THE BLOG
30/09/2013 09:10 BST | Updated 27/11/2013 05:12 GMT

Monikers, London - Review

London's Shoreditch is one of my favourite places for a night out. I regularly go out there to eat, drink and go to gigs but oddly, I'd never heard of Moniker's in Hoxton Square. When I was asked to review, and was told it was based in and old school, it sounded right up Dotty Dishes street and I was very excited to visit.

We went along on a Friday evening at 7pm and it was a sunny night so people were sat outside having early evening drinks. We had a table booked inside the restaurant and the first thing I noticed inside Moniker's was the fact there was the top deck of an old fashioned retro double decker bus at the back of the restaurant. We were given a tour and realised you could actually sit and have drinks and dinner in it and even hire the top deck of the bus, which was kitted out with old bus seats with the back of the bus used as a bar. I thought it was a really unusual and clever idea and I loved it.

We were seated at a table downstairs, which continued the retro theme with more old bus seats, an old blackboard with specials on and an original sports hall coat rack. The decor was cool throughout with a nice touch carrying on some old school furnishings.

We chose a gin-based cocktail each - an English Patient and a Clover Club (both £7.50) - and ordered some mini Chorizo with honey (£3.50) while we perused the menu.

I decided on one of the specials to start, a Lamb and Mint Salad (£7), and my guest chose the Heritage Tomatoes and Cheese on Toast (£8). We both fancied trying each others choice so decided to share them and have half each. The lamb was served pink and came cold with a salad of crunchy lettuce and mint and it was wonderfully fresh and summery. The tomatoes on toast was simple and old fashioned but really tasty and the cheese really enhanced the dish.

For main course, I chose a very simple main of Mount's Bay Cod Fish Fingers, Pea Purée and Chips (£12.50) and my friend chose the Roast Rump of Herdwick Lamb and Seashore Vegetables (£24). We also ordered a bottle of A Mano Fiano/Greco from Puglia (£26).

The fish fingers came stacked upon sweet minted smashed peas and were plump with juicy fish and crisp breadcrumbs. The chips came in a little pot and were both fluffy and crispy. The lamb was cooked really well and melted in your mouth and was a good sized portion with a lovely meaty jus to soak the lamb into.

We were given a nice breather between our main course and pudding and during the whole meal we didn't feel rushed at all. For pudding we opted for Blueberry Cheesecake (£6.50) and Oakchurch Farm Strawberry Jelly with ice cream (£5.50). The cheesecake came as a very generous slab with a blueberry coulis on top and it was creamy and the perfect texture. The jelly had big pieces of strawberry inside and it was like a grown-up version of a kids pudding with the ice cream on the side. Both desserts were delicious.

Moniker's is a hidden gem in the middle of busy Shoreditch. The food is a mixture of brasserie and 'posh' pub grub and they do it very well. The well chosen selection of cocktails and wines make Moniker's somewhere to visit for just a few drinks also and the extremely tasty Chorizo would definitely fill a peckish stomach for a bite to eat over drinks.

The decor is quirky, stylish and retro and something I loved. I may have found a new favourite venue in Moniker's.

Dotty Dishes was a guest of Moniker's.

Moniker's, 16 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6NT.