By Majella Taylor, New Openings Editor, H&C News: Hustle? They don’t even need to try.
The team at The Side Hustle make excellent service and a top door drinking and dining experience seem effortless.
For a belated World Tequila Day celebration, myself and the lovely Donna Thacker, Great Taste Awards judge, Seriously Good Food owner and all round very decent human being, made our way to the unassumingly named The Side Hustle in The NoMad hotel situated in the old Bow Street magistrates court in Covent Garden.
With its own entrance, it is mysterious and alluring and once you get inside you realise there’s nothing unassuming about this stunning venue.
The welcoming committee are dressed impeccably in various outfits of trousers/shirt combos, kimono style jackets and jumpsuits fit for my own wardrobe.
Tempting leather lined booths adorn the right-hand side of the room and the stunning bar hugs the left-hand wall and is already scattered with casually stylish guests.
You can imagine this place in a Tarantino movie.
It’s got style. And bags of it.
Upon arrival, Tayia, the hostess with plenty of mostest, recommended her favourite cocktail; The ‘Sergeant Pepper. This did not disappoint and is now Donna’s favourite too.
A sublime concoction of Avua Prata, tequila, green pepper, coriander, jalapeño, pineapple and lemon. It sounds like it shouldn’t work, but believe me it does! It stirred the taste buds and heightened the senses bringing on a little buzz with the chilli kick.
Crunchy tortilla chips and two delightful dips magically appeared in front of us – Avocado, English pea, salsa roja and the Pipian made up of pepitas, red peppers and guajillo oil. Fresh and moreish.
The next libation on the list was the ‘Paloma’. On the other side of the spectrum to the ‘Sergeant Pepper’. Tall, tangy but not too sweet or overpowering. Perfectly refreshing on a humid London night.
Since living in California many moons ago, I’ve always had a penchant for Mezcal, however Donna has never tried it.
Danilo our bartender for the evening, carefully prepared a small introduction to the spirit for us both to enjoy.
The idea is to rouse the palate with various stimulants including Sangrita, Verdita, orange, grapefruit and cucumber slices with a generous sprinkling of smoked worm salt then sip the Mezcal and find out which combinations you enjoy the best.
Smoked worm salt was a first for me and definitely a taste experience I’ll be enjoying again.
In all the excitement, we had forgotten to eat so we ordered the Yellowtail ceviche with leche de tigre and plantain and of course another cocktail.
They aren’t shy with the portions and it was a refreshing change to find the yellowtail in more enjoyable slices rather than finely chopped as ceviche can sometimes be. The crunchy plantain offering a glorious juxtaposition to the delicate slices of fish.
If all the food is as good as this, I wish we’d tried more from their delectable looking menu.
This bar is cool. Cool like the ‘Met Bar’ and the ‘Zeta Bar’ were back in the day and equally full of the hospitality passionate and creative or those looking for a special and memorable night.
There’s a powerful and energetic hospitality feel here. As if the team can’t wait to get out of bed and get to work and you can feel that in the air.
Final note – Small party of guests? Sit at the bar.
The theatre will keep you there all night.
We didn’t want to leave!