Whilst many restaurants have found themselves pivoting to a takeaway and delivery model, in the hope this will sustain them until they can open their doors again, Hot 4 U is a brand spanking new delivery kitchen.
Operating out of the old Monty’s Deli site on Hoxton Street, it was created by Matthew Scott who pre-lockdown was head chef at Cub (a restaurant we adored, by the lovely Mr Lyan) and Eddy Tejada who has previously worked at St John and Silo – two more restaurants and concepts we have a hella lot of time for.
Sounds like quite the dream team, right? This has all come about in a relatively short space of time, so it would be fair to say they’re still finding their feet, however, they’re now offering delivery London-wide! Impressive stuff.
The menu changes weekly, with delivery or collection available on just Friday and Saturday nights at the moment, priced at £35 a head. You’ll need to pre-order (by DMing them on Instagram) but get in early as they’ve been a sell-out so far.
Our doorbell rang and we were presented with two brown paper bags containing our meal. Inside was a menu which explained what everything was and if it needed any preparation. The great thing about this meal is that although most of it is ready to eat, you could also wait and have it the next night if need be. We choose to lay everything out and get tucked in which worked well but you could also pretend you were at a restaurant and do a proper starter, main and dessert course if you preferred.
Our spread included misozuke turnips (essentially a ‘miso pickle’) paired with a tapenade of sunchokes (Jerusalem artichoke) roasted in spent coffee grain oil and a green sauce using herbs sourced from Keats Organic Garden, a company they worked with before lockdown. For a simple green salad, they teamed up with the Copenhagen-based closed-loop distillery Empirical Spirits to create a miso dressing. Mutton neck was the main course, a large piece of meat, glazed in beech sap (Scotland’s answer to maple syrup we’re told), designed to be shared. This came in a plastic bag and simply needed popping in a simmering pot of water for 10 mins to warm through. On the side was rhubarb hot sauce (chefy blobs and swirls optional) and XO pancakes which just needed chucking in a warm oven for a few minutes.
On paper, rice pudding isn’t a dessert we’d ordinarily opt for. But hey, we’re living through extraordinary times right and turns out we loved it. Sourced from an all-female cooperative of farmers in Italy, it’s served with layers of jam, fig leaf oil (leaves foraged from the marshes) and meringue and can be eaten either hot or cold (we had it cold). We washed the lot down with ice-cold strawberry & chamomile negronis which arrives in a pouch and just needs pouring over ice. Simples.
Overall it all felt very Cub/Silo in its use of repurposing food that would otherwise go to waste, using ethically-minded suppliers and presenting us with cuts that we’d not normally find on the average menu (let alone the average takeaway menu).
Next week’s menu is up already and features the likes of wonky asparagus, an exciting twist on a panzanella salad and nuked cherrybomb for dessert. No, we’re not sure either but that’s half the fun.
For more info, follow Hot 4 U on Instagram here.