London Larder was devised in 2012 to bring you the ultimate eating and drinking guide to London. It was borne out of a need for up-to-date, quantitative and whole-heartedly recommended places to eat and drink.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Jugged Hare


The Glorious Twelfth is a term used to denote the start of the grouse season. Before this date, the birds cannot be hunted, so 12 August is eagerly anticipated by fans of game. Typically, we could not let the season pass by without celebrating, so we paid a visit to game specialists, The Jugged Hare, in Barbican.

Game is a real treat for us, not every restaurant serves it, and so we love it when there are places that serve game and little else, providing us with seasonal British speciality meats all year round.

The Jugged Hare takes its name from one of the most important dishes on the menu; an old traditional English dish that deserves to be far more well-known than it is today. The hare is cooked very slowly in a jug or a pot in a red wine sauce with vegetables, after which the sauce is finished off with the blood of the hare. Being a fan of extremely rare steaks, we were not put off by the blood, which made the dish very rich. Luckily, the serving of fairly small portions meant the richness did not defeat us. Served on mash and garnished with sweet apple, the jugged hare is a phenomenal dish that everyone should try at least once. Hare is in season from August to February so make sure you visit during this window to not miss out.

As we were in the midst of game season, we couldn’t leave without also trying the grouse, which we sampled in two different dishes. Firstly, we tried the grouse slider; a small burger bun containing rich, red grouse breast topped with grouse pate and redcurrant jelly. Just like the hare, the dish was very, very rich, but in small quantities it is simply delicious. Secondly, we tried the deep fried grouse legs, cooked in spicy, crispy breadcrumbs - sort of like a very posh, but a very rich, KFC. The grouse legs are a tasty treat that can’t possibly be healthy, but tastes great and is extremely moreish. Accompanied by mushroom arrancini, we were very impressed by all the food we had. Grouse is only in season until 10 December, so you will need to be fairly quick if you want to try these dishes before they’re replaced on the menu.

Finally, to wash all this down, we tried the Jugged Hare IPA and Sacred gin. The IPA is a great companion for the rich meat and is refreshing without dominating the flavour. The Sacred gin was also refreshing and makes for a perfect drink during warm summer days.

The Jugged Hare truly is a great venue to visit if you enjoy game and a place to try something new and different with dishes that are not readily available elsewhere in London. It’s certainly ‘game on’ at The Jugged Hare – pun totally intended.

49 Chiswell Street, EC1Y 4SA

Average price for a main course: £20
Average price for a glass of wine: £6
Food/drink: 4/5
Service: 5/5
Value: 3/5

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