Silo

Modern European·
££££
·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Silo

Gold Award

If we were to put money on where the world’s first zero waste restaurant would be, we’d feel pretty confident placing our bets on Hackney Wick. It’s long been a space for up and coming chefs, restaurants that veer away from tradition, and price tags that tend to be more modest than most - and Silo certainly ticks all the boxes.

Chef and owner Douglas McMaster is the mastermind behind it all, who with his team goes above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to practising sustainability. From reusing food waste in new and exciting dishes to fermenting surplus produce to create its unique sauces - no stone is left unturned in its commitment to looking after the planet.

The restaurant itself is set in a stunning loft location with a pared-back dining room, a menu projected onto the wall and a few well-spaced tables dotted throughout. Diners can also opt for a prime seat at the counter, which offers excellent views into the kitchen and its open-fire oven.

Any concerns that Silo offers style over substance are quickly squashed with our first dish; a Quaver, no less. Koji is dried into sheets before being deep fried to create a crisp base layer, then doused with vegetable treacle (made from boiled and reduced veg peelings), and finally coated in shavings of frozen goat’s cheese. A flurry of unique, clever and quite frankly astounding dishes follow, but it’s the wild rabbit tortellini that has us licking the plate clean (literally). The braised rabbit pasta comes in a pool of vegetarian XO sauce - although you’ll have a hard time believing it's meat free - and achieves a level of depth and richness far beyond what we thought possible.

Dessert is an equally emotionally evocative plate of food, with pumpkin seed ice cream rolled in furikake and topped with fig leaf oil. It's truly one of the best things we’ve ever eaten.

The wine list is explained by a sommelier who is clearly an expert in her field - informative without being overbearing or pretentious. All in all, Silo is a gastronomic triumph, both for the planet and our appetite.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Modern European
Ambience
Cool, Fun, Quiet conversation, Quirky, Unique, Widely spaced tables
Other Awards
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
People
Celebrations, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About

Chef Douglas McMaster originally set up Silo in Brighton back in 2014, before transplanting his trailblazing zero-waste concept to London in 2019, taking up residence at CRATE Brewery in Hackney Wick. Silo really kickstarted the renewed interest in sustainable restaurants and food production that we’ve seen in recent years, with McMaster going above and beyond to show that - although sometimes labour intensive - practically everything can be made zero waste. Silo aims to work only with natural materials and creates everything from its whole form, cutting out food miles and over-processing whilst preserving nutrients and the integrity of the ingredients in the process.

Silo’s restaurant furniture and fittings are created from a desire to re-use, choosing up-cycling before recycling: the table tops are made from upcycled Smile Plastic, the bar front from recycled leather, and the wall lights crafted from crushed wine bottles. All products delivered to the restaurant come in re-useable crates, pails, urns or containers.

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 red Kuri pumpkin with whipped ricotta and wet walnut, celeriac with caramelised cream and cobnut or fallow deer with celeriac and quince. Sweeter dishes, meanwhile, might include the house bread as an ice cream sandwich or panela ice cream with apple and lovage. 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).

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. In 2021 Silo was awarded the Michelin Green Star for its pioneering zero-waste work.


FAQs

Is this a zero waste restaurant?

Yes. This is achieved in multiple different ways, from using the whole animal to fermenting drinks in-house. Even the plates are made from plastic bags!

Helpful? 0

Who started the restaurant?

Douglas McMaster.

Helpful? 0

Does the restaurant also do events?

Yes.

Helpful? 0

Location

CRATE Brewery, Queens Yard, Hackney, London, E9 5EN

020 8533 3331 020 8533 3331

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat 13:00-14:00
Sun Closed
Dinner
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 18:00-23:00
Thu 18:00-23:00
Fri 18:00-23:00
Sat 18:00-23:00
Sun Closed

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020 8533 3331 020 8533 3331

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