Glass discovers Asian-inspired Tacos at Victory Mansion

BLACKENED river trout tacos with a side of Atticus Finch? Torched seabream tortillas with a Holden Caulfield? The menu at Victory Mansion, Stoke Newington, is sure to satisfy your culinary and literary appetites, with its newly released Ta-ko menu and literature-inspired cocktails.

Past the unassuming storefront, we entered into a space that was both bustling and cosy, with the homely vibe of a neighbourhood haunt. The décor was a nicely unpretentious and eclectic mix of palm-flecked wallpaper with an art deco style bar and high tables. We started the evening with browsing their bookish cocktail menu, with half dedicated to famous (or infamous) literary characters – a handy accessory where I was able to prove the worth of my English Lit degree by recognising at least two thirds of the menu. Holly Golightly, Winston Smith … like drinking to old friends.

I chose the Atticus Finch, a stunning mix of wild turkey bourbon, plum sake, lychee, lime, chilli and peach bitters, while my partner went for everyone’s favourite psychopath (and now, delicious cocktail), Patrick Bateman. The Atticus was perfect – refreshing but full of complex and juicy flavours. Reader, I had two. The Patrick Bateman was a witty concoction of Calle 23 tequila. banana, chocolate wine with an even wittier serving of an attached edible blood-stained business card. Delicious.

The crispy cauliflower, black bean & tamarind ragu taco

For food we tested the intriguing Asian-inspired taco menu – soft corn tortillas stuffed with unexpected Asian fillings. I had the Nahm jim chicken taco, which came with pickles, crispy onions and mayo as well as the Red pepper pork neck, liver pate, mustard relish and radish taco. My vegetarian accomplice tucked into the charred sprouting broccoli, spring onion and salted duck egg relish taco.


Slaw at Victory Mansion

The chicken taco was moreishly tender and, encased in a pillowy soft tortilla, felt like the healthiest version of a chicken burger one could possibly have. The pork neck was also delicious with the tang of the mustard and radish balancing out the richness of the pork and pate. The broccoli taco was our favourite of the lot, being the most unexpected and umami flavour combination – smoky, salty, soft and exciting.

The delicious red pepper pork neck taco

Overall, this was a wonderfully satisfying experience, one for the culinary and the literary snobs and all the pretenders in between, set in a convivial and welcoming atmosphere. One look at the drinks menu certainly inspired enough healthy literary debate for me to recommend it as an excellent second date venue, especially if you want to distinguish your Atticus Finches from your Holden Caulfields.

by Lucy Wai

Victory Mansion, 18 Stoke Newington High St, London N16 7PL

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