Housed within the mind bending new M by Montcalm Hotel on City Road, Tonic & Remedy is the latest offering by restaurant powerhouse Searcys. A brand new 17 storey hotel in the heart of Shoreditch, the interior design of the space was a confusing mix of high end materials and seemingly random elements included to make the place feel “edgy”. Polished marble sits alongside a concrete bar top, Tom Dixon lights next to crystalline hanging sculptures and plush booth seating outside the toilets with those ever so infuriating “cute” signs indicating the gents from the ladies. The mix of materials and styles made the fit-out feel disparate; I can just imagine the board meeting where members listed things they thought would make the space look cool.
Luckily, the rest of the experience bore no resemblance to the fit-out with a small, well thought out menu, extensive wine and cocktail list, and staff who were attentive but not overly imposing. Having stopped for a pre-drink at the rather cool Relax pop-up on Old Street roundabout, we skipped the cocktails and plunged straight into wine and starters. These were the highlight for me. A G&T cured salmon was light and refreshing with pops of raw cucumber sprinkled throughout however the hero was the Octopus with Black rice and saffron. Tender tentacles of octopus were offset by inky black puffed rice creating a dish I could quite happily eat a large portion of. Divine.
The mains came in good time, leaving enough space between courses for conversation and contemplation. My hot smoked salmon was rich in taste but light in texture and my company’s Ribeye steak perfectly cooked. The rainbow chard side was a little light on for the price however the creamed potato was worth the ensuing heart attack. We finished with a Black Forest fondant which came with a superb sorbet and a Peach, Lemon Thyme and Raspberry deconstructed number, a lusciously sweet Sauternes and a full bodied Port.
Minor gripes about fit-out aside, the evening was highly enjoyable and the food and service impeccable. If you’re wondering what that strange looking building on City Road is, then I’d definitely recommend popping in for a meal or at least a cocktail overlooking the beautiful Moorgate Hospital building opposite.