Food menu inspires cocktails at new smokehouse and bar

Below the Smoke Shoreditch

Cocktails developed by leading bar consultant Matt Whiley will be on the menu at a new Nordic-inspired restaurant and bar opening in north London in July.

The 60-seat Rök smokehouse and bar, under executive chef Matt Young, is being created in a Grade II listed building in 149 Upper Street, Islington, after the success of the first site that opened in Shoreditch in August.

Matt, who heads consultancy Talented Mr Fox and Bethnal Green bar Peg + Patriot, is creating drinks with the same philosophy as Rök’s food menu, which makes use of preparations such as smoking and fermentation.

They will include an Aquavit Sour and the Seasonal Bones, which is made with a distillate from a broth combined with whisky and plum vermouth. It will build on the drinks served at Below the Smoke (pictured), the basement bar at Rök in Curtain Road, Shoreditch.

An expanded wine list will also feature, made up of smaller producers with a focus on biodynamic and minimum-intervention wines, which have been chosen to complement the bold and punchy flavours served up by the kitchen.

The restaurant – whose name means “smoke” – will specialise in “simple but exquisite” Nordic-influenced dishes, featuring popular dishes from the Shoreditch branch such as scallop, nduja and seaweed, duck with lingonberry bacon jam and wood-smoked peach with Laphroaig honey.

New dishes will include mackerel with pickled onions and flamed crispbread, locally grown guinea fowl with semi-cured pork belly and butter poached wild vegetables, and dark chocolate mousse with espresso sorbet and malted crumb.

All meat used will be reared to a high standard by working closely with suppliers such as Swaledale foods in Yorkshire and James Murdoch who keeps a flock of guinea fowl exclusively for Rök.

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