Fresh and colourful popup 'Luzon' is now open on Rosebury Ave, I visited to try out their intreguing new menu.
Having been kindly invited to review I was intrigued by this trendy concept by PHUK restaurant group. They had a popup last year that obviously gave this team the impetus to give it another go. I went along with Jess from awesome east focused foodie blog https://eatingeast.wordpress.com (visit here too once you've read below!), and her ace friend from New Zealand with Filipino heritage (great to have an expert on hand!)
Although I was invited, all views are my own and very honest!
Started out, cocktails of course and this one was just the ticket on a hot day. They've a selection of fruit based cocktails (£8), wines, beers and soft drinks. The wine wasn't anything to write home about, and really should have been cold, but we were soon distracted when the food arrived!
There's a selection of sharing plates which turned out perfect for us to review many different dishes. Ripe mango salad (3.50) was fun sweet if not a little predictable, but coupled with the great salted egg and tomato salad (£3.50). Apparently a well loved dish in the Phillipines, and the duck egg here is a classic I'd happily recommend!
Certainly we'd spotted this on the menu straight off - Humba Pork Belly (£4) is braised in honey with soy and pineapple, banana blossoms and java rice nuggets. Wish the rice had been hot (which we were expecting) but it was refreshing none-the-less. The port was succulent as you'd expect, and we could have wolfed down another 3 platefuls given the opportunity.
Next up, Beef Bistek (£4) topped with red onions in a soy-butter dressing, sadly didn't really impress, coolish slices of steak on cold rice with hotdog onions, so much missed potential! The Laing Lumpia (£4) however, spring rolls filled with coconut laced taro leaves ,were fantastic and certainly something new to me and a great idea - recommend!
The ever present java rice here made wish for something different to mix it up, what impressed here thought was the Daing Na Mackerel (£4) which was crispy skinned, oily fish loveliness in a garlic-vinegar marinade, and picked veg on the side making a great balance.
Last but not least, Inasal Chicken Wings (£4) were marinated in lemongrass, ginger and calamansi (Filipono lemon) and had been cooking all day, slipped off the bone and were glorious. If you dine here please promise me you'll get them, they're sticky and uncisous. The Longganisa Scotch Eggs certainly caught the attention of our resident scotch egg feind (that's you Jess!) and although the yolks weren't molten, they were homemade and I was quite a fan.
For dessert we went for the Leche Flan (£4) a set custard with cashew nuts was a great way to end and a great choice, although the Jackfruit ice cream looked appealing too!
Luzon is a good pop-up, with very worthwhile prices. Value is king here although it's not at the expense of quality; I guess they're fairly new and dishes will continue to be refined as time goes by.
The Clerkenwell area has a plethora of superstar restaurants for chose from, and with Exmouth Market close by it'll be hard to stand out. That said, there's true passion from the staff and it's a great concept. I'd recommend visiting soon, especially for the chicken wings and Laing Lumpia taro spring rolls.
Thank you Luzon for the invite, you have the most colourful food I've seen in a very long time - long live the summer!
They are currently running a promo for 20% discount on your total bill if you book your table on any Saturday and quote the code “LUZNST20”. (Terms and conditions apply)
Want an alternative review of the same place? Sure what a good idea! Go check Jess' thoughts over at https://eatingeast.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/luzon/ right bloomin now!
26 Rosebery Avenue
London EC1R 4SX @ Printworks Kitchen