You’ll find this all-day restaurant on the first floor of multi-use space Evolutionary Arts Hackney, a former art-deco cinema which is now primarily used as a concert venue. Interiors see a mixture of midnight blue table tops and light wood chairs, while hanging lights which could pass for an art installation and house plants lining the walls serve as a reminder that you’re in Hackney.
Although the name makes Earth Kitchen sound like it is run by a bunch of back-to-nature hippies, the restaurant in fact has some serious chef pedigree. Heading up the kitchen is Chris Gillard, who was formerly executive chef of the much-feted St John Group.
Much like St John, the menu here sees simple, classic dishes made with best-of-British produce and a sprinkling of expert skill. The offering changes seasonally, but on our visit we enjoyed the likes of a nicely charred Welsh rarebit toastie, and a medley of soft cauliflower florets, leek shavings and silky butter beans. To round off your meal, try a heavenly ginger pudding which arrives steaming and filled with stickiness, or keep it simple with the delightfully tart and impressively creamy blood orange sorbet.
Earth Kitchen isn’t trendy or flashy, but its use of high-quality produce is evident in its dishes, all of which are fairly priced. Head here for a casual meal or take advantage of the small but perfectly formed ‘pre-show’ menu.