Menu: A celebration of British produce that revolves around the wood-fired grill
Vibe: Super relaxed
Great for: When you want great food, but you don’t want to go somewhere fancy or hipster to get it
Vegetarian/vegan friendly: A couple of drool-worthy veggie and vegan offerings
Signature dish: Dry-Aged Cornish bone-in sirloin, cooked over wood
Signature cocktail: Brigade Negroni, made with East London Liquor Company gin and Cocchi Torino
Because It’s Cool:
Following an extensive refurb and newly launched menu, Brigade Bar + Kitchen offers reliably delicious food at reasonable prices in a central location. Win, win, win.
Small plates of smoked bone marrow, pickled shallots with beef dripping focaccia and confit pork shoulder with charred gem salad lure you in, but make sure you keep space for mains. Head chef Pete Denhart deploys a wood fire and chargrill to utterly irresistible effect, with plates of wood-roasted hispi cabbage, Tenderstem broccoli, cauliflower, crispy kale and salsa verde, or wood-roasted free-range Norfolk chicken, watercress and burnt lemon.
And whether you’re slathering it on the housemade sourdough or daubing it onto roasted celeriac, don’t miss the butters – there’s everything from herby to chilli to a mysterious butter of the day.
Because It Matters:
There’s so much to love about Brigade that it’s hard to know where to start. Firstly, it was set up by chef Simon Boyle, who also founded Beyond Food, a foundation that works to help people experiencing or at risk of homelessness back into work.
Each January, the Freshlife programme welcomes applicants into the kitchen, teaching them how to cook, helping them to find somewhere to live, and offering them support over the course of five weeks.
Once this initial programme is over, participants can decide to continue their journey with Beyond Food – and many do – or find alternative employment. It’s a worthy cause, made all the more admirable because Brigade doesn’t shout about it, quietly serving food that’s excellent in its own right. What’s more, chef Denhart works with brilliant suppliers, too – meat comes from Philip Warren, so you know it’s going to be good.
Images: Paul Winch-Furness