British, Modern Restaurants in Hackney
1. Pidgin British, Modern restaurant in Hackney 52 Wilton Way - E8
“A beautiful little spot in a tucked away part of Hackney” – this ‘unassuming neighbourhood restaurant’ won particular renown a couple of years after its opening in 2015 when it won a Michelin star. The tyre men removed it again the next year, but – whatever the changes of mind in Clermont-Ferrand – our reporters consistently acclaim its “fresh, thoughtful and well-executed tasting menu, which, with the pairing wines, are a real treat”. Also, it was a godsend for many during lockdown thanks to its “consistently high-quality At Home service”.
2. NEST British, Modern restaurant in Hackney 177 Morning Lane - E9
This intimate (just 7 tables) Hackney gem opened in 2018 and was inexplicably left out of our last edition. It certainly rates mention – chef and co-owner Johnnie Crowe (ex Harwood Arms and Anglo) delivers some delectable, small plates from a seasonal tasting menu. The endearing no-waste ethos incorporates a focus on a single meat for six weeks at a time.
3. Hackney Coterie British, Modern restaurant in Hackney 230b Dalston Lane - E8
From Anthony Lyon (of Lyon’s in Crouch End) – this ‘multifaceted dining experience and community hub’ (that’s what the press release says) opened in August 2021 and comprises a brasserie, wine bar, bottle shop, deli and events space. The eclectic menu is seasonally driven and with zero-waste in mind (from pork cheek and smoked ham hock terrine to stone bass tartare with truffle ponzu). The focus, though, is arguably more on the low-intervention wines, craft beers and good saké selection.
4. Behind Fish & seafood restaurant in Hackney 20 Sidworth Street - E8
“You can see why this won a Michelin star in 20 days” – Andy Beynon’s Hackney newcomer set a new record when it opened in October 2020, a short stroll from London Fields. Previously Jason Atherton’s development chef, his stylish, industrial-ish space is focused on a chef’s table with all 18 seats overlooking the kitchen: “a great place to get up and personal with the chefs”. “Watching the chefs put together the dishes is a pleasure given their quiet, efficient and impressively clean-cut working practices”; and the main man himself comes over as being very “approachable and personable”. From your perch, you sample a 12-course tasting menu focused on sustainable seafood. “Andy is seriously knowledgeable about fish cookery and delivers brilliant fish dishes and accompanying wines over the many courses”, and all at “a reasonable price”. Next door is a wine bar and bottle shop.
5. Brat at Climpson's Arch British, Modern restaurant in Hackney Climpson's Arch, 374 Helmsley Place - E8
What started as a residency during the 2020 pandemic – when Tomos Parry’s Shoreditch HQ was deemed unsuitable for social distancing – was confirmed as a permanent venture in January 2021. Situated in a courtyard, and covered with a marquee-type structure, cooking with fire is still central to the cuisine here: e.g. roasted game rice, whole grab with hay butter, grilled mushrooms and wood-fired breads. (Parry originally cooked here from 2013-2015, so he has history on this site.) “The food is way better than the casual surroundings would suggest: cooking almost everything on charcoal produces wonderful flavours”. But even some who applaud the “outstanding” results can still find it too pricey, given “friendly but random”, “café-style service” and humble surroundings.
6. The Vincent British, Modern restaurant in Dalston 3 Atkins Sq, Dalston Lane - E8
2018 Review: The trio who previously ran Bethnal Green boozer The Sebright Arms together opened this airy all-day Hackney spot in May 2017. Local beers, coffee, Sunday brunches and roasts aim to make it a linchpin of the local scene.
7. Mare Street Market British, Modern restaurant in Hackney 117 Mare Street - E8
The “vibrant dining space” is a “very cool setting” with oodles of “laid back” street cred at this remarkable 10,000 square foot market (vintage design pieces, flowers, artisan coffee…) inside a groovily transformed Hackney office block. Strike lucky and you get “great pizza and burgers” too, but some dishes are “a bit less successful than others and the service can go a little MIA at times”.
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