When in London, we always make a point to stop at Soho’s Kiln, so we recently headed across town to try its Michelin-starred sister restaurant in Shoreditch. The restaurant’s cuisine is Basque-inspired and if you love simple, fresh seasonal food, it’s tough to choose what to order.
Located up a narrow flight of stairs of an industrial brick building, the rustic open dining area features long communal tables surrounding an open grill. They take reservations but they also reserve space at the counter bar for walk-ins. We recommend sitting at the counter if you want an excellent view of the grill. Immediately, we took note of the restaurant’s signature burnt cheesecakes lining the ledge next to the grill and two whole turbots being cooked over the flames.
We chose BRAT’s signature whole grilled Turbot (Brat is Old English for ‘Turbot’), as well as the scarlet prawns (we couldn’t resist). If you are not familiar with Turbot, it’s a flatfish native to Europe, similar to a flounder but larger with delicate, flaky flesh. It is a cartilaginous fish, and BRAT’s slow and low 30-40 minute cooking process over indirect heat results in the cartilage reducing to a rich sauce-like consistency. Turbot is an expensive fish, but a single fish would easily serve three to four people, especially if you’re ordering appetizers and sides. Be sure to order extra bread for soaking up the rich gooey sauce that collects on the platter!
BRAT’s wine list is impressive, featuring an extensive selection of wines from classical and natural wine producers from all over Europe – at any price point. From an inexpensive Greek Assyrtiko to Montrachet, there’s a wine for every palate and price point. We focused our pairings on some Mediterranean whites by the glass that are harder to find in the U.S.
If you’re not into fish, BRAT’s beef rib looked incredible. It’s grilled over the same open fire and similarly, looked large enough for two or three people to share. If you have room for dessert after eating a whole Turbot or giant steak, try burnt cheesecake with the seasonal topping.
BRAT, 4 Redchurch St, Hackney, London E1 6JL, United Kingdom