At The Pass

Iron Bloom, Shoreditch, London

With busy lifestyles there is rarely time for a leisurely breakfast. However, brunch – that rather decadent, combination of late breakfast and lunch, especially when accompanied by a glass or two of bubbles, or a cocktail – ticks all the right boxes.

We had heard about a new evening restaurant/cocktail bar in London’s East End that was building up a reputation for great food – and was open for Saturday and Sunday brunch. The temptation proved too much.

Why it’s called Iron Bloom

A few minutes’ walk from Shoreditch High Street station and along bustling Great Eastern Street we found a small sign hanging over a heavy dark metal door announcing that we had arrived at no 46 and the Iron Bloom.

From the exterior it looked a little foreboding, but we persevered, pushed open the door and walked in, and we were so glad we did.

The name Iron Bloom intrigued us. Simple. It acknowledges the previous existence of the building – an iron factory. A bloomer evidently was / is a kind of furnace used to smelt iron, producing a porous mass of iron called a bloom.

Today the furnace heat at Iron Bloom has been replaced by heat from the oven in the open plan basement kitchen where Head Chef Dean Beaumont serves up his excellent, innovative and tasty dishes.

Brunch recommendations

The evening plates are designed for sharing, but we were there for brunch. Nevertheless in spite of it being a little difficult to divide up our choices we were not deterred, and we loved the recommendations from our enthusiastic and delightful server Vish.

My favourite was probably the Wild Boar, Game & Apple Croquette – the soft and delicious filling hidden beneath a light crumb coating sitting on a generous smear of Marmite (yes Marmite) mayonnaise.

Clare, on the other hand, favoured the terrific Wagyu Beef and Bone Marrow Burger. I am not a particular burger fan, but having said that it was superb – the beef succulently and slightly pink in the middle.

The third dish Vish had recommended, one of her favourites, was a stack of pancakes layered with vegetables – including an unexpected hit of chilli – topped with some bacon, poached egg and a pat of lime butter. Whilst the lime butter wasn’t quite to our taste, it did add yet another flavour experience to the dish which we liked. Our Croquettes £8, the Burger £15, our pancakes in the region of £14.

A small, interesting wine list

Tempting as the cocktails were we opted for a glass of the very acceptable Chardonnay and Israeli Cabernet Sauvignon. Prosecco and Champagne are also available. We also succumbed to General Manager Marco’s suggestion of trying a glass of Montenegro, a bitter-sweet herbal liqueur with botanicals including orange peel. In spite of the name it is actually from Italy. Delicious.

Along with the original cocktails partially designed to go with the food, is a choice of three white wines – French Chardonnay, Italian Baccolo Bianco and Israeli Lueria Gewurtzraminer; red wines – French Merlot, Italian Baccolo Rosso and Israeli Lueria Cabernet Sauvignon. Wine prices from £7.50 per glass. Cocktails from £9.50 per glass.

A Halloween special

We were too full for dessert. We couldn’t even manage any of the homemade ice cream. But Chef Dean suddenly appeared carrying a plate of something resembling raw, purple-red flesh.

He had been working on a special menu for Halloween and had been experimenting by smoking water melon and was interested in our thoughts.

Dean most certainly is a creative cook.

In spite of our misgivings we did try it, and have to report that his strange sounding, but highly original dish was good. Food and wine 8.5/10

A chill-out venue

The décor of Iron Bloom is also unusual – sort of ‘industrial’ meets ‘homespun-cosy’.

Lots of exposed brick and metal work (the old lift shaft has been converted into the DJ’s booth), comfortable, smart banquettes, along with a rather rustic looking, probably homemade, long central table, a bar and some wonky looking bar stools, an old safe converted into a table in the basement and slightly cracked concrete kitchen floor. 8.25/10

It struck us that in the evening Iron Bloom would become a chill-out venue.

Not so much a restaurant as a place to relax after work with a cocktail whilst sharing a plate of food and listening to the DJ’s music.

The food had been great and the wine was good. But it was the welcome and service we received from Vish, Dean and Marco which bowled us over. Without hesitation we awarded them 10/10.

We walked back to the station comparing notes.

Unfortunately evenings are not really possible for us, but we do hope to be back at Iron Bloom, maybe to try one of the tasting sessions pairing cocktails and food, and certainly again for brunch.

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