As the temperature cools outside, things have been heating up at Artisan as the kitchen team develop a brand new menu. They invited us along to try out, of course we couldn't say no.
Artisan had told us there were "an abundance of fresh new flavours scattered throughout, an ample sharing plates section and a fine selection of toasty winter warmers." With that in mind we figured the best way to try as much of the range as possible, was through sharing small plates.
So onto the meal and we opted for my favourite way of eating, bring it as and when. First out was the Salt & Pepper Fried Chicken accompanied by the Sweetcorn with Chilli Butter. Both dishes were great, I particularly liked the chicken and could quite happily have had a portion to myself. Soon after came Artisan Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Sauce - wasn't as keen on these, seemed a bit tough. They were followed promptly by the Asparagus Spears with Cheese & Truffle Sauce, a really tasty and playful dish.
Crispy Lemon Pepper Calamari was next, Calamari is a firm menu favourite of mine and did enjoy these with the citrus mayo. Slow roasted tomatoes with Anchovy toasts and Crispy Beef Lettuce Wraps were the final 2 dishes, both good, the sauce on the crispy beef was really tasty.
We got our way through the lot and all the dishes complimented each other well, nothing felt out of place and you can't fault the amount of choice. Other highlights I'm told include hake baked in banana leaf with coconut rice, wood fired seafood paella, and the cherry tomatoes and lamb kefta with mini tortillas and raita.
Overall we really enjoyed dinner, a couple of glasses of Merlot accompanied the dishes, I'd say on balance red is the way to go but I guess ultimately it depends on your dish combo.
Artisan is a great venue and being upstairs over the bridge tucked in a quiet corner surrounded by art you can escape the familiar for a couple of hours, eat small plates and imagine yourself out of Spinningfields and in the heart of any European city of your choosing.