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49 Columbia Road
A "good concept" and a convivial proposition, this light and airy eatery serves up a daily-changing menu of small plates in a modern industrial setting. Rustic, peasant-style food with a French accent is the deal, complete with smooth terrines, hunks of bread and a wonderful selection of cheese and charcuterie (as you'd expect from the team behind Terroirs and Soif).
On your visit, you might find the likes of a creamy crab tagliolini, or perhaps pork chop, with chickpeas and courgettes. On a Sunday, go continental chic by dropping in for the fairly priced three-course lunch – plus a small supplement for cheese that we'd certainly advise you take.
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49 Columbia Road
020 7729 5692
Cambridge Heath Station 680m
Shorditch Station 736m
Brick Lane 1km
Tues-Sun 12N-3pm (Sun -4pm) Mon-Sat 6-11pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
Columbia Road began its life as a pathway to lead sheep to slaughter in Smithfield. The sheep have now been replaced by yogis, haberdashers and models wearing shearling jackets. London is full of continuity if you know how to look.
Hang a left to Ravenscroft Street and you’ll find Brawn which launched as the sister restaurant of Terroirs in 2010 (before being recognised as the more gifted sibling.) East London’s restaurant scene at the time was percolating. Brawn turned it up to eleven and put it firmly on the map. It was completely of its time and still is today.
Now fully owned by the oenological don Ed Wilson, Brawn’s concept is to source the very best produce and let the combination of ingredients (rather than the cooking) do the talking. The pared-down menu is always changing and consistently outré; Duck Hearts, Duck Gizzards, Trotters, Andouillette & Brains. A gutsy sybarite’s paradise. There is also pasta.
London has more choice of quality restaurants than ever before. Paradoxically, though we gain in our quality of options, we lose out in what loyalty and familiarity can provide. Good or even great restaurants are ephemeral to our spoilt bastard collective. To keep going back means it’s got to be more than exceptional; it has to mean something to you. It has to be personal.
Brawn represents this rare personal restaurant to so many people I know. My best friend lives near and has been well over 250 times. He’ll soon get his own plaque. Brawn has a knack of making you feel at home and like you’re on holiday. I can’t explain its alchemy. Nick Lander writes about it most recently and best.
full review here: https://alotofchop.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/brawn/
Food + drink: 2
Very friendly staff, a convivial setting and (what appeared to be) an interesting menu did not fully translate into the kind of experience I would pay for again. While the terrine starter was great, the raw beef and avocado was too plain to discuss at any length. The crab pasta had great flavours, but was overcooked (turning it into noodles). The veal belly done porchetta style had (again) good flavours, but came with a very thin stew of beans and rhubarb. That said the atmosphere and setting were both great and we had a fun evening.
Food + drink: 4
I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely restaurant.
The service was attentive, the food excellent and that atmosphere relaxed. I was impressed
by the variety of starters from pork scratchings, to the most delicious scotch eggs I have ever eaten. The lobster bisque was creamy and incredibly flavourful.
I'm looking forward to going back!
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