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120 Morning Lane
Nestled among the designer outlet stores of Hackney’s Morning Lane is Legs, a tiny bistro specialising in natural and low-sulphur wines and modern European cuisine. The short, daily-changing menu features nibbles and slightly larger plates. A bowl of silken bagna cauda arrives with crunchy purple endive leaves sticking out of it like spoons. Fall-apart braised beef comes au jus with crunchy ribbons of fennel sitting atop it; flaky, pearlescent chunks of turbot are dressed in olive oil and tarragon with hunks of juicy oxheart tomatoes – simple and delicious. The two-page wine list focuses on France and Italy, with a few additions from Australia, and this being natural wine, some come from the funkier side of the taste spectrum.
Best wine bars in London
120 Morning Lane
020 3441 8765
Homerton Station 505m
Hackney Central Station 738m
Ocean Music Centre 470m
Hackney Empire Theatre 488m
Tues-Sun 10am-5pm Wed-Sat 6pm-11pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
Some time back, whilst reviewing Viajante in Hackney, I commented that that one excellent restaurant did not the East End make. Whilst Viajante has gone (and its eponymous chef moved to more gentile Marylebone), the likes of Paradise Garage, Clove Club et al continue to prove that there is more than Browns to tempt me east of the City.
Legs is the fantastic Magnus Reid's latest venture (and no, I'm afraid I don't buy the fact that the place is named after a wine term - I am certain that this is backfill for a joke about Legs opening, or indeed now open), one that concentrates on the wine as well as Magnus's inspired cooking.
The restaurant is tiny, with an open kitchen for Magnus and his sous chef to perform their alchemy. The menu is a changing affair, but we thoroughly enjoyed the bagna cauda (no, me neither - it's a dip made of anchovy, garlic, butter and olive oil. I mean, what's not to like about that?) with radishes, the bonito crudo with pickled watermelon, the lamb rib and the beef tartar with Jerusalem artichokes that were on offer the night we went.
The wine list is impressive, but a touch on the punchy side price-wise. That said, it really is rather good, and no more than you'd expect to pay further west, so no complaints from us on that, especially when it pairs so beautifully with the cooking.
The only concern that I have with Legs is it is just too far east for me to be a regular, which is a crying shame, as it is a wonderfully relaxed showcase for Magnus and his ever increasing range of tattoos. I will, however, be back as often as I can, and indeed can get in.
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