Hart Shoreditch

Hart Shoreditch – A Fantastic Foody Find

Friday 21st Jun 2024 |

It had been a very long time since I was last in Shoreditch. Nearly 20 years in fact. Back then it wasn’t the most exciting place after about six in the evening when all the people who worked in the city went home. 

So when I was asked to visit Hart Shoreditch and its new restaurant UBA I was intrigued to see how the place had changed. 

I have to say I was very very pleasantly surprised. Shoreditch is worlds apart from the weekend ghost town it once was. The place is vibrant and crackles with energy and life. And Hart is right in the centre of it!  

Hart by Hilton is part of the hotel’s Curio collection. It promised to delivery “a chic retreat in stylish Shoreditch” and it did not disappoint. 

The architecture of the hotel reflects the area’s industrial past, namely the rag trade, and it sits only half a mile from tube and railway stations like Shoreditch Hugh Street, Old Street and Liverpool Street. Unfortunately, there was a rail strike when I went down from sunny Yorkshire so I drove. Least said soonest mended on that. 

Hart Shoreditch

As well as the proximity to transport links the hotel is only a stone’s throw from the markets like Old Spitalfields, Brick Lane and Columbia Road Flower Market. And as for night life the place certainly isn’t lacking with any number of independent bars and clubs and boutiques if shopping is your thing. 

Hart has all you would expect from a hotel that’s part of the Hilton group. The thing that struck me from the moment I walked in was how much more relaxed the atmosphere felt. Now that’s not to say that the staff weren’t on the ball. In fact they couldn’t do enough for me, but the whole feel was very much in keeping with the new Shoreditch I’d just seen. Very cool very chilled. 

My room was beautifully appointed. I felt grand but still informal and relaxed so it didn’t make me feel like I didn’t want to sit on the bed in case I might crease it as is the case in many a nice hotel. Every amenity one could wish for was on hand including his and hers sinks,  and a coffee machine that was far too complicated for a man of my age or intellect to use. 

The main reason for my stay is to try Hart’s new restaurant UBA, so here we go…

UBA promised to be a sensory Journey through Pan Asian street food and being that Asian cuisine is my favourite and was very eager to start that journey. 

My colleague Alan and I started the evening with a drink (obviously) in the hotel bar. This in its self was a refreshing experience as the hotels DJ DJ Juanele was playing classic chilled house music which seemed to fit perfectly with the atmosphere and for what was to come in the restaurant. As for the drink, all I say is if you haven’t tried I35 East Hyogo Gin and tonic then you’re only hurting yourself. 

The restaurant has not only undergone a name change since it was Mastrodor. The new décor echoes the Pan Asian food with lots of traditional red and gold but still with the modern feel of the hotel itself. There is also counter service and private dining if you require it. 

UBA is a “sharing concept” restaurant, being from Yorkshire this is not a concept I’m used to. However, with the number of choices on this menu, it certainly is the way forward. If you want the full benefit, this isn’t as simple as a starter, main course and then dessert. And if it was, it would be impossible to choose. So with that in mind, I left the agony of choice to our waitress Emma Sednaoui. Her knowledge of the menu and levels of service are the benchmark by which all hotels and restaurants should aim for from their staff. 

The menu is the brainchild of Executive Chef Paul Greening (formally of Aqua Kyoto on Regent Street) and is inspired by Paul’s travels across Tokyo, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Singapore. And executed perfectly by Head Chef Pavel Baranovs and his brilliant team. 

Hart Shoreditch

If you’re only going to come here once because you don’t live in Shoreditch (the only reason I can think of to only come one) then I would suggest you make the most of it and bring you appetite. 

 The dishes we tried came from across the extensive menu and were all amazing but the standouts from the so-called “small dishes” were 

CHILLED SPINACH SALAD & HANDMADE SOBA TOFU WITH GOMA DRESSING 

and 

STUFFED BONELESS CHICKEN WINGS, CORIANDER LIME GINGER MISO DIPPING. 

If Sushi is more your thing then I would suggest the SPICY SALMON TARTARE, JAPANESE HERBS, SALMON ROE & NORI RICE CRACKERS and the CORNISH CRAB CALIFORNIA ROYALE MAKI, WITH LOBSTER MISO AND HERBS. 

Hart Shoreditch

I feel I cannot stress this next point enough if you go to UBA do not leave without trying the THREE YUZU SHISHO MARINADE LAMB CUTLETS, NASHI PEAR TOMATO MISO. This is why we actually have lambs! As far as I can tell its what they were designed for! 

Now the dishes I have mentioned are just the standouts. I don’t have the space to mention the Tacos, Hirata Buns and the Dim Sum all of which I could write pages about on their own. I will however give special mention/warning to a drink called a Smoky Dragon. Not the sort of thing I would normally order but I thought “When in Rome…” (well Shoreditch) etc. This cocktail went with every dish we ate. Try one. Try two! Try more and your evening could end rather sooner than you anticipated. 

To sum up Hart and UBA, I have been fortunate enough to stay all over in my professional capacity and I rarely make the decision to return to many places. However, in this case, this is exactly what I have done. Hart is the perfect hotel to stay at during the week on business or especially at the weekend for pleasure. And you don’t even need to leave to hotel with a fantastic restaurant like UBA on site.  

There are no negatives here. Hart and UBA are everything you could want and more from a visit. I will be returning with my friends and colleagues……as soon as Alan has recovered from the Smoky Dragons. 

Address: 61 – 67 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3HU

Phone: 020 3995 3655

Words By Dan Riley