Brilliant Corners

  • Restaurants
3 Love It

It was hard to avoid watching a bunch of fifty-somethings gyrating to funk and soul music as we tried to concentrate on nibbling our sushi.  We felt as if we'd stumbled into a private party, but there were no brilliant corners to escape to.  With loudspeakers at every turn, we even had difficulty hearing our dining companions, let alone appreciating the Japanese food.
Brilliant Corners is based on Japan’s jazz coffee shops (kissaten) where customers go to hear the likes of Thelonious Monk – from whose album this venue takes its name – or more contemporary jazz played on vinyl.  At the same time they can tuck into sandwiches, cakes, or – in some – a restaurant-style meal.

But this place seems more Dalston than down-town Tokyo. A plate of vegetable tempura was decent enough, but the sauce on our sweet and salty-grilled beef with brown rice lacked balance, and the meat itself was far from tender.
For a night of random drinks (mescal, rum, sherry and natural wine all feature) and equally random dancing, Brilliant Corners can definitely oblige; but for a meal out, there are plenty of better options in the area.

By Celia Plender

Venue name: Brilliant Corners
Address: 470 Kingsland Rd
E8 4AE
Opening hours: Wed-Sat 5.30pm-midnight; 4-midnight Sun.
Transport: Overground: Dalston Junction.
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service around £60.
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  • Sunday December 6 2015
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:0
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2 people listening
eve v
1 of 1 found helpful

I dont think Miss Plender from Time Out understands what Brillant Corners is about. There is nothing random about the music and drinks there. If you can name another place in London where you can enjoy an excellent natural wine for 5 £ a glass while listening to really good music played in what is probably the best hand crafted sound system around please let us know. Please Time Out stop the mainstream choice and open yourself to new destination.

Alanna S

Timeout review has got it so wrong! Brilliant Corners is an awesome bar. Understated from the outside, it's actually a fairly big space inside. Dimly lit with great music. Order a bunch of plates to share, it's all Japanese inspired and really reasonably priced. Order a rum and ginger to drink - they are the best in London.

Lisa S

A rare, grown-up bar in Dalston. Low lighting and an excellent drinks list make for a cosy place to spend an evening. Even serves sushi late in to the night on a Sunday. Highly recommend a visit.


Went there randomly a couple of weeks ago escaping from the hyped bars around Dalston Junction, and ended spending the rest of the night there. Ended having excellent sushi (Nigiri i think it was) and drinking the best mezcal I have ever tried. After midninght the tables magically disappeared and I enjoyed one of the best nights out dancing to amazing music (funk, brazilian, tropicalia and more) tothe best sound system ive ever heard in london (excepting some big clubs, but its a different game here) in a very friendly and natural atmosphere. I went there again during the week to have a quieter dinner and enjoy some of the natural wines. Staff is graceful and attentive. Very inspiring place. I heard they do a jazz night every month called played twice, where they play a seminal jazz album back to back to  a silent crowd, and then a live jazz band re-interpretates the album. I will not miss the next one! Totally recommend this place for the music, the food and the drinks, the sound! and the lovely athmosphere. 

Henry L

Completely agree with Eve V. This place is awesome and there is nowhere else like it in London as far as I know. Great food and drink at very reasonable prices, brilliant music on an incredible sound system (probably the best in London) and a nice buzzy atmosphere to boot. They also have some fantastic DJs and the place doubles up as a great party spot a bit later at night over the weekend. All in all one of the best spots in London I think