News

The Real Wine Fair: April 2016

March 30, 2016

During April we will be pouring special organic, biodynamic and natural wines by the glass as part of the Real Wine Fair. See below for the wines we will be pouring throughout the month.

NV “Poire Authentique”, Eric Bordelet, Normandie, France

2014 Melon de B…, “La Boheme”, Domaine la Senechailere, Loire, France.
2014 Vouvray. “Dilettante”, Domaine Breton, Loire, France.
2013 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, “Vigna dell Oche”, San Lorenzo, Marche, Italy.

2014 Blaufränkisch Horitschoner, Weingut Weninger, Burgenland, Austria.
2007 Primitivo, “Fatalone”, Pasquale Pentera, Giola del Colle, Puglia, Italy.

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Set Lunch Menu This Week

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We’re on the cusp of a new season and spring flavours are starting to hint of warmer weather on the horizon, so naturally our set lunch menu reflects this shift. See below for the delectable plates on offer this week for our set lunch, the best you’ll find in at a Shoreditch restaurant, we’d venture.

2 COURSES 18.00 OR 3 COURSES 23.00

Spring greens, duck livers & St George Mushroom.
Round courgette, goat’s curd & toasted spelt.

Fish pie.
Duck neck farfalle, wild garlic & chive.

Marshmallows, lemon cream & pine nuts.
Charolais & chutney.

Non-alcoholic cocktails

Orchard Fizz 5.50
Apple, lime, agave, pepper & tonic

Tea with Grandma 6.00
Seedlip, lapsang suchong, lemon, honey & orange marmalade

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Music at Merchants – week starting 28th March

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Could it be Spring? No, false alarm. Here’s what’s soundtracking the trans-seasonal nights in the bar at Merchants Tavern this week:

Fergus McDonald (NTS Radio) is both kicking it off and holding it down on Wednesday night, with a selection of deep jazz and dub on his debut on the Spiritland system

Toby Tobias (Rekids) is playing music on Thursday night. You can expect electronic funk, synth jams, new wave disco and more from the seasoned selector

Chris Coco (Melodica) is back in business on Friday night. He’s in the midst of promoting his deeply chilled new album How To Disappear Completely (complete with the track, ‘Spiritland’ – too kind) which you can find here

Ben Shenton (Mind Fair/Golf Channel) is Mr Saturday Night. He’ll be playing a mix of lo-fi oddities, disco nuggets and psychedelic soul

Crofton Black makes his Merchants Tavern debut on Sunday afternoon from 4 – 8pm. A deep collector with a background in soundsystem culture, he’ll be playing the mellower end of his collection of globally-minded music

Sounds come from Spiritland

 

 

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Butchery Workshop: Meet The Lake District Farmers

March 23, 2016

Looking to hone your butchery skills at an excellent London butchery workshop? Look no further! Here at Merchants Tavern we are very much looking forward to welcoming our suppliers and friends from the Lake District Farmers for another excellent London butchery workshop next month. We chatted with Russell Dodd one of the front men of the Lake District Farmers, who incidentally is as charming as he is knowledgable, about all things butchery, Merchants Tavern and suppliers. Below is the result of the chat and a little window into why you definitely need to join us for our April 9th Butchery Workshop. Get your tickets here.

What is it like working with Merchants Tavern?

Nothing short of a dream. I love the banter, the passion, the appreciation, all the hard work put in to produce the best product for the best restaurants. In my personal experience with the team I feel part of the family. Humbled!

Do you have a favourite or ‘signature’ dish?

Always a tough question this,when I try something new i want it all the time, until someone talks me into trying something new. Then the cycle starts all over again!

Have you always been interested in farming and butchery?

Not at all, I wanted to join the forces to follow my dads foot steps and do him proud. However, I fell into this industry were the discipline and level of respect follows the forces, although not defending my country i am defending our title to be the best in the industry!

butchery workshop

How did it develop into a career?

I fell in love with the people in the industry and those in my circle. The attention to detail, the discipline and more so enjoying fantastic food!

What is the unique breeding programme used by the Lake District Farmers?

In just a few words… Respecting the produce and showing the animals just as much care and passion from farm to fork!

What are the tell-tale signs of good produce?

I’ve always said, it’s not about knowing your produce, it’s about knowing your man. It’s about trust. It’s about consistency. We buy from the same people, week in, week out. Their product is always great. So, for me, a tell tale sign of a good product, is it is coming from the same farms we’ve worked with for many years.

london butchery workshop

What does fair-trade mean to you?

Fair trade means the same to me as it means to most. It means the supplier receives a fair price for his product. Last year we paid our Herdwick farmers a minimum of 10% above market value. We want a better product, so it’s only fair we pay a better price. In a nut shell, to me that’s what fair trade is all about.

What struggles are suppliers facing today?

I think carcass balance is something suppliers always have to work very hard on. Certain cuts become fashionable, for instance everybody wants beef fillet on the menu for new years eve or valentines day. Our challenge is always selling the pieces that aren’t particularly fashionable or are maybe out of season. The best example I could give is that people predominantly stray away from braising cuts during the summer, but of course, the cattle you buy in the summer, contain braising cuts, just like the cattle we buy in winter!

Beef is obviously such a diverse meat, do you have a preferred cut? If so, why?

Anything that takes time. A nice braise short rib, featherblade, shin or ox cheek. Always delivers on the plate!

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Music at Merchants – week of March 21st

March 21, 2016

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A bumper week of music awaits you at Merchants Tavern with an overseas guest and a couple of our favourite double acts playing on the tastiest system in town
Sam Don (Anomalous Visuals) brings the high grade selection on Wednesday night, touching on soul, jazz and boogie
James Denman (thekingmob) is one of our pals from abroad. Based in NYC, he’s bringing his extremely smooth sound to Merchants Tavern for one night only, playing Thursday night from 6.30pm until late. Check  out his style here
David Sacks and Francis Redman (The Running/NTS) hop on a soul-charged spaceship and take us to spiritual jazz, instrumental hiphop and a new beats from the underground on Friday night  
Charlie Bennet and Dave Stenton (tothebone) are doing the do on Saturday night. Expect some rarities from these two insatiable diggers, touching on highlife, funk, deep disco and more
Mach V (Echaskech) is basically a chilled out entertainer. Don’t take our word for it, come and hear him bring the tempo right down on Sunday afternoon from 4 – 8pm where he weaves his magic across acoustic music and thoughtful electronica
Sounds come from Spiritland

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Meet the supplier: Seedlip

March 16, 2016

We are excited to introduce a few new non-alcoholic cocktail to our offering this week. One of these is the delightful beverage pictured above, Tea with Grandma. This alcohol-free concoction puts a fruity twist on the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit, Seedlip. We got together with the Seedlip founder Ben Branson to pick his brains about his innovative drink creation. Read below and come in for a Tea with Grandma soon.

Can you tell those who may not know, who are you and what you do?

My name is Ben, I’m the Founder of Seedlip – the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit on a mission to solve the dilemma of “what to drink when you’re not drinking.”

What was the inspiration behind making a distilled non-alcoholic drink?

Whilst looking into growing heirloom herbs I found a book called The Art of Distillation, written in 1651 by John French. It details alcohol remedies and non-alcoholic herbal remedies both using distillation. I was instantly intrigued, bought a small copper still and began experimenting in my kitchen to create an adult and sophisticated drink without sugar or alcohol or any fruit juices that people would actually feel good about ordering and drinking.

How is the process different or similar from your regular distilling process?

We use copper stills to individually distill our ingredients so the same as many spirits but have worked really hard with our distillers to create a bespoke coveted process that is unique to Seedlip.

Any words of wisdom?

Some anecdotal “did you knows” rather than wisdom! A Seedlip is the name of a Seed Sowers Basket used by my family when we began farming in the early 1700’s. My ancestors’ initials are hidden within the illustration. We get our All Spice berries from Jamaica where Columbus discovered them in 1594.

What’s been the most rewarding aspect of running your business?

From an idea over two years ago to delivering the first cases to Selfridges in the back of my car having labeled them all lovingly by hand was incredibly surreal!

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St. Patrick’s Day 2016

March 15, 2016

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Come and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a hearty and wholesome stew courtesy of Merchants Tavern Chef and Irishman John. In between shifts we managed to get the lowdown on the family recipe he’s cooking up for all this Thursday the 17th of March and all things St. Patrick’s. In short, he’s good craic, and the stew will be deadly. Read below.

To book speak to Adele: call (020 7060 5335) or email.

What’s your favourite thing about St. Patricks Day?

My favourite thing about St. Patrick’s Day would be the fact that you don’t even have to be Irish to celebrate,
and that it is celebrated everywhere, even by world leaders. Take for instance the St Patrick’s Day Dinner hosted by the White House each year. Gives you a good sense of national pride.
Where does your stew recipe come from?
My Stew recipe comes from watching my mother cook it over the years and copying and adding to this. All stew
recipes are passed on in this way, I would say my mother’s is better than mine and she would say her mother’s
was better than hers and so on…

What is that makes your stew so special?

It’s not the actual stew that is special, it is the memories associated with it. Stew is a staple in every
Irish Household.
What drink from the Merchants Tavern bar would you pair your stew with?
The best drink we have here at Merchants Tavern to compliment my stew would be a bottle of Puritan Stout.
What does working at Merchants Tavern mean to you?
Working at Merchants Tavern is an enjoyable learning experience, working with food. I enjoy cooking and it’s a great all round team. I think these things are important aspects to any work place.

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Lunch Specials This Week (14th March 2016)

set lunch menu shoreditch

Shoreditch lunch seekers. We’ve updated our set menu again for the week ahead and it’s a cheese lover’s delight with fried, blue and keen varieties all making an appearance. Oh, and we’ve now got some non-alcoholic cocktails for a daytime delight. See below and come in and visit soon. To book speak to Adele: call (020 7060 5335) or email.

2 COURSES 18.00 OR 3 COURSES 23.00

Fried mozzarella, fennel & pepper dressing.
Potato & wild garlic soup, smoked cods roe.

Venison ragu, tagliatelle.
Roast cauliflower, toasted barley, pear & blue cheese.

Blood orange & ginger mousse, ginger crumb.
Keen’s cheddar & chutney.

Non-alcoholic cocktails

Orchard Fizz 5.50
Apple, lime, agave, pepper & tonic

Tea with Grandma 6.00
Seedlip, lapsang suchong, lemon, honey & orange marmalade

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Music at Merchants – week of 14th March

March 14, 2016

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Nick Luscombe is back in the building on Wednesday night. Listeners to his Radio 3 show (Late Junction) or his Flomotion will tell you of his broad taste from contemporary classical to deep electronic vibes

The irrepressible Nancy Noise takes control on Thursday night. Those that know Nancy know what to expect, those that don’t are in for a treat. Music from the heart.

LDLDN (NTS Radio) is your man with a plan on Friday night. You’ll hear synth jams, funk rarities and smoothed-out soul of the highest order.

It’s been a while since Rob Butler (Be With Records) got busy at Merchants Tavern on a Saturday night. Come and hear him play deep cuts from his record collection, and almost certainly tracks from the recent and very timely Andy Bey LP reissue

Sundays afternoons are a time to come and hear what the Spiritland system can really do, and Mark GV Taylor is perfectly positioned to put the Living Voice Air Scouts through their paces. His Reference Point events are a space for discovering fantastically rare Latin, AOR, Boogie, soul and more. The music plays from 4 – 8pm.

Sounds come from Spiritland

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Lunch Specials This Week

March 8, 2016

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If you’re looking for a delicious lunch Shoreditch side, then seek no further. Our set lunch menu has changed again for the week and it’s packed with delectable dishes. See below.

2 COURSES 18.00 OR 3 COURSES 23.00

Spiced cauliflower soup, red onion bhaji.
Salmon fishcake, cucumber & chicory.

Ortiz anchovy linguine puttanesca.
Braised chicken leg, red wine & wild garlic.

Peanut butter parfait, raspberry & toasted oats.
Cropwell Bishop & chutney.

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