This Islington Restaurant Makes The Ethical Taste Delicious
We Londoners are an increasingly discerning bunch when it comes to the quality and sourcing of our food. We want our meat compassionately farmed, our coffee fairly traded and our spuds misshapen and coated in organic mud. Enter new Islington eatery, The Great Chase. From the grass-fed beef burger to the free-range chicken breast, everything is created from local, ethically sourced ingredients. This extends to the exclusive mocktails, made with cordials brewed by London’s famous Gimlet Bar.
The mission, explain owners Rollo Pearson and Mabruk Hussain Khan, was to create a fine dining restaurant to suit the varied backgrounds, principles and dietary needs of cosmopolitan London. With this in mind, the Great Chase is totally halal, meaning even more diners can get their gourmet on with some classic British comfort food.
The restaurant's credo means the menu is constantly evolving, with a permanent core of hearty dishes. The dry-aged Angus Sirloin steak is a firm favourite, which head chef Radoslaw Nitkowski serves with pickled shitake and beef dripping butter. Formerly of Dean Street Townhouse, Nitowski combines Asian and European flavours with essential British cuisine. We go for the poached organic salmon; cooked so perfectly it flakes apart with the feeblest of forkings. The nuttiness of the buckwheat is an excellent accompaniment to the slightly creamy fish and plump, salty mussels. It's washed down with a glass of alcohol-free Bees Knees; a pretty facsimile sparkling rosé made from grapes and green tea.
Indeed, the mocktail list is a real pièce de résistance, entirely devised by sommelier, Will Wragg. We fell for the zesty Palamino, which offsets sharp grapefruit with agave syrup and coconut water. Defying expectations, these are sophisticated soft drinks, without a box of concentrated fruit juice or a curly straw in sight. The Great Chase also serves a variety of deluxe Rare Tea Company blends to complement the meal, with staff ever ready to advise. The service here really is first rate, as is the toasty welcome from owners Rollo and Mabruk. Chatting to guests like old friends, the young entrepreneurs seem genuinely excited to be filling London's grumbling stomachs.
Having never knowingly declined a pudding, we round everything off with the chocolate cranberry pecan praline, which feels like being hugged from the inside. (Especially when accompanied by the fresh elderflower infused Gardener's Tonic).
It's particularly heartening to find a start-up that's so invested in inclusivity, creating traditional British cuisine for a modern British population.
The Great Chase, 316 St John Street, Clerkenwell, EC1V 4NT
Last Updated 11 December 2017