The Drunken Butler is a small and bright restaurant in Clerkenwell byrun by the talented Iranian chef/owner – Yuma Hashemi. It offers a classic French set menu throughout the week influenced by Yuma’s Persian background and career cooking across Europe. On Sundays, when he is cooking dishes you would usually eat in a Persian home, itthe restaurant transforms into something a bit more special. Imagine a space that looks like your cool aunt’s open plan kitchen/ living space with family photographs on the wall, a record player at one corner and ceramics, objects and art pieces scattered here and there. This tasteful combination of tradition and modern is also reflected on the menu
We visited for a Persian lunch on a Sunday joining 30-odd other guests from various backgrounds. This is sort of a space that is very inviting to families, while being equally very romantic, and is all about sharing and enjoying food together. Your meal will start with a selection of 6-7 starters that are all completely vegetarian. Herbs and greens are a big part of the food culture in the Middle East, but some dishes include dairy in it. Don’t worry, the kitchen (albeit small) is very accommodating. Expect dishes like Kashk e bademjoon - a dish of sun dried yoghurt (which slowly ferments, creating a sour unique umami flavour) served with smoked aubergine, roasted walnuts and delicious flatbread. A simple yet delicate spinach borani and a plate of kuku densely packed with green herbs will be some of the other starters. If you are keen to also have some organic wine, expect to pay around £80 per person for lunch.
For the main, we were served with a delicious rice infused with saffron, pleasing to the eye and the stomach. The rice is soaked for 24 hours, boiled and then steamed to get all the flavours of basmati, perfectly crusted at the bottom. To accompany the rice, we were served with a vegan stew of yellow split lentils, tomatoes, aubergine and dried limes. All very comforting and tasty.
Wine-wise, expect a nice selection of natural wines. We didn't opt for wine pairing but enjoyed a bottle of nice Austrian dry white wine.
French, Middle Eastern
Family, Date, Kids
We highly recommend their special Persian lunch on Sundays for any family gathering or celebration. The warmth and charm of this small restaurant will guarantee a memorable experience.