Located just a stones throw from the Barbican Centre, The Jugged Hare is pitched perfectly at its cultured clientele. In pleasing harmony, both the menu and the restaurant are redolent of the Victorian era, serving game (which may contain shot), fish handpicked daily from Billingsgate Market, and British ingredients from rare breed farmers, artisan producers and regional cheese-makers all of which comes to your table in the hands of tweed waist-coated bar staff and traditionally dressed waiters. If you could be taken there in a horse-drawn glossy black Hackney carriage, it wouldnt feel out of place.
A beautiful curve-fronted Victorian corner pub, it extends to a more formal restaurant at the back with smartly laid out circular tables, cream painted brick work, red leather banquettes, parquet flooring and, fittingly, mounted stuffed hares. Some people will enjoy watching the chefs at work in the lit exposed theatre kitchen revealing the eight spit rotisserie, while others may find it an unnecessary intrusion into the private, gentlemens club-style atmosphere of the restaurant.
And the food? Seafood fans shouldnt miss out on the sweet yet creamy king scallops, prawn and mussel gratin starter, followed by the meaty monkfish tail perfectly pepped up with cockles and caviar butter. Game-lovers will have a field day with the blue cheese and quail egg tart starter, followed by the braised rabbit with faggots and peas. Whatever you have, dont miss the side dish of parsnip and garlic gratin once you taste it, you wont be able to stop. For traditionalists, the restaurant specialises in spit roast chicken, temptingly served with sage stuffing and bread sauce, spit-roast suckling pig, and aged steaks on the grill.
As an additional bonus, the wine menu helpfully offers pairing suggestions and features wine producers of the month, offered by the glass, carafe and bottle.
Go hungry, eat and drink well, return home sated. Its the sort of comforting, deeply satisfying place that will have you returning regularly.
The ELLEuk Score
Style of food: British - meat, wild fish and game when in season (not suitable for vegetarians)
Good for: Quick bite after work; pre-theatre; first date; romantic
Prices and Other Details at The Jugged Hare
Address: 49 Chiswell Street, London, EC1Y 4SA
Opening times: MonWed 11am-11pm; ThursSat 11am-midnight and Sunday 11am-10.30pm
Average price per person for two-course meal without wine: £28
Price of bottle of house wine: £16.50
Price of glass of house wine: £4.10
Price of bottle of house champagne: £47
Price of glass of house champagne: £8.50
Private dining? The Josephine Room for parties of up to 60
Garden/al fresco dining? No
Who goes? City slickers, Barbican residents and carnivorous foodies
Nearest tube: Moorgate and Barbican