The top 4 dishes on The Richmond's new lunch menu

One of our favourite things to happen food-wise this year was the launch of The Richmond in Hackney, transforming an old Egyptian-themed restaurant into a chi-chi neighbourhood hangout, with a pretty stellar line in seafood.

Their oyster happy hour has become our happy place on a Friday night, as we sit at their golden-topped bar, supping on a cocktail with some of those little Kumamoto suckers. 

And now, six months after opening in April, they're making weekend lunch a big deal too. This week saw the launch of their all-new lunch menu, with head chef Jon Atashroo flexing his culinary muscles to create some seriously delicious dishes.

So, if like Nicki Minaj questioning Miley, you too want to know "what's good?", here's what we reckon you need to be ordering.

Crab bisque, brown crab and sweetcorn croquettes (£7)


Well, lordy lordy, this has a real taste of the Southern States about it. It would be impossible to pack any more intense, sweet scent into this flavour-bomb of a bisque - very decadent, especially when scooped up with the little crab-meat croquettes.

Grilled sardines with piperade and aioli on sourdough toast (£8)


Remember eating sardines on toast as a kid when there was nothing else in the house? Well this is the opposite of that. This is more like the star dish at the birthday feast of Spain's top fisherman: sardines gently chargrilled and blistering on top, juicy, herbed peppers beneath and a good smearing of garlicky aioli on the sourdough toast. Feliz cumpleaños, Juan.

Spit-roast poussin with sage and pancetta stuffing with pumpkin (£18)


OK - we're into the big-hitters now. A whole roasted poussin (and we mean whole - feet also attached) with panko-crumbed pumpkin mash and marsala gravy has to be one of the star dishes on this new menu. We loved the delicate meat from this bird paired with the textured mash and the booze-infused gravy. Be cool though - as much as you may want to drink a whole cup of that gravy, it's probably not the done thing to actually do it. 

Pumpkin and coffee tart (£6)


So this is how The Richmond improve their already legendary banana tart. Given a seasonal make-over of pumpkin (a nod to co-owner Mags Crow's American heritage?) and a touch of coffee, this dessert still has the delicious creamy texture and wafer-thin pastry bite of the banana dish, but is a little more caramelised in flavour, and with the lightest touch of spice. Goes perfectly with an espresso martini, like all the best things in life.


We were invited as guests by The Richmond for this meal.