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Tucked away in a basement in Hackney Central’s main drag, the only evidence that Behind the Wall exits is a discreet Bar sign hovering above an open door.

Beyond the velvet curtain is a simplistic and minimalistic space. Inspired by a Scandi-Japanese design - think white tiles and pale plywood, it was part built by co-founder and head bartender Alex Harris.

Despite the images plywood may conjure it’s pretty cozy. I relax into a booth as chilled-out beats come from a record player at the corner of the bar.

I’m intrigued by the cocktail menu which I’m told blurs the margins between food and drink and fuses the rich flavours of classic New England fall with the spiced warmth of an Indian Summer.

I start with an aperitif of Hail Mary (Blended scotch, clam chowder oyster, garam masala extract, Chesapeake seasoning, tomato, beetroot & celery juice, pickle juice, lemon sea foam, timut pepper) which, after a long day, was the answer to many of my prayers. So deliciously salty it paired well with my choice of bar snack, Maple candied fruits and Vermont cheddar.

Not quite satisfied with one bar snack I also tried the Lime-pickled onions on rye. Both were served on a block of Himalayan Pink Salt. Although attractive to look at you’d wonder about the practicality of it. However, that didn’t stop me swirling the rye bread on the block to add some salty goodness.

Next I tried Redcoat Rickey (Absinthe flambéed maple bourbon cherries, cranberry and lime olive, fennel seed extract, apero, brut nature) the sweetness of the cherries was the perfect choice after salty bar snacks.

If cocktails are not your tipple the drinks menu offers a decent variety of spirts, beer on draught (and bottles and wines – basically you won’t go thirsty.

You can also indulge in Hawaiian poke, a clam or oyster chowder – perfect for a cold winters night.

When I return to sample their next seasonal menu, I’ll work my visit from 6-7pm for oyster happy hour where you get one for just £1 a pop.

Need to Know:

Behind this Wall

411 Mare Street, E8 1HY

Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 6-11 pm

behindthiswall.com


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Review: Behind this Wall
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