Chef Douglas McMaster originally set up Silo in Brighton back in 2014, bringing a zero-waste restaurant to the city. This wasn’t bandwagon jumping, as Silo came around long before the renewed interest in sustainable restaurants and food production that we’ve seen in recent years.
After five years of operating in the seaside hotspot, McMaster has closed up shop and moved to the Big Smoke, settling in Hackney Wick, through a partnership with Crate Brewery. Silo is found on the first floor of Crate’s Hackney site, and will continue to evolve alongside its zero-waste ethos. That means interiors made from recyclable materials, including a countertop made from recycled glass bottles. You’ll also find post-industrial materials used for the furniture, while at the centre of the open kitchen, there’s a wood burning stove.
Silo’s commitment to sustainability means that the food menu changes constantly, with 10-15 dishes available at any time. Examples of what you might find include the likes of Jerusalem artichokes cooked over fire with Stilton sauce and pickles, or smoked violet carrots with egg yolks and elephant garlic. To accompany the food, there are wines from small-batch producers, while cocktails are being produced in partnership with cocktail king Mr Lyan (of Lyaness and Cub fame).
If you can’t make it to Silo during the week, you can pop by for a spot of weekend brunch. The weekend menu features classic brunch fare such as porridge made with freshly rolled oats and topped with homemade crème fraiche and seasonal fruit, but there are a few novel twists on show too – witness coddled eggs topped with kimchi and black pudding and served on freshly baked sourdough, and a drinks menu of fresh juices made using wonky fruit and vegetables which would otherwise have been discarded.
McMaster is keen to spread his eco-friendly message to diners too, by hosting sustainability-focused workshops in Crate’s new events space which can be found next door to the restaurant.