Saturday, 12 October 2019

The Laughing Heart

Modern British food with an Asian touch

Lost soul in a fish bowl

I got to admit, TV cook shows do have an impact on me. When I noticed Tom Anglesea, head chef of The Laughing Heart has won Great British Menu 2019. I immediately started to do some research on The Laughing Heart. The East London restaurant is in the trendy neighbourhood of Hackney. It is as much as a wine bar as a restaurant, at day time, The Laughing Heart also acts as a wine retailer too. The restaurant menu itself has a range of small to big plates, and are ideal for sharing. Like most modern European restaurants, dishes come in no order and are served up as soon as it's ready from the kitchen. Judging from the menu, it is mostly British with a hint of an Asian twist.

Sopressini, tomato, courgettes

Tom's winning dish at The Great British Menu was the Lost Souls in a Fish Bowl, a plate of scallops with dashi, kelp and scallop mousse. The taste is very Japanese alike, with a very clean taste of seafood. It is a pretty great tasting dish but nowhere to the exceptional level I was hoping for, considering it is supposed to be a worldbeater. The sopressini pasta was a major let down. The pasta, along with the garnishes of tomato and courgettes lacked any impactful flavour and it was just so underwhelming. The Berkshire pork was much better, on the other hand, the seasoning was top-notch, as was the mixture of sage and mustard, it was a proper British plate of food that I had nothing but love for.

Pork, sage, mustard
Mutton, coco beans and stuffing

The Laughing Heart dinner experience was a mixed bag. I had a disappointing dish, a decent dish and an excellent dish, what a rollercoaster it was. I think the Great British Menu hype has given me too much expectation. But in the end, The Laughing Heart is just a decent wine bar and restaurant that does solid and creative British cuisine, and nothing more than that, for me anyway. Last but not least, the service was below average for sure, as we were the last table on the night and our server seems to want to rush us out so they can go home earlier.

Food 3/5

Average cost without drinks and services:


277 Hackney Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 8NA

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