A promising duo with an eclectic pedigree will take over an Islington pub this week. Chefs Jamie Allan, who before, most recently, working at Hill & Szrok on Broadway Market in London, worked at Paris’ seminal neo bistro, Le Chateaubriand, will join Ed McIlroy from Bao Fitzrovia as the two launch Four Legs at The Compton Arms near Highbury Corner this Friday, 26 April. The focus will be on “quality, local, British ingredients,” with the chefs pronouncing that “Four Legs bucks the current trends, championing meat across its concise changing menu.”
Four Legs will serve a seasonal menu of “British fare with modern European and Asian elements,” sourcing vegetables and salads from the increasingly name-checked Keats Community Organics (in Welling, south east London). Bread will come from E5 Bakehouse — all will be done in a bid “to elevate the classic pub meal to something more memorable.”
It sounds like Allan and McIlroy are in search of the recipe which has defined the likes of Hackney’s Marksman as the textbook gastropub 2.0. Snacks like chicken scratchings, bocconcini, and smoked almonds will be followed by sharing plates like peas, mussels, and bacon broth; salt hake with roast shallots and pink fir potatoes; a plate of ham; grilled asparagus; and pork belly skewers. And just as St Leonards in Shoreditch has sought to reposition the East End classic of faggots and pease pudding, Four Legs wants to “upgrade” the parmo, a Middlesbrough (Italian) sandwich, which typically uses chicken; instead they will top panko-crusted fried veal with melted mozzarella.
Joining it will be a good-looking fried chicken sandwich with proper mayo, dill pickles, and shredded iceberg lettuce.
On Sundays, the chefs will serve roast sirloin of beef with a Yorkshire pudding.
Four Legs takes its name from the famous saying, “Four legs good, two legs bad” in George Orwell’s, Animal Farm. The Compton Arms was reportedly one of Orwell’s favourite pubs.
Initially the Four Legs kitchen will run from Wednesday to Friday 6pm to 9pm; on Saturday from 1pm to 9pm; and Sunday 1pm to 7pm. No reservations.