Nick has an encounter with a YBA and says WTF at new place HOP

Tracey Emin has just trod on my foot. Should I put my soiled Doc Martin on eBay or encase it in perspex and sell it to Saatchi? All I need is a good title, because modern art is all about the right’headline’, and he’d probably hand over millions.

Monika Galetti is here too and the very dapper Michel Roux senior; clearly when the Galvins have an opening it sucks in celebrities like a food-powered black hole.

And me too, happy to be now securely stationed under the four giant copper tanks of unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell Tank Beer, delivered fresh from the brewery in the Czech Republic each week. They even have the dates they’re opened written in chalk, so you know the beer is fresh. This is important as unpasteurised draft beer only has a life of 45 to 60 days and once opened as little as three.

Many brewers believe that by pasteurising the beer a lot of its character is lost. To pasteurise beer it’s usually heated to 60°C for between 25 to 30 minutes to kill microorganisms but it damages the beer’s natural taste, colour and aroma. Unpasteurised beer is said to have rounder and more complex flavour.

I’d not disagree; my pint glass is emptying fast, almost as fast as I am demolishing the wonderful food that the Galvin Bros are bringing out in remarkable quantities for this launch.

HOP, is a Galvin Pub de Luxe on what was the site of Galvin Café A Vin in Spitalfields Market. The menu is all about pub dishes made with seasonal ingredients cooked using a mixture of classic and modern techniques.

Designed by the brothers, the menu includes meat and fish from their award-winning suppliers with dishes such as slow cooked beef cheeks in stout and caramelised carrots, Galvin cured smoked salmon with soda bread, charred beetroot and goats curd salad, rarebreed sausage rolls, grilled Suffolk pork & cider braised onions, flatbread with tuna & smoked aubergine, spatchcocked Cotswold chicken and green clementine trifle. 

I wolf down a Luxe Dog from a range of gourmet hot dogs made with Maille’s premium, seasonal mustard served fresh from the pump. The saveloys snap with a whiplash crack, perfect examples of how to do dogs right. Scotch eggs are moist and slightly runny in the centre and the sausage rolls are superb.

The menu overall looks’must-eat’ and knowing the Galvins it will be consistently excellent and reliable, and reasonably well priced given the area.

Hop to it

35 Spital Square,

London, E1 6DY

(Entrance on Bishops Sq)