I found MONIKERS whilst looking through Time Out online for a vegetarian-friendly bar in East London. MONIKERS fits the bill perfectly - located on trendy Hoxton Square and set in an old Chemistry classroom complete with periodic table and school lockers it offered us A* food and drink at affordable prices.
I chose MONIKERS for its chemistry lab theme - although we sat on the terrace, the school science lab feel runs throughout the restaurant from the school desk reception area to the table water delivered in lab beakers. The mezzanine floor of the restaurant has been decorated to look like the school bus complete with steering wheel, vinyl seats and a request-stop buzzer. Even the bathrooms were educational - complete with messages in English, French, German, Italian and of course Latin!
(Even the carafes are science-y)
Let me tell you about the food and drink.
We had two courses - I enjoyed Shetland mussels and fennel with a side of proper real chips - sensational flavours! I followed this with an Eton Mess that was a creamy delight of a pudding. My dinner companion had a very mediterranean main followed by a blueberry cheesecake the size of his head! The puddings were particularly affordable coming in at just a fiver!
Being grown ups (and fans of cocktails!) we were particularly keen to try their sweet concoctions. We made our way through a Great Gatsby (bright orange, Bulldog Gin and lots of Grapefruit - simultaneously fresh and strong!), The Figaro (Appleton XV rum, a large dose of fig syrup and orange bitters - a sparkling taste of summer in a martini glass) and a Strawberry Field (champagne, strawberry liqueur, chocolate sprinkles, hello!). All delivered promptly, all rather strong, and for a fair price of just £7.
(Strawberry Field - and my elbow - photocredit @joan_gp)
So the overall experience was lovely and the bar soon filled up, my only criticism was the amount of time it took to pay the bill. Short of actually standing up straight and shouting 'we'd like to pay now!' we did everything in our power to get their attention and it did take a horrendously long time to pay.
But if waiting time to pay is your only criticism I'd have said it was a pretty good evening out!