Wringer & Mangle in London Fields:
I have an underlying belief that anywhere I review can’t possibly be that hip. Even if, like Wringer & Mangle it has all the trappings. A large space, once a commercial laundry, has been made over in East London Hipster fashion, with bare walls, reclaimed furniture and all those little collectables that show the owner has style and a sense of fun. There are, of course, mangles. Several mangles. And there’s a huge bar area, some rather kitsch chill zones (inside and out). And, there’s a blackboard menu to complement the printed one.
We are probably the oldest hipsters in the joint and not one of us has a beard. So, what does Wringer & Mangle have to offer us?
On Sundays, there’s a bottomless brunch. You get one of those wristbands, with the time you arrive on it and then have two hours to drink as much prosecco as possible, while you enjoy a hearty brunch. There’s also a rather excellent sounding Sunday lunch menu and, easily persuaded by the owner, we decide to have a hybrid of the two – a bottomless Sunday lunch with the odd cocktail thrown in for good measure. It’s hard to resist the idea of slow cooked braised shoulder of lamb or 21 day aged sirloin of beef.
So, after a bloody Mary and Wringer & Mangle’s own version of a kir royale, we order two portions of the braised shoulder of lamb and one of sirloin of beef.
Prosecco turns out to be cremant, but I’m not complaining about that. And, we manage to work our way through a couple of bottles during our two-hour window.
One of us even indulges in an extra ‘Collins’ based cocktail.
My beef is the stuff wars are won by. Thick slices of rare sirloin, a beautifully puffed up Yorkshire pudding, cabbage, roast potatoes and carrots. On the side, some beautifully creamy homemade horseradish sauce and a little jug of proper gravy. This is the kind of Sunday lunch I’d like to cook at home. Sometimes I manage to do so, but it takes careful coordination both to buy the ingredients and to cook them on a Sunday morning,
It was a winning plateful.
The lamb, potentially more of a comfort plateful with mash and meltingly tender meat, disappeared very quickly too. I can only imagine it is good…neither of my friends offers to share. But then I guard my beef carefully too…
We might have foregone dessert, but that would have been a terrible waste. My Apple and Raisin crumble with a side jug of cream is so like the one my mother used to make I could have sworn she was lurking somewhere in the kitchen
And, topping a Cambridge Burnt Cream (creme brulee to you or me) with Rhubarb is a genius move.
Now, there is the small problem for me of how far away from home this place is
If it happened to be South of the River and on a tube line, I’d make my way there most Sundays – and I suspect my waistline would suffer as a result.
As it is, safely tucked away in East London, it will have to stay a treat – somewhere to go with friends when I want a long, slow, relaxed lunch or supper. This IS the sort of neighbourhood restaurant everyone should have – for now, I will just stay a little envious of my East London friends.
Wringer & Mangle
13-18 Sidworth Street