SquareMeal Review of Red Rooster at The Curtain
The polishing up of Shoreditch continues with the arrival of The Curtain hotel (just round the corner from the equally new Nobu Shoreditch). Although this luxe offering comes with a rooftop swimming pool, its in-house restaurant retains its Shoreditch cool with quirky decor and painfully cool staff. Red Rooster has a twin in New York’s Harlem and, like its NYC sibling, the Shoreditch menu is a celebration of America’s southern soul food, carried off with panache. We kick-started our evening with a trio of snacks including fish tacos, bacon-loaded popcorn and crumbly cornbread slathered with sweet honey butter and spicy tomato jam. We then moved on to a starter proper of meatballs served swimming in zingy pickled gravy and dotted with perfectly crisp bites of gnocchi. As Red Rooster’s name suggests, poultry is the star turn, but we mixed things up, skipping the fried yard bird and herb-roasted chicken for a helping of tender, spicy jerk pork and prawns, served with sweet coconut rice and chunks of juicy pineapple. Desserts are just as indulgent (rum-soaked doughnuts anyone?) and our slice of red velvet sponge, served with cream cheese sorbet and chocolate cremeux, was as sweet as can be. With brunch on Sunday and live music most evenings, Red Rooster is an impressive addition to the Shoreditch scene. With all that US soul food though, it’s just as well that The Curtain has a gym.
About Red Rooster at The Curtain
This New York import has brought a slice of Harlem to hipster Shoreditch. Owned by restaurateur, Marcus Samuelsson, Red Rooster brings punch North American cuisine to east London is style, with a heavy focus on Southern soul food influenced by metropolitan New York and Samuelsson’s European upbringing. The restaurant feels appropriately located within the sprawling, diverse hub of culture that is Shoreditch, and is superbly located in the centre of the area, near the high street.
The restaurant hosts a load of American themed events throughout the year from superbowl screenings to gospel brunches – which is exactly how it sounds, music-filled brunching affairs supplied with live entertainment from the local gospel choir.
The Red Rooster is an American haven for hearty southern staples such as shrimp ‘n’ grits and lip-smacking fried chicken waffles dripping in honey. The menu also lets Marcus’ European upbringing shine through, with Maria’s ricotta gnocchi offering an Italian influence to the heavily North American inspired restaurant. No American restaurant would be complete without a burger, and the Lenox satisfies that order, topped with onion jam, cheddar, chilli aioli, bacon, and fried egg – for days when you need to get your cravings sorted.
The interior of the restaurant is beautiful, without any of the garish furnishings associated with American cuisine. The inside of the restaurant features exposed white bricks, wall lamps, and colourful brick flooring. There’s a lovely tree feature in the centre of the restaurant, offering a pop of greenery, while the furniture continues the theme of bright and colourful. The restaurant still maintains and air of sophistication, as the classy décor welcomes patrons in. For the warmer days, you’ll want to sit outside and you’ll quickly forget that you’re in London as rounds of smoky short-ribs and Ethiopian chicken stews make their way to your table.