Ellen Parr, co-founder of The Art of Dining, and Pete Kelly has just launched their Chinese pop-up, Lucky & Joy, in East London, with a residency on Cambridge Heath Road.
Following a run of successful pop-ups in Tottenham and Hackney’s Institute of Light, the duo brings their bold take on regional Chinese cooking to a new home.
The menu maps the breadth of regional Chinese cooking, collected on Parr and Kelly's travels through China’s more remote corners, alongside vibrant flavours influenced by Parr’s time spent in the kitchens of Moro and Rochelle Canteen.
Dishes will include Xinjiang cumin lamb ribs hailing from the provence of North-West Muslim China, as well as the numbing heat of Sichuan cooking with Bang Bang Chicken Salad. Xi’an-style potatoes celebrates flavours from the heart of China whilst, heading further south, following an ancient tea route, dishes such as steamed fish with black beans and tea leaf salad showcase flavours from the Yunnan province laying on the border of Vietnam.
Parr said, “We’ve recently got back from a trip to China and are bursting with inspiration for our new home - we were lucky to travel to some crazy, isolated places and delve further into regional intricacies and flavour profiles.'
Accompanying the food, a short wine list is a laidback affair, championing young, environmentally conscious producers, with sparkling wines taking centre stage to compliment the heat of the dishes.
In the adjoining archway, Lucky & Joy is joined by The New Leaf, a bar from The Art of Drinking. Inspired by the bars which litter Beijing’s hutong alleyways, the bar echos the brash modernity of a flourishing metropolis with neon lighting, offset by traditional Chinese lanterns.
An eclectic, rotating cocktail list devised by Kelly pillages the kitchen pantry of Asian fruits and spices, featuring Togarashi spiced yuzu sake slushee, Grilled peach margaritas and Lemongrass shochu cocktails.
There is also be a dedicated bar snack menu with bao buns, Tornado potatoes and a BBQ in the garden cooking up Lamb shoulder kebab and BBQ aubergine and tofu with Kaffir lime and lemongrass.
Kelly said, “We wanted to bring together everything we love about China’s food scene, from the rural cooking of the North West to the big city spirit of Beijing. With both the bar and restaurant we’ve been able to truly showcase our own slice of the Orient.'
Lucky & Joy is also open at lunchtime serving simple, stripped back rice bowls whilst DJs are on hand until late over the weekend to truly capture the vibrancy and vivacity of Beijing by night.