There’s nothing worse than empty units on your high street is there? We were gutted when Del 74 closed their doors and took their tacos and tequila with them (thanks Hackney Council!) but we’re thrilled to say Lucky & Joy are here to fill that gap on Lower Clapton Road. Hurrah!
Ellen Parr (ex-Moro and Morito) & Pete Kelly (also Morito, and former head of drinks at Night Tales and Chinese pop-up Poon’s) have built up quite the following thanks to a couple of years of sell-out pop-ups under their belts.
This is their first foray into a permanent spot and the restaurant has been simply decked out with cosy pastel pink and blue tables for two and a bright white bar.
Once seated you’ll be given a paper menu and a pencil for you to start ticking off what you want to order (similar to Del 74 as it happens). Unbelievably we’re told the menu changes daily which will give us locals plenty of reason to return.
We kicked off with chilli-laced smacked cucumbers inspired by their travels around China, Southeast Asia and New York, alongside a plate of cold sesame noodles which absolutely hit the spot (we could legit see ourselves popping in for these alone).
We admit *turnip cake* doesn’t have the most mouth-watering ring to it. However, it’s one of the many dishes we’d highly recommend. Lightly fried and swimming in soy, it’s finished with the most perfectly cooked soft egg imaginable – if only I could get my poachies so spot on. Again, pineapple fried rice sounds pretty standard, but here they’ve scooped out the insides and served a generous portion in the shell, spiked with red chilli, spring onion and coriander.
Other veggie bits and pieces include the festive shredded typhoon shelter-style sprouts which will be on throughout the Christmas period and Grandma’s potatoes which can be made with or without bacon. In terms of more meaty options, the chargrilled lamb chops are served with onions and pomegranate and really come alive with a squeeze of lemon.
Once our plates were cleared away, we were kindly offered a slice of Portuguese custard tart, which sat behind us on the counter. Although slightly unexpected given what had come before it and despite being the only dessert on offer the night we visited, it was insanely good.
We stuck to the wine whilst we were there (you’ll be pleased to know it’s super affordable, in line with the rest of the menu) but will be returning for a ‘Yunnan Flavour’ – a Pan-Asian twist on a mojito with coconut-washed vodka, ginger, lemongrass and coriander, and the house signature, Lucky’s G&T – made with Sichuan peppercorn-infused gin, clear pomelo and aromatic tonic.
Welcome to the neighbourhood guys!