Behind

Fish·
££££
·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Behind

Silver Award

It’s clear from the off that Andy Beynon is a bit of a showman. The kitchen is completely open, with the line between back and front of house obliterated in favour of a wide borderless arena. Despite his flair for theatre, it’s not high drama - rather, the team works calmly at one end, quietly presenting dinners with a run of fish focused dishes from smart butler’s trays.

Obviously concerned with the entire experience, Beynon has had a hand in everything from the menu and wines through to the decor and design. There are nods to the sea everywhere. Light spills through rippled glasses onto the polished, curved counter while shells punctuate its surface and are called upon for added effect when guests are asked to hold them up to their ear to illicit sounds of the ocean.

With only 18 seats, the whole thing feels exclusive and celebratory. The tasting menu ebbs and flows through its courses while Beynon works the room, ambling over to pour wine in his adopted role as sommelier too. He’s warm and funny, chatting to everyone individually throughout the evening.

In true east London style, there are some quirks here. A coriander lassi for one, that’s designed to confuse the palate and reconfigure the way you think about sweet and savoury flavours. Sure, it’s not going to be to everyone’s taste, but it’s also definitely not the same old same and it goes some way to proving this chef’s mind just doesn’t work like everyone else’s. Other things hold more crowd appeal, like a ball of ‘fish pie’ that’s rolled in fish scales and fried into a little texture tornado. Earlier on there are more classic dishes too, like a just-translucent, perfectly cooked scallop with cauliflower or a piece of beautiful trout wrapped in nori. Seaweed and salt water are both used in lieu of seasoning, and the resulting tasting menu is so closely knitted to the British shoreline and all its bounty that each dish feels gloriously organic in its creation - a true reflection of the season’s best.

With so much competition in London, restaurants need to stand out if they are in with a chance of success. Behind certainly does that and then some. Beynon is a man who holds his dishes lightly in his hand, presenting guests with an evening of edible alchemy.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Cuisines
Fish
Ambience
Cool, Cosy, Unique
Other Awards
One Michelin star, SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Chef’s table, Counter dining
People
Special occasions

About

Situated just a stone's throw from Hackney's London Fields, Behind is an entirely chef's table restaurant from Jason Atherton's ex-development chef Andy Beynon. Serving a predominantly seafood-focused tasting menu in an intimate, stylish space, Behind aims to give diners a full view of the inner workings of a kitchen.

With just 18 seats sat around the restaurant's curved counter, Behind isn't the place to go if you're looking for privacy, but it does provide diners with a unique opportunity to overlook the entire kitchen while you eat. The spacious restaurant's contemporary yet minimalist setting is illuminated by pendant light bulbs while exposed pipework above gives Behind an almost industrial feel. However, there's no hiding that at heart Behind is a fine-dining restaurant.

Sustainable produce is at the heart of Behind's 8-course tasting menu (6-course at lunch), which is served at specific service times meaning that guests all dine together. Dishes on the menu, which changes seasonally, might include Cornish blue lobster and yuzu served on an English muffin, an oyster taco with gentleman's relish, roasted hake with cockles and sherry, and guinea fowl with pumpkin and seed. Every dish is also served directly by the chefs, giving you the chance to ask any questions you might have.

In addition to the restaurant's main dining area, Behind also boasts an all-day wine bar and bottle shop run by head sommelier, Tim Handley. This the perfect spot to come for a pre- or post-dinner drink, with a selection of cocktails available as well as wines by both the glass and bottle from Behind's unique wine list.

This may be Beynon's first solo venture but with a CV that also includes periods working for chefs such as Phil Howard and Claude Bosi, there's no question that this is a chef who knows what he's doing.


FAQs

Does it have a Michelin star?

Yes, it has one Michelin star.

Helpful? 0

Are dietary requirements catered for?

Yes, if you give the kitchen enough notice they can cater for most requirements.

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Location

20 Sidworth Street, Hackney, London, E8 3SD
Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu 13:30-15:30
Fri 13:30-15:30
Sat Closed
Sun Closed
Dinner
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 19:00-21:00
Thu 19:00-21:00
Fri 19:00-21:00
Sat 19:00-21:00
Sun Closed

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