Chef Tom Brown, a protégé of Nathan Outlaw, has opened British restaurant Cornerstone, in Hackney Wick.
The restaurant focuses on the best of British produce (particularly seafood) and natural wines and is located in the heart of East London, alongside some of the best restaurants in Hackney.
There’s a central kitchen with room for 11 diners around the outside, because what is a restaurant in 2018 without kitchen-side seating? Tom has also put some of his own personal touches to the decor, including a 5000-year-old oak table, salvaged from a river in Croatia.
This is all about top British ingredients, with some global flavours creeping in too. The menu is served as sharing plates, and dishes include raw mackerel with lime pickle, coconut yoghurt and crispy garlic, marinated squid served with black pudding, blood orange and brown butter, roast cod with Café de Paris hollandaise, and ox tongue with salt cod, tomatoes and gremolata. As you can see, there’s a focus on seafood, reflecting his time spent as head chef at Outlaw’s St Enodoc Hotel in Rock, Cornwall.
For dessert, there’s Earl Grey ice cream or a very tempting coffee ice cream sandwich, served with a banana, pecan and rum sauce. British cheeses and homemade pickles are also available.
There’s a bin 22 international wine list with a focus on natural, organic and biodynamic producers.
Cocktails are infused with flavours like blood orange, cherry and vine leaf syrup, and we love that they’ve also partnered with Cornish distillery The Wrecking Coast to create a unique bespoke gin for the restaurant. Distilled with cloudy apple juice from Polgoon Orchard in Cornwall rather than water, it’s infused with botanicals including coriander seeds, liquorice root, angelica root, Seville orange and rosehip, making it light, fresh and perfect with seafood.
Sharing plates are £8–14; wines start at £6 for a glass and £22 a bottle; cocktails are £8.50.
In a Nutshell:
London has seen a flurry of exciting seafood restaurant openings in the past year or so and we hope that Tom’s restaurant stands up to the best of them. Now that restaurants are sourcing high-quality day boat fish from Cornwall there’s no reason we can’t enjoy the best of British seafood in the city.