I’m not sure there’s much more we can add to the BRAT hysteria that hasn’t already been said, but here goes…
Awarded their first Michelin star just six months after opening, the restaurant from Tomos Parry (formerly Kitty Fischer), on Redchurch Street is still one of the hottest tables in town. We finally managed to visit during Twixmas thinking that London would be deserted. How wrong we were – it was already fully booked and our only option was to queue up with the rest of them. Thankfully arriving at 6pm on the dot like the keen beans we are, secured us counter seating but there were at least 4 other tables behind us. Told you it was hot.
The restaurant itself is just above Smoking Goat and feels distinctly grown up with its backlit wine cabinets and wood panelling. Service is seamless but not so formal – we’re still very much in Shoreditch.
BRAT (a colloquial term for ‘turbot) draws on Tomos’ Welsh heritage and influence from the Basque region of Northern Spain, with a menu favouring seasonal British produce, cooked on an open fire wood grill. From our position we could see them busy at work, cooking great big hunks of meat. It was pretty impressive.
This style of cooking lends itself to larger portions, designed to share and the turbot is undoubtedly the dish to order. However sharing comes at a cost – £75/£85 dependent on size. The whole fish arrived and although utterly delicious, next time we’ll be rounding up a couple extra friends and ordering that alongside some other dishes from the grill. Don’t forget to eat the cheek, and order a side of the smoked potatoes to go with. As it was, the huge turbot meant we *only* got to try a few of the starters.
We’ll begin with our favourite. Anchovy bread doesn’t sound like it’s going to win any awards for dish of the year but oh how wrong you’d be. A fluffy disc of deliciousness, blackened in places like the very best pizza and dripping in oil is topped with three salty little morsels of fish. Perfection. After that a plate of young leeks with ‘fresh cheese’ (think it was burrata) felt a little under seasoned but that was probably the naughty anchovies fault. We knock back a couple of plump oysters jiggling about with seaweed – in for a penny in for a pound (or £3.50 each to be specific). ‘Soused’ means preserved in pickle or a marinade or drunk. Both could be applied to our scallops which came swimming in a sharp, tangy, Asian influenced broth with julienned carrots for company.
For dessert a doorstop wedge of cheesecake should do the trick, however the ice cream were well worth trying out. You get one scoop of each flavour per portion and the almond & cherry with olive oil was a winning combination.
So yes, just as those that have gone before, I will of course be recommending BRAT – just don’t expect to get a table anytime soon.