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Friday, 11 May 2012

Ridley Road Market Bar, Dalston

Ridley Road is like an East End version of Portobello circa 1958, minus the race riots. Shorter than the now Cameroony West London thoroughfare, it is lined with stalls selling fish you've never heard of for peasant dishes they'll be eating in some poncey chef's gaff next season at £32 a pop sans veg. Talk to da man, and you can also score illegal bush meat if that's your foodie thing. Colourful, exotic, multi-cultural and urban,  it's the ideal backdrop for Ponysteppin' pale and interestings into whatever this year's equivalent of heroin chic is.  Spot them at this funky (both in the current Brit and  original Harlem sense) liquor shack, cadging fags and hoping someone flush with dole money, or the £50 they scored for doing an indie band's make-up for their latest music promo,  will stand them a tropical cocktail: tequila and grapefruit, ginger mojito or gin and pomegranite (sic).Otherwise, there's  Red Stripe, house vino  served in old stoppered bottles and killer coffee in the absence of a wrap of coke when Haggerston all-nighters beckon. The bar's gaudy, clapped-out interior looks like a set for a Tarantino flick and there’s an alfresco terrace-ette for showing off your pretend perfected-in-Pentonville rude boy stance. Grub-wise, Luca’s highly doable big beefy meatballs slathered in sauce might put some meat on scrawny frames but for most, as Ms Moss says, 'nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.' 
49 Ridley Road E8 2NP