52 Wilton Way E8 6GG
0207 254 8311
AKA: The one where food gets dramatic
The deal: Nestled on the picture-perfect street of Wilton's Way in Hackney, Mayfields popped up seemingly over night and has quickly become one of the neighbourhood's favourite dining spots. It's intimate – only seating about 30 people – and has built its reputation on innovative, tasty sharing plates. That said, you'll need to work your way through quite a bit of the almost-daily changing menu for a decent sized meal – definitely not the place to dine if your mates are funny about having to share plates. If this is the case, we recommend ditching them for more hospitable pals anyway. Sharing is caring, guys.
The food: The dishes are awash with different world flavours matched in intriguing new ways. From the beginning of the menu (the more “starters” like of the dishes) a slow cooked egg explodes over a creamy, rich salted cod brandade (£7.80), while asparagus spears are lifted with pop-in-the-mouth pearls of trout roe and spring onion (£8.50). We're told the lemon sole (£10.80) is one of the favourite dishes on the menu and it's obvious why when we pick up a mouthful of the perfectly cooked fish with a citrus butter that's pleasingly thick and silky in consistency. In fact, it's such a looker of a dish, it could almost be a dessert plate, with the paper thin daikon placed delicately on the top and dusted with licorice. The next dish out is also a showstopper – clam dashi with grilled octopus, asparagus and pink grapefruit segments. Delicate, intricate and whole new waves of flavours. Then for dessert – a hot chocolate mousse that sits somewhere between a fondant and syllabub, thick and rich, topped with a touch of almost savoury kaffir lime ice-cream (£6.50).
Signature dish: The Lemon Sole.
Chef: Matthew Young
When to dine: Mid-week or weekends – if you can bag a table.
Damage to pocket: With the dishes clocking in around £10, you're need several to fill up, so with a glass of wine, probably about £40 a head.
File under: Celebrate good times, Pay day blow out