It being a Sunday, (Colombia Road flower market day), I’m just following up on my post (here) about Brawn natural wine bar which opened last month. I paid a (social) call last month and can most definitely recommend it, though don’t do what I did and stride by – the entrance is actually off Colombia Road.
If you’ve been to sister restaurant Terroirs, off Trafalgar Square, you’ll be familar with the formula of robust, flavoursome country cooking served in raciones-sized portions, here with delicious Hackney Wild Sourdough baked in London Fields by the e5 bakehouse.
A big advantage of Brawn over Terroirs is that it’s less cheek by jowl as far as the table spacing is concerned, though expect to find said cheek and jowl on your plate! As the name suggests it’s perfect for full-blooded carnivores, especially those into pig. My dining companion professed herself well happy with her (massive slab of) pork terrine but was defeated by a very intensely flavoured Andouillette de Troyes (Daniel Thierry A.A.A.A.A), grounds, I suggested, for surrendering her (German) passport….
I don’t eat meat but the fish and shellfish options kept me and the sausage defeated one happy – naughtily garlicky anchoïade & breakfast radish, plump Shetland mussels with leeks, zingily fresh and tender Cornish chilli squid and a velvety brandade with green beans & warm duck egg yolk. There were veggie options too (chestnut soup, soft polenta, gorgonzola & walnuts and Parmigiano Reggiano), as well as a host of other cheeses. Apart from a bitter leaf salad, the garden had not been hoed – no veggie sides to speak of.
A bottle of Clos Tue-Boeuf Rouillon Cheverny 2009 (Thierry Puzelat’s Loire blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir) proved perfect lubrication for both surf and turf, its bright red fruits undimmed by the punchy flavours and fresh yet supple acidity a good foil for our rich fare. Smart buy too at £24.30.
To end, classic French desserts lemon tart and crêpes with salted butter caramel, were well executed and fairly priced at a fiver each. Ah and almost forgot, service and ambience very charming.