On the eve of the Ashes, when Harmison was still a class act and hope was still alive, Mark and I arranged to meet up to arrange our traditional side bets and elected to give Green & Red a try. This is one of those places I've been meaning to visit for ages, more or less since it opened, in fact, but have somehow failed to get to. Others include The Admiralty, Nobu, Le Gavroche... the list goes depressingly on. Happily, Green & Red has moved directly to the slightly more exclusive will-go-again list.
Green & Red is a winning combination of bar, restaurant (excuse me, cantina), tequila club and all round good humour. In various permutations (especially the latter) these are the ingredients that have made the same stable's Redchurch and Hawksmoor so convincing and successful, so it's hardly surprising that marrying all four factors together works so well.
We kicked off with some feisty Mexican tipples, a beer for Mark and something with ginger and tequila in it for me. For starters, a zingy sea bass ceviche for Mark, while I had an enormous chilli stuffed with cheese, onions, peppers and - somewhat unsuccessfully, I felt - potato. To follow, I had the signature carnitas, an intensely piggy combination of four short ribs and a generous hunk of slowly roasted pork belly. This was great, at once hearty and spikey with refreshing chilli notes. Mark had steak, well aged, well flavoured and perfectly cooked an even pink. To accompany both (and I think all the other dishes) came some shreaded cabbage, bowls of Mexican goodies, including a vividly green guacamole, and a welcome collection mini flour tortillas for wrapping all the bits and pieces together. We washed it all down with a frankly unnecessary bottle of something red and Argentinian from a short list dominated by South America.
Talking of unnecessary, we then moved on (or in my case, back) to the Owl & Pussycat to check the London Pride was up to its usual standards (it was) and that our bar billiards was as bad as ever (it was too). Howard had joined us by now but despite his protestations I successfully escaped so I could be home in time for the start of the Test. Almost. Turns out I was ten minutes too late, but thanks to Mr Harmison, the first over was still in progress...
Green and Red, 51 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA 0207 749 9670