Northern Monk Refectory – Food at Northern Monk is Reborn!
I can’t tell you how sad I was when I heard the news that Grub and Grog’s residency in the Flax Store at Northern Monk was drawing to a close. Grub and Grog’s inspired approach to grains, root vegetables and some of the best damn brunches imaginable made it a place I went to again and again (and again). The food at Northern Monk was my prime focus *holds wrist out to be slapped for prioritising food in a brewery*
Now, Northern Monk does charming beers. No doubt. At the moment I’m completely enamoured by their double strength IPA, and their Neapolitan Ice Cream beer (sounds DISGUSTING right?! It is majestic). But I am, truth be told, the kind of person who likes eating with my drink (why waste an opportunity for good fodder?) so finding out that The Refectory were taking up the banner and serving food at Northern Monk was a relief.
Last week I was invited to the pre-launch supper club.
We were ushered into the brewery on a hot night (made hotter by the fact we had literally just had time to have a quick shower after triathlon training, and then scurried over quick-march), and given a taste of their new double strength IPA – which somehow manages to avoid any bitterness, providing a smooth, intricate taste despite its ridiculous strength!
We then moseyed upstairs and found a lovely table set up for us, where we rooted for the rest of the evening and got to try course after charming course of new food offerings.
I still haven’t visited Grub and Grog at Sheaf St, but I should. I just don’t see how they could do such magnificent things in the tiny kitchen space at Sheaf St. But I am ready to have my mind changed…
The foods from Refectory were less avant garde. Where Grub and Grog took pearl barley, or spelt, some roasted root veg and a hunk of game or offal and elevated them into something unique and wonderful, satisfying and often even healthy (with a certain ambiance of Medieval pub thrown in for good measure), Refectory take a slightly more well-trodden route – fine dishes of a more Scandi-inspired vein. It’s less “elevated medieval pub food” and more “best of contemporary British”.
We had venison tartar, broad bean waffles, trout with pistachio, duck breast…all paired with brilliant Northern Monk beers.
Course after course showcased great, foraged British ingredients such as ramsons and sea herbs like sea purslane, alongside great fish like sea trout and cod, and great meats like duck, but vegetarian options shone just as much.
Dessert of deep fried elderflower with strawberries and strawberry & black pepper ice cream from Northern Bloc. Paired with Neapolitan Ice Cream beer – job’s a good’un!
So, get down to Northern Monk and the new Refectory and see what you think!