Restaurant of the week - Brawn

Most Popular

The lofty east-end boozers that once peppered Shoreditch have, before our very eyes, been all but replaced by a host of cracking restaurants.

Brawn, the latest opening from the owners of much-lauded wine bar Terroirs, could have easily fallen under the same, abattoir-chic umbrella of its neighbours, St John, Pizza East and Bistrotheque. Though, thanks in part to the reputation of its older brother, Brawn was, upon opening, salvaged from such tar brushing.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

A world away from the offices that surround Terroirs, Brawn is a bastion of rustic warmth, hidden away down Columbia Road – as well known for its many pubs and restaurants as it is for its legendary flower market. Though the space is plain, the melamine tabletops and enamel trinkets made us want to sit down and discuss whether the mourvèdre or cinsault is Provence’s best grape variety. Given the choice of the rowdier front room or the more intimate backspace, we went for the latter, which granted an insiders view of the kitchen and it’s saffron coloured tiles.

Most Popular

Primed on a bottle of Chianti, we were happy to allow the friendly – not to mention knowledgeable - staff walk us through Brawn’s eclectic array of dishes. To start: cold meats from southern France and Italy accompanied by a ball of mozzarella the size (and sweetness) of a small pumpkin. “This was made last Tuesday,” explained the waiter, as we nodded with buffalo frenzy. Red rapidly turned to various shades of pink, white and orange as fishy platters were sped our way: the mussels were festively plump, the red mullet was tender, and, as if two fish fancies weren’t enough, a platter of magnificent prawns clinched the deal.

Not wanting to limit ourselves, we loosened our belts in preparation for a pair of meaty mains – crispy, coronary-inducing confit of duck came nestled within a blackened bed of puy lentils (which, though usually a no-no for this reviewer, were a definite yes-yes on this occasion) and a more unusual Tête de Veaux – veal’s head added a disconcerting angle to the meal. Whether it was tender or simply gelatinous remains a mystery, but it was served in a dark, hearty stock, which only added to the density of the dish.

It’s moments like this when you’re allowed to pat your stomach and smile. The chefs kept glancing coyly over the counter to see if their diners were impressed. We were – as were all the other bearded-foodies that had dined that night. In fact, the only disappointment was the somewhat limited cheeseboard, but we’re prepared to forgive that.

Words by Alex Tieghi-Walker

What do you think?

The-Groucho-Club-Promo-43
Food & Drink
Share
A Guide To London's Best Private Members' Clubs
Where to take your social life to the next level​
Bond-bed-43
Food & Drink
Share
Where To Go On A Date In London
A guide to wooing in the capital
Gnocchi at the Bluebird
Food & Drink
Share
Where To Eat & Drink This Week: Steak & Whisky, Weekend Brunches & A Spot Of Art
​Your week in food​​
Cheese
Food & Drink
Share
Finally: The Health News You've Been Hoping For With All Your Cheese-Clogged Heart
It's good for you it's good for you it's good for you
Food & Drink
Share
How To Make Garlicky Shrimp Alfredo Bake
Total Time: 25min
Level: Easy
Yeah it doesn't really get much better than this
food floor
Food & Drink
Share
Science Is Here To Ruin The 'Five Second Rule' For Everyone
​Shut up science, and let us eat our pavement ice cream in peace​
Food & Drink
Share
The Secret Guide To Lunch In Soho
Do lunch properly with our pick of the best lunch restaurants in the heart of the capital​
Coffee barista
Food & Drink
Share
​A Barista Explains Your Morning Coffee
​What exactly is a flat white? And should you only drink espressos in the afternoon? All the complexities of caffeine culture answered...
scrambled eggs
Food & Drink
Share
The Number One Secret To Amazing Scrambled Eggs
No, it's not the flick of that wrist
Richard Turner, cooking on a Drumbecue at Meatopia
Food & Drink
Share
The Ultimate Guide To Grilling Meat
How to conquer the raw flames, from a guy who knows​