Wine legends of Sager+Wilde are back with a new venture, Mission, presenting primarily Californian wine (by the glass, bottles from round the world) alongside (primarily) Italian cuisine.
Décor is simple, efficient, and fairly sparse – with the beautiful bar dominating the scene (although the palm tree, though channelling California, could be done without), and an excellent outdoor area.
To the important bits: Mission may primarily serve wine, but there is a short selection of (primarily aperitifs) classic cocktails at a shocking 4 pound 50. Though short, said cocktails were of spectacular quality that are difficult to rival. A Three Sip Martini, exactly what it sounds like, caught me by surprise since I certainly wasn’t expecting one made so well – considering what a snob I tend to be with them. Especially with Tanqueray, which isn’t usually my first choice. The Rum Old Fashioned came enviably delicious, simple and effective, the highlight of the night’s drinks. A definite order.
Enormous Globe Artichoke and ‘Nduja Arancini put away, a fantastically crisp, peppery Californian Gruner Veltliner, and an Italian red blend entertained a main course of rabbit leg cooked to perfection with polenta, pancetta and girolles. The evening ends with a rather short list of desserts – but I couldn’t complain about the Dulce de Leche cheesecake with Master Obayashi’s Hijiri Hojicha – a roasted Okinawan tea, strongly tobacco and toffee – necessary to help with the overwhelming sweetness of the cake. Not to mention these guys certainly aren’t stiffing you on portion size.
Service was impeccably polite from beginning to finish, food and drink served with incredible swiftness. Unfortunately, on the more than one occasion the Hoodooist has visited, there have been errors on the bill and delays or confusions with orders. Nonetheless, it all gets sorted out, and certainly does not dilute the experience of wonderful food and drink.
Essentially, with cocktails – there often isn’t much one can add to elaborating on classics, but the delightfully dry gin Martini and rounded Rum Old Fashioned are worth coming down to Mission almost exclusively for – and what value for money! A cocktail, wine and tea for 15 pounds, I’m certainly not complaining.
Mission runs a soft launch till 14th Sept 2014(reservations only); opening on the 15th Sept.
Service: ** – ***
250 Paradise Row,
London E2 9LE