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Vinyl Heaven at Eastcheap Records in the City.
With vinyl now outselling CDs in the UK it seemed like an apposite time to review Eastcheap Records; but hang on aren’t record shops a thing of the past to be filed away with t Curly Wurly chocolate and phone boxes?
Rocket Leisure have cleverly reinvented the record shop for the new millennium as hip bars serving up a heady mix of killer cocktails, sourdough pizzas and great live music…. and yes, they also have over 5000 vinyl records lining the walls all for sale.
With Venn St Records in Clapham, Northcote Records in Battersea and Old St Records in Shoreditch Londoners are spoilt for choice, but I opted for the brand new Eastcheap Records situated right in the heart of the City of London and within a stone’s throw of Bank and Monument stations. I went on a Thursday night and the joint was jumping. The DJ was dropping some of my favourite retro tunes from artists such as Chic, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Gloria Gaynor and the room was rammed with city boys and girls of all ages wanting to party.
At times like this, you have to confront some of the deeper questions in life. Mine was to cocktail or not to cocktail? There was only one answer! The party was on… Mango and passion fruit Daiquiri, made with Bacardi Carta Oro, mango purée passionfruit syrup and fresh lime was a sweet treat with a citric twist! The refreshing Floradora blended Bombay Sapphire Gin with fresh ginger, lime, raspberry, and ginger ale to give the drink a fruity kick. But my favourite was the Boss Negroni, a potent version of the classic blending Bombay Sapphire Gin with Martini Rubino and Campari.
The bar staff coped brilliantly with the crowd turning out top-notch drinks in double-quick time. Live music is a feature of all four venues.
Singer Joel got up with his guitar and had the crowd singing along to his soulful takes on Craig David, house music classics and soul standards creating a real party atmosphere. Having had a good go at the cocktail menu (they also serve Asahi, Meantime and Brooklyn beers, ciders, wine and champagne) and a boogie, it was time to eat. The menu features snacks, small plates, a great pizza list and sharing platters so there are lots of options depending on the size of your group and how hungry you are.
From the small plates list, we tried the Cauliflower Popcorn Shawarma with a tahini sauce. The small grilled florets of cauliflower were studded with pomegranate, doused in Middle Eastern spices and dipped in the sauce were delicious. Moreish deep-fried nuggets of Mac n’ Cheese nuggets with Sriracha mayo was probably the most sinful thing I will eat all year and were given a mild kick by the spice of the mayo. Crisp cod goujons straight from the fryer were served with a pleasingly vegetal tartare sauce and lemon.
For mains, our excellent pizzas were larger than I expected (in a good way) and came with a properly charred crust. The Parmigiana was made with tomato, fior di latte cheese and the rich flavour of roasted aubergine slathered with a delicious garlic pesto. The Quattro Stagioni had the same tomato and cheese base but was instead topped with prosciutto, artichokes, mushrooms and olives. I had a Brooklyn Defender IPA which was hoppy and refreshing with just a hint of bitterness to wash down my pizza.
After dinner, Joel backed by the very fine Soul Radicals hit the stage giving us Lovely Day, My Girl and a bunch of other top tunes. We hit the dance floor until we ran out of moves, picked up the coats from the free cloakroom and headed back into the cold night.
The four ‘Records’ bars have a very straightforward offer and are a lot of fun. If it’s your kind of thing you shouldn’t think twice about going.
0203 006 5911
Looking for something different? we also recommend Pasta Nostra Old Street.