Tash Lopez discovers the hidden gem, B’Acino
Take a walk down Scrutton Street (just off Curtain Road), and you’ll see B’acino’s inviting bar area through its front windows. First impressions belie how much there is to discover in this friendly wine bar and restaurant. Spread over two floors, there is also a sprawling secret garden and cosy cellar room; an extensive wine list and fusion cuisine; and even a “chef’s table” for those who want to watch Chef Mirko at work.
B’acino was founded by Judy Ciok, inspired by her travels sampling diverse dishes and bringing them back to share with friends and family. This convivial spirit is the essence of B’acino – much of the menu is tailored to encourage tapas-style sharing of plates, and there is seating to accommodate every type of group and occasion. Extra points for being dog friendly!
The menu appeals to a range of tastebuds. There are Mediterranean treats, such as truffle gnocchi and halloumi fries; staples, including triple cooked potatoes and rib-eye steak; and plenty of seafood. We loved the “Naj” chorizo, which is served in flames and makes for a great Instagram snapshot! There is also a variety of pizzettas (small pizzas). And if you’re craving a classic pasta dish that’s not on the menu, Chef Mirko is always happy to see if he can whip it up. There will also be new dishes to discover soon – their menu changes seasonally.
The wine list is comprehensible even to non-connoisseurs, and ranges from popular faves to top of the range. Judy delights in taking time to advise on what will best suit your tastes and the dishes you’ve ordered. Our favourite so far has been the Tignanello, a Super Tuscan red that is simply exceptional, while the house wines are also solid crowd pleasers. And there is plenty of choice for the non-wine lovers in your group – cocktails, beer and non-alcoholic options.
We sat in the spacious garden, which was even more charming as the sun went down and fairy lights came on (there are excellent heaters). Aside from the flaming chorizo, we sampled the American-inspired pulled pork croquettas and mac & cheese, both of which were delicious. The tacos, made with ‘nduja and peppers, were a hit as well, and the truffle gnocchi were the perfect comfort food to satisfy our appetites. We also had the calamari and padron peppers, which are ideal for sharing while imbibing. And, we got to collect reward points using B’acino’s own app, so our order will contribute to discounts in future.
B’acino is a lovely hidden gem, and we can imagine coming here for cosy respite as the colder months set in. It is also perfect for Christmas parties, and very popular, so do look into booking well ahead of time to nab your favourite room.
54 – 56 Scrutton Street
Glass of house wine: £5.50
Small plates: From £5.50
Main course: £11 – £16
MON: Private hire only
TUE: 12 – 11pm
WED: 12 – 11pm
THU: 12 – 1:30pm
FRI: 12 – 11:30pm
SAT: 5 – 1:30pm
Tash is an artist and writer based in Haggerston. She loves discovering the best food and drink in East London, and has a penchant for tapas and cocktails.
Images: Tash Lopez