RestaurantsLondonShoreditchE2

survey result

Summary

£61
  £££
5
Exceptional
3
Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“By rights this place ought to have gone off by now, it’s been going too long still to be fashionable!”. But this East End sibling to the West End’s Terroirs – “a gorgeous modern space” on Columbia Road – shows no sign of going downhill like its stablemate. “Ed Wilson is back at the helm full time and the kitchen purrs like a Rolls”. “Every week brings different choices, but always with amazing products and a quality of small plates that’s without a doubt at the top level”. And there’s a “great selection of natural wines” from all over Europe. “Why doesn’t it have a Michelin star yet? They have delivered on an exceptional level of cooking for almost a decade now, and managed to remain creative, inventive and original in the meantime”.

Summary

£61
  £££
5
Exceptional
3
Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“By rights this place ought to have gone off by now, it’s been going too long still to be fashionable!”. But this East End sibling to the West End’s Terroirs – “a gorgeous modern space” on Columbia Road – shows no sign of going downhill like its stablemate. “Ed Wilson is back at the helm full time and the kitchen purrs like a Rolls”. “Every week brings different choices, but always with amazing products and a quality of small plates that’s without a doubt at the top level”. And there’s a “great selection of natural wines” from all over Europe. “Why doesn’t it have a Michelin star yet? They have delivered on an exceptional level of cooking for almost a decade now, and managed to remain creative, inventive and original in the meantime”.

Summary

£63
  £££
4
Very Good
3
Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Put on yer skinnies and wax that beard for this cool-crowd place in hipster central.” Ed Wilson’s enduring foodie mecca in Bethnal Green is part of the original Terroirs stable that brought natural and biodynamic wines into vogue, and continues to win praise for its “always interesting and well-prepared” dishes and “a great wine list that alone makes it worth a visit”. One or two refuseniks feel it falls short, however: “I was expecting / hoping for more”.

Summary

£62
  £££
4
Very Good
3
Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Skilled and seasonal” small plates, plus “a funky and sometimes challenging (in a good way) list of natural wines” have earned exalted foodie status for Ed Wilson’s rough-hewn venue in a former Bethnal Green workshop. Scores have slipped off their high peak here though, amidst the odd gripe that “its former zip and precision are missing”.

For 30 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at Brawn?

Restaurant details

Highchair,Portions
No dress code
70

Prices

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Veggies Pudding
£9.50 £14.50 £4.00 £8.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £31.00
Filter Coffee £4.00
Extras  
Service 10.00%

Harden's says...

Brawn E2

From the same backers as the celebrated Terroirs bistro in central London, a (more informal) East End offshoot of similar quality; it has much laid-back charm, and is already very busy.


Terroirs goes East.


Yes, that's really is pretty much everything you need to know about this new bistro, recently opened in the East End. (If you're reading this, you almost certainly know about Terroirs. If you don't, we explained it all in our review of another related establishment, the Henry Root.) Make the transition from Terroirs' rather gritty and businesslike environs (Charing Cross) to the still gritty but much funkier environs of Columbia Road Flower Market, and it's quite difficult not to get the picture of the new establishment.


Perhaps because there's really nothing to say, other than: 'splendid, splendid, just what you might have hoped', the critical world has been oddly divided on the opening. Fay Maschler, doyenne of critics, for example, saw a seasonal star in the East, or rather five of 'em. This was a pretty much unprecedented award for any establishment, and all the more remarkable for one which is essentially a bistro, and essentially a repetition of a formula (if undoubtedly a very good one).


The only other pure 'London' critic with anything like the same sort of readership, Marina O'Loughlin at Metro, thought Brawn was pretty good too, but professed herself a bit bemused by the praise being heaped on the place by some of her fellow critics. (We have no reason to think she had Ms Maschler particularly in mind.)


We're with Metro on this one: Terroirs, near our office, is the only restaurant in London we go to at least monthly; we're therefore known there, and we like the place very much indeed. Brawn is just as good. If anything, we prefer its laid-back vibe (and, for the moment at least, it has the benefit of the primary attentions of the original team). But this is not a style of cuisine that's every going to be worth crossing town for, and we don't think it does the place any favours to suggest that it is.


If you had it at the bottom of their road, however, or even in your 'hood, you could count yourself very lucky indeed.


See the Review
49 Columbia Road, London, E2 7RG
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Opening hours
Monday6 pm‑10:30 pm
Tuesday12 pm‑3 pm, 6 pm‑10:30 pm
Wednesday12 pm‑3 pm, 6 pm‑10:30 pm
Thursday12 pm‑3 pm, 6 pm‑10:30 pm
Friday12 pm‑3 pm, 6 pm‑11 pm
Saturday12 pm‑3 pm, 6 pm‑11 pm
SundayCLOSED

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