Test Driving The Baring – Islington’s Pub Restaurant Renaissance Continues | Road test
What can you tell us about The Baring
Islington has had a string of impressive new openings recently, The Baring has opened just weeks after the launch of another great new Islington pub – The Tamil Prince.
This pub (formerly The Poet) has been completely refurbished and reborn as The Baring. In its new guise, it’s open with chef Rob Tecwyn in the kitchen, who was Dabbous’ former head chef and recently senior sous-chef at Kerridge’s Bar and Grill. He is joined by managing director Adam Symonds who has worked at Orasay and Six Portland Road. The two met at Highgate’s The Bill and Last ten years ago and now they run their own pub. So there is a particularly good team behind the place and that is certainly a good sign.
Where can I find it?
You’ll find it just off The New North Road on the corner of Baring Street. It’s on the Islington/Hoxton border and as such the nearest station is probably Essex Road overground (it’s about a 10 minute walk away).
Can you come for a drink or is it just to eat?
There are about eight stools at the bar where you can just pop in for a pint if you fancy, which is nice to see in any revamped pub. During the day, a small bar snack menu is offered, including treats like lamb kofte and taramsalata with toast.
They say the focus is on sustainability – how do they achieve this?
We know that Hot Dinners readers are increasingly interested in this aspect of restaurants, so we asked them to tell us more.
First, the focus is on waste management (much of it is reused or composted or turned into green electricity), single-use plastics (including piping bags) are not used, and film Food is avoided where possible (using containers instead). As Rob Tecwyn told us “All of these things seem small but the amount used by your average restaurant is huge. Even the waste oil from the fryer is collected and turned into biofuel.” There is the same emphasis on their suppliers. They use 100% organic Rhug Estate for their meat, Wildfarmed flour for their bread and ancient dairy cattle for the beef.
As Tecwyn says; “At the end of the day, it’s something I’m passionate about and we do our best to work with people who share the same passion.”
So what’s on the menu?
They describe it as a seasonal menu, highlighting provenance and aiming for low environmental impact. It’s a description almost everyone seems to be using at the moment, but it means it fits quite well with a current trend with restaurants like Cafe Cecilia and Caravel – good portions, menus that read extremely well and dishes showcasing a comfort food element (ideal for a pub) backed by great cooking expertise.
In terms of layout, the card is quite classic. Although not named as such, it is divided into sections which translate into snacks, appetizers, main courses and sides and desserts. Essentially, it’s not a small plate affair.
To give you a taste, here’s what we had.
As well as the above, there’s also a prime rib for two with chimichurri and chips (£76) and a Sunday lunch menu that adds roasts including grilled pork neck, beef sirloin and a chicken whole roast.
How is it for vegetarians?
In addition to the dishes above, there was another main course – falafel, tahini sauce, grilled spring onion and dill pickle (£20) and another starter of grilled leeks, gribiche and hazelnuts (£10). .
And the drinks?
There’s a decently sized wine list (all organic, biodynamic or similar practices) with bottles from £29, with around ten served by the glass or carafe (we opted for an ever-reliable Melon de Bourgogne (Domaine De La Quilla 2020 at There are about 10 bottles that cost less than £40 and you can go up to around £100 if you splash out (in this case a 2018 Piero Benevetti Barolo at £110).
Special mention also to the cocktails, notably the Hogweed Martini (£10).
Islington has had a great time when it comes to restaurants recently. Ceci, The Tamil Prince, Valderrama’s and Caravel were all strong winners. This particular new pub has an immediately enticing menu that elevates what a pub menu can be while still retaining a strong comfort food element. There is great food in their upstairs kitchen and we highly recommend you come down and try it.
Find out more about The Baring
Where is he? 55 Baring Street, London N1 3DS
When? July 12, 2022
How to book: online booking
Hot dinners were eaten as guests of The Baring. Prices are correct at the time of writing.
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