Fusing high fashion with haute cuisine is Native at Browns. Stylish plates mark the union as a seamless partnership of two lifestyle brands looking to give guests a luxurious but laidback experience.
The monthly set menu gives you snacks, starters, mains and desserts for around £60 per head. If you can, leave time to enjoy a cocktail before dinner. The seaweed martini is nuanced and well balanced with complexity far beyond the usual, while a blackberry sour is smooth and comes with the silkiest frothed top.
Beautiful little bites of ‘wasting snacks’ begin things, making use of ingredients otherwise destined for the compost heap. Duck offcuts find their way into dinky tacos while venison scraps are braised and snuggled into buttery pastry tarts. Elsewhere little cups of compost broth taste of the allotment, tomato-rich and warm.
The enthusiastic team make no hesitation in letting us know that their favourite dish is coming up next. Big expectations are met with a plate of colourful trout ceviche layered with hyper-seasonal accents of herbaceous Alexander and bright rhubarb. It’s a big statement, but it’s the perfect starter: robustly fresh. An honourable mention also goes to the flatbread with a smoky harissa pigeon kebab that is lifted with the char of the grill and a sweet and sour cabbage slaw.
Not everything is gulp-it-down good, some things are complex and interesting and need to be savoured, demanding a little more than a single bite. Some things – also – are challenging. There’s the sea buckthorn sour, which for all its merits is a bit intense on foraged flavour for us and the artichoke mille-feuille which felt a step too far (perhaps we’re just not there yet on our culinary journey). The little camping sticks topped with truffle balls wrapped in meringue ‘fluff’, however, lit the childhood fire in us.
Ironically this is cooking that’s confident enough to not follow fad fashions, which as we know is the true sign of a trend setter.