine with perfectly cooked pieces of artichoke. The non-veggie version comes with avruga caviar, which came as a side for Seetal.
Our indecisiveness also lead to us ordering an extra starter, barbecued cabbage, lime pickle vinaigrette and topped with hazelnuts (£5). My least favourite dish as I found the citrus flavours too overpowering.
Mains followed in a similar creative vein. The purple sprouting broccoli with asian chermoula and silken tofu (£13) was the perfect veggie plate and as pretty as a picture like it’s predecessors.
Seetal oohed and ahhed her way through her large plate of short rib, january king cabbage, gnocchi and a dollop of beef fat salad cream (£14).
Dazzled and full from the savoury dishes, we soldiered on to the desserts. Seetal’s banana, peanut popcorn, bourbon and genmaicha custard black (£8), a pimped up childhood classic. Obviously my bananas and custard never came laced with alcohol. The subtle whiskey tones were a warming touch to the dish.
Now let’s talk about the exquisite bean mousse, passion fruit and chilli sorbet (£7). The fluffy smooth texture of the mousse worked beautifully against the crunchy topping. The chilli hit from the sorbet was a slow burn. On one hand you’re thinking this really shouldn’t work, but it really, really does! I absolutely loved it.
Magpie is the place to go if you’re looking for a unique and interesting menu. There are so many intriguing flavour combinations. I know I’ll be back to try some more. With a friendly service and fun, lively atmosphere it really is a gem in the middle of tourist central.
Are you a fan of interesting flavour combinations? What has been the most unusual dish you’ve eaten? Let me know in the comments below.
Magpie | 10 Heddon Street | London |W1B 4BX
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