Being in the restaurant business is a bit like a game of chess. What does it take to be the grandmaster? Delicious food? Atmospheric vibes? Elegant decor? London isn’t exactly short of top restaurants but to be the best you have to set the trend, and this is what CUB have done so well by showcasing luxury in sustainability. CUB from Mr Lyan (the very man who gave us Dandelyan, the World’s Best bar in 2018) is a restaurant in Hoxton (open Wednesday to Saturday for dinner) that uses considered ingredients with sustainable cooking methods.
To minimise any wastage, you won’t find a á la carte menu. Instead, CUB takes you on a culinary journey through a carefully considered set-menu with 8 dizzying array of mouth-watering small plates, each complemented with a drink. Naturally, the menu changes every few months as CUB remains steadfastly committed to sourcing ingredients from a range of quality suppliers.
It’s very well being ahead of the curb, but we all know the real test for every restaurant is the food on our plate. So, what’s it like? Well, think modern European cuisine meets Japanese precision: presentation is so on point, plates are like works of art.
Vegetables feature prominently on the menu and CUB is also vegan friendly. Sunchoke mushrooms with black garlic charcoal and custard arbelone was innovative, and the ‘Ugly AF carrots’ with lardo and toast ale were anything but ugly, transformed into something sweet and subtle.
The star was a charred pumpkin with its satisfyingly crunchy seeds, creamy and sweet texture with a hint of garlic, swimming in a fragrant broth. It’s the apex of such a dizzying array of small dishes.
I’ve not even started talking about the soul-warming celeriac broth that’s perfect for cold winters, the smoky hispi cabbage, or the sweet sticky sticky toffee pudding with apple served with a generous dollop of kelp ice cream.
Almost every dish comes with a drink, boozy and non-alcoholic. Things continue to get interesting as these cocktails don’t have names and you’re given a list of ingredients.
A mix of Bruichladdich, golden apple and koji punch was long, light and refreshing, beautifully offsetting the smokiness of the charred hispi cabbage. There are five drinks in total intended to prep your palate for the next dish to come.
There is a genuinely relaxed and casual atmosphere with the warmest of welcomes and hospitality throughout but be advised: if you want a seat at either the white marble dining counter or the vibrant orange booths, you better book ahead as there are just over 30 spaces for Londoners in the know.
From the outside with a small entrance along Hoxton High Street, you wouldn’t think a classy restaurant like CUB could exist. Stroll in through the threshold and you’re greeted with eclectic 80s music and an intimate, minimalistic room with an open kitchen and tasty artwork adorning the walls.
CUB, much like Dandelyan (now known as Lyaness) is a pioneer, constantly pushing the boundaries and re-imagining what we can do with humble everyday ingredients while still doing their bit for the planet. By the time the rest of the industry clocks on, CUB will already be busy setting the next big trend. Like every grandmaster, CUB is at the top of their game.
To discover more and book, visit: lyancub.com
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