The happy hour at The Richmond Hackney is the talk of the town. While tequila is still on the menu, it’s the oysters which have got everyone excited. For East London’s first raw bar and new neighbourhood bistro is offering up the delicious, salty, truffles of the sea for just one pound a pop every Friday at 6-7PM and Saturday at 5-6PM.

Diners are invited to pick from a selection of locally sourced oysters such as the Maldon Kumamoto from Essex, “harvested wild from the river blackwater. Small, sweet and meaty,” or Portland Pearls from Cornwall, “small but plump and meaty, sweet and minerally flavour,” served with a herb sauce and homemade Tabasco. The weary are offered shooters – freshly shucked oysters with spiced tomato juice, horseradish and vodka, or lime, coriander, green chilli, cucumber and tequila. Trust us, there’s nothing like knocking back a few of these, to make you change your stance on oysters.

The Richmond is a hot spot not just for its happy hour. The first of its kind in East London, it also replaced the LMNT, a strange budget food joint famed for its treehouse dining and erotic Egyptian murals in the bathroom. Opened in March by stylist and fashion consultant Mags Crow, and the Gourmand award-winning chef Brett Redman of Elliot’s in Borough Market, the restaurant is now an incredibly stylish addition to the somewhat deserted Queensbridge Road on the Dalston/Haggerston borders.

If you haven’t already seen The Richmond on instagram (Mags Crows fashion girl gang have been doing some effective marketing) it’s beautiful. It has an old American retro dining feel with deep red walls, amber lighting and panelled glass covered with fabric shades. Dark wood round tables are subtly lit with large fabric covered lamp shades hanging overhead, and there’s a marble topped bar where Negronis are served on tap.

The menu is a mixture of raw and cooked dishes with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced produce. After our shooters, we ate a seabass tartare with oyster mayo, chives and rye crackers, and crispy prawns, deep fried whole and served with a lemon mayo. I was reprimanded by a friend for not trying the buttery crab served on an english muffin with an espelette pepper, so be sure to order to start. For a main course we ate Monkfish with brown crab butter and gem lettuce, cooked to perfection, and their famous Nduja spiced seafood stew in a rich tomato sauce with pasta shells and aioli.

There’s a selection of classic cocktails on offer and the wine menu is a lesson on natural wine curated by the founder of Raw, the UK’s largest artisan wine fair, Isabelle Legeron.
Whether you know your oysters or not, The Richmond is worth showing off about. Bring friends, family or a date down this residential street in Hackney for oysters and negronis and whether you chewed or not, they’ll be impressed.

At The Richmond, 316 Queensbridge Rd, London E8 3NH

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