Just outside Shoreditch Station on the junction by the bridge lies a venue painted black apart from a neon outline of a bull. It stands out from its surroundings and when walking past you are curious as to see what’s inside. Large chess pieces line the shelves, ornate parasols are hung in the corners and the bar is beautifully presented with bottles of various whiskeys alongside each other. The jazz playing in the background adds to the relaxed mood.
I had been looking forward to reviewing Bull in a China Shop for a number of reasons, particularly its extensive Japanese whiskey collection and the experimental Asian food. We settled in with a glass of white wine, deciding to save the whiskey and cocktails for an after dinner treat. We stared with a slow-cooked rotisserie chicken, which had been brined with ginger, marinated overnight in a yoghurt flavoured with Asian spices, and regularly glazed with one of their fine whiskies. The skin was moist and rich with flavour from the extensive process that went into making it so. The meat was juicy on the inside and you could really taste the subtle flavours of ginger, lime and whiskey with every mouthful; this set the appetite for what was the star of the meal: the Panko crusted chicken burger. Panko breadcrumbs give a crunch that normal breadcrumbs don’t always provide, and the chicken breast in between the charcoal buns with hints of pickled ginger and a mango and lime sauce was perfectly balanced. The side salads offered a refreshing complement to each bite, and could easily be the main meal for the more health-conscious diner.
Being a lover of fine whiskeys, Bull in a China Shop really appealed to me as it stocks a wide-ranging selection of Scottish and Japanese whiskies, some so rare that collectors have been knocking at their door. I tried their twist on an Old Fashioned and the addition of a fine whisky base made it one of the best takes of an Old Fashioned that I have had. It was also mixed with charcoal which apparently helps the body digest the alcohol and apparently might rid you of a hangover. If you are a whiskey lover like myself, I would highly recommend you take a trip down, sit at the bar and tipple a variety of Japanese whiskeys. Even if you’re not fond of the stuff, there are cocktails which should appeal to every palate.
All in all, the Bull in a China Shop was an excellent establishment worth trying, be it for the food, the whiskies or both.
Visit the website here.