Is there anything more Scottish than Burns night? Bagpipers, haggis, and readings of Robert Burn’s famous poems usually make up a traditional supper. Luckily, for London-based Scots, there are many options for where to spend January 25th. Skylight Rooftop Bar, Docklands tobaccodocklondon.com/skylight/ London’s rooftop ice skating rink and bar is organising an alternate Burns night
4 Redchurch St, London E1 6JL
Ex-Kitty Fisher’s chef Tomos Parry has ventured out on his own with Brat, a relaxed yet refined outpost in Shoreditch’s culinary corner, Redchurch St. Posh without pretence, this is contemporary British cooking at its best, with an open grill, elegant Spanish flavours and a menu that reads like a map of the Isles. Sophisticated enough for a corporate lunch, Brat is the type of place your principals can disappear into, concentrating on more important matters – what’s on their plate.
A bit of background
Welsh chef Tomos Parry made his name at Kitty Fisher’s, the Mayfair restaurant that has welcomed the likes of David Cameron and Kate Moss through its doors. With Brat, he offers creatives and City workers a chance to indulge in his simple fire-focused cooking, where seasonal ingredients are allowed to shine through a Basque lens. With the food looked after, Tomos teamed up with Dan Keeling of Noble Rot for the wine list, where plenty of left-of-centre options are offered by the glass.
There’s something for everyone on Tomos’ menu, with sharing plates to start and individual mains for when you decide relinquishing even one morsel is way too much. We start with shishito peppers; samphire, melon and Carmarthen ham, and wild rabbit with blood sausage and beans. The ham was the standout and epitomised Tomos’ culinary philosophy – understated yet complex on the palate. The wild rabbit did feel a little heavy-handed on the oil, but with the house bread on hand to soak everything up, we didn’t mind too much.
We opt for individual mains, choosing the Herdwick lamb and lemon sole, with garlic potatoes and red peppers as sides. Both proteins were treated with the utmost respect – the lamb was cooked to perfection and served with sautéed greens, while the lemon sole was finely filleted and balanced beautifully. Were we here with a bigger group, the 1kg turbot would have been our first choice – the signature dish is grilled over charcoal as a whole fish and then rested in the wood oven before being served.
Had we any room left for pudding, we’d be ordering the burnt cheesecake with peaches and lemon tart. We also didn’t opt to indulge in a tipple but were intrigued by the options on offer and would partake upon return. If your principal is a sherry fan, they’ll find a treat within the pages of the drinks menu, with options by the glass and the bottle.
Brat is situated above another restaurant in a building that used to house a strip club. However, not one ounce of its previous occupants is obvious; when we visit at lunch, the room is bathed in light thanks to large windows that dominate one wall. Wood-panelled walls and timber tables ensure the space is warm and welcoming and despite being packed in close to our dining neighbours, we don’t feel claustrophobic. The service is relaxed yet attentive, with abundant smiles and water glasses constantly refilled. Coupled with the room’s design, Brat’s ambience is one of its shining stars, allowing guests to truly enjoy the experience.
Brat brings refined British cooking to Shoreditch, offering visitors a polished dining experience sans white napkins and tablecloths. With a seasoned chef at the helm, a wine list that keeps you on your toes and an atmosphere that’s hard to beat, it’s a fantastic option for your principal’s long business lunches or drinks after work.