eat: eyre brothers

He first stumbled upon Eyre Brothers after a weekend brunch date opposite the road at the neighbouring Book Club, then was compelled to make a visit after reading some intriguing reviews on Yelp. He decided that we should venture here post a cocktail session nearby at Callay Callooh one weeknight after work.  The single clue he gave me was ‘Iberian cuisine’ so I was picturing something along the lines of José on Bermondsey St with standing room only. That wasn’t a bad thing at all since I’m a huge fan of Pizarro’s appetising little tapas bar.
He says: I was pleasantly surprised with Eyre Brothers, solid flavours and very decent food portions (was expecting miniscule tapas sized quantities!).  For my starter, I had the Cordoniz Escabechada (spatchcocked quail, cooked and then marinated in sherry vinegar, olive oil, raisins and pinenuts; new potatoes and mint). I tend to lean towards the most unusual options on the menu to trick my taste buds a little. The quail was well cooked, with a combination of sweet and sour flavours tempered by the sherry vinegar. Once I had finished devouring the quail, I couldn’t stop myself from dipping my bread into the tasty sauce – I was basically licking it off the plate!
Being a visual creature, I ordered my main based on seeing what another table had ordered while passing by on the way to the gents. I decided to go for the Grilled Mozambique tiger prawns piri-piri; pilaf rice, cucumber, coriander and sherry vinegar. What drew me to them was their sheer size… absolutely massive! After watching a recent episode of Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals, I’ve noticed that the British have a great love for Peri Peri – a fiery fragrant sauce. While the prawns weren’t bursting with the level of spiciness that I love, at £12 each, they were tender and succulent and reminded me of mini lobsters. Some people may find the art of eating prawns in a nice restaurant quite messy and cumbersome, but I made sure I savoured every morsel and sucked the juices within the crispy heads. If you ever manage to find these killer prawns, why not try the recipe out at home? Overall a little bit expensive, but for the novelty it was worth it.

She says: 
 I was pretty excited to try out somewhere in Shoreditch that we hadn’t been to before (it keeps us curious and wanting to explore more of London’s culinary delights!). I really wasn’t quite sure what type of food to expect judging by the name of the restaurant alone – I had heard Eyre Brothers mentioned before but it didn’t seem to have as much buzz and hype surrounding it like some of the new restaurants popping up all over the place. Having now read numerous articles about David Eyre, this may be because his Shoreditch establishment has been around since 2001! Surviving the fickle nature of the London food scene after 10+ years of business says a lot for itself!
I went for the Roast pimientos de piquillo stuffed with bonito and capers; olive toast and a soft boiled egg for my starter as I have a glorious love of capers. When the dish arrived, I was a little disappointed, half expecting the green Spanish peppers instead of red (then realised my ordering was a little off tonight – what I would have loved were the Fried Pimientos de Padrón with a fried egg and flor de sal – as I enjoy their salty bitterness). While I liked the crunchiness of the olive toast, the bonito stuffed pimiento was a little lacklustre and the texture of the fish reminded me a little of tuna. I think I was hoping for that extra little bit of bite to come through.
For my main, I chose the signature Grilled fillet of acorn-fed Iberico pig, marinated with smoked paprika, thyme and garlic on a bed  of patatas pobres. He mentioned that the dish had both great and average reviews – so I wanted to see what all the fuss was all about! I expected it to be much more fatty and greasy but the meat was beautifully marbled and cooked medium rare with a steak-like consistency – so tender and full of flavour! Certainly not bland as some reviews have claimed, I found the taste of the pork and it’s natural juices were not too overpowering. We were officially stuffed from the two courses and red wine that accompanied, so opt out of dessert this time!

Good For:

Consistent & tasty food for a quick dinner with a small group of work folk or a pleasant dinner for two. With it’s wooden decor and sleek furnishing, the restaurant’s appearance and ambience is relatively upscale and corporate – atypical to the vintage nooks and urban crannies in it’s edgier surrounds. While there are a plethora of couples the place is bustling with businessmen. Service with smiles, our waitress Yeukai was super knowledgeable and gave us some great recommendations.

Address: 70 Leonard Street EC2A 4QX
Phone: 020 7613 5346
Website: http://www.eyrebrothers.co.uk

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