Food review: Screwdriver in Ridley Road uses all the right tools

PUBLISHED: 16:27 24 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:27 24 August 2018

Screwdriver is a plancha bar serving delicious grilled food commonly found in pintxos bars in northern Spain.

Screwdriver is a plancha bar serving delicious grilled food commonly found in pintxos bars in northern Spain.


The recent heatwave has made it all too easy to feel like Spain is on our doorsteps.

Screwdriver is the brainchild of Russell Norman prot�g� Alexis Ross and brother Emmanuel Ross.Screwdriver is the brainchild of Russell Norman prot�g� Alexis Ross and brother Emmanuel Ross.

But if you’re anything like me you’ll think it’s not just the weather that makes España so special, it’s the food too. Thankfully, Screwdriver’s addition to Ridley Road market means you can sack off Ryanair for good.

Its grown-up yet bright and laidback look is an instant mood lifter and as it’s co-founded by brothers Alexis and Emmanuel Ross – who’ve worked in the likes of The Ned, Zetter Town House and Hackney’s own Five Points Brewing Company – you’re in very safe hands.

The menu suggested to start with a glass of Txakoli – a slightly sparkling white wine grown from grapes on the steep hillsides of the Basque coast - so it would have been rude not to. I found it a nice, lighter change to prosecco which excellently complemented the salted almonds we eagerly tucked into while waiting for our dishes to arrive.

Screwdriver’s shtick is that everything is cooked a la plancha, from the delicately steamed Poole Bay clams to the artichoke with tarragon mayonnaise and lamb chops with house dressing. The sauces and seasoning make every dish shine and by the time we were finished our table was satisfyingly crammed with small plates.

Screwdriver has just opened in Ridley Road, Dalston.Screwdriver has just opened in Ridley Road, Dalston.

Amongst the highlights was the caldo gallego, a hearty meat and veg stew which will no doubt especially come into its own during the colder months, and the punchy patatas bravas.

We were lucky enough to be treated to a preview from the forthcoming dessert menu - a rich chocolate mousse with whipped cream which is bound to become a mainstay.

With the tantalising cocktails menu in our eyeline we decided to pick a couple to round off the night.

I pipped for the New Driver - a delicately summery mix of orange blossom liquor, cava and orange - while my boyfriend chose the MPA - an agave and pale ale cordial.

We left promising to return. Whether you after a proper feast or a light bite you’ll also want Screwdriver in your toolkit.

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