The colourful new 44-cover east London restaurant and bar comes from ex-Moro and Morito chef Ellen Parr and drinks expert, Pete Kelly (also Morito, and former head of drinks at Night Tales and famed Chinese pop-up Poon’s) who serve up a collection of innovative, broadly Chinese-inspired dishes and eclectic cocktails. The dynamic duo have generated a cult following over more than two years of successful Lucky & Joy pop-ups, and chef residencies in various locations across London.
The imaginative concept is galvanized by the diverse food and dining experiences that best friends’ Ellen and Pete discovered and fell in love with on their travels together throughout China, Southeast Asia and New York. From the explosive Chongqing Hotpot served throughout the Sichuan Province, fragrant Uyghur stews and hand-pulled noodles in Xinjiang, to delicious dim sum and barbeque on menus in Hong Kong through to Macanese cuisine: a fusion of Chinese and Portuguese flavours. Now, with a plethora of hospitality experience and travels under their belts, Ellen and Pete have followed their sell-out pop-ups and residencies by launching Lucky & Joy’s first permanent site, with the intention to continue the tradition of fusion food and drinks they both love, in their home borough of Hackney.
At the new Clapton outpost, guests can expect fiery sharing plates, quirky décor and a welcoming, upbeat atmosphere, that underlined their previous pop-up success. The newly developed menu from chef Ellen rotates daily and showcases her personal interpretation of regional Chinese dishes, with punchy flavour profiles aplenty. Stand out plates include her take on the Xinjiang Lamb Chops - served with onion and pomegranate, and Sesame Noodles - tossed in a homemade dressing with a powerful chilli kick.
The affordable menu is refreshingly veg-forward, with Ellen committed to ensuring that at least half of the dishes are vegetarian/vegan-friendly (or available as such on request), with options such as Shiitake Turnip Cake and Yunnan Smacked Cucumbers sure to be loved regardless of dietary inclinations. Tasty Typhoon Shelter-Style Sprouts will be a festive addition to the menu throughout the Christmas period, whilst bar snacks including Crispy Fried Kidney Beans and Homemade Pickles are available year-round (bar snacks & small dishes from £4, through to £15 for larger sharing plates).
The drinks menu, curated by Pete and designed to complement Ellen’s food, includes cocktails such as the Yunnan Flavour - a Pan-Asian twist on a mojito with coconut-washed vodka, ginger, lemongrass and coriander, and the house signature, Lucky’s G&T - made with Sichuan peppercorn-infused gin, clear pomelo and aromatic tonic, alongside a short wine list (cocktails & wines by the glass from £6).
The decor at Lucky & Joy’s new permanent spot has the same kitsch edge and eccentric design for which its previous pop-ups are renowned, and is sure to become a neighbourhood favourite with Clapton locals and London’s destination diners alike.