The sister pub and restaurant to the nearby Chiswell Street Dining Rooms is a magnificent addition to the street. The Jugged Hare is also in Chiswell Street and inside you'll find a mix of traditional city pub with a fabulous dining room nestled behind. From the front it's hard to see that the restaurant is in there at all. It's just so buzzy and full of pub-like atmosphere.
At The Jugged Hare we worked our way through the crowd to the back to find a retro tiled looking restaurant with traditional furniture awaiting us. It’s much quieter at the back where all the culinary style takes place and you can see through into The Jugged Hare’s open kitchen that adds to the buzz.
Our menus were presented and seasonal delights included dishes from the rotisserie including a daily ‘spit special’, some from the grill including wild boar and venison sausage and a Billingsgate fish section with around four choices for each.
We opted for a starter of breaded skate knobs with clearly homemade tartar sauce. The skate was moist and soft with a light batter. The Dorset white crab was plentiful and very filling with a brown crab mayo and toast. Finely diced and double layered, it was a real delight.
For mains at The Jugged Hare we chose a pot roast quail with smoked bacon, chestnut mushroom and potatoes, which was a bit hard to cut but with two whole quail wasn’t mean on the plate. With the texture of stew, it was very flavoursome with a rich jus where the mushrooms and potatoes soaked it all up nicely.
From the rotisserie my companion chose the pork special with not much crackling sadly and too much fat making the portion size a bit small, but it was full of flavour and was topped up with sides of cabbage and bacon, and cauliflower macaroni cheese which was mustardy and unexpectedly delicious.
We moved on to desert and we chose the Kendal mint chocolate pot and the lemon junket with orange jelly. Both were wonderfully comforting and delightfully refreshing, respectively.
It’s quite chunky, manly food; which given its location in the city is unsurprising. Our Hungarian waiter Attila gets special mention for recommending dishes from a large menu and choosing us a splendid Australian Riesling, served by the glass due to a complicated and innovative machine at The Jugged Hare. Ask them about it when you go. I didn’t quite get the complexities of it but it basically means they can store airtight wine and serve it by the glass with relative ease.
Top Tip: Book. It was busy mid-week.
Written by Lorna Strickland-Cook