‘Shane’ is Kiwi chef Shane Harrison, who set up this very local restaurant in early 2012 on Chatsworth Road, an up-and-coming high street in up-and-coming Clapton. It’s a lo-fi-looking operation, with lampshades made of pegs, quirky animal sketches on the walls and packed-in tables. These are filled with gentrifying Hackneyites who were sure somewhere like this was going to open soon.
Much is made on the website of the all-British sourcing policy, which could include herbs from Hackney Marshes just up the road. Dishes make the most of seasonal game and seafood: venison carpaccio with pickled carrots; rabbit and wood-pigeon pâté; hake with sea beet, chorizo and clams. More simple options include a perfectly cooked onglet steak with béarnaise, or mussels with nettles (again, picked nearby).
The skill in the kitchen is evident, although prices can be steep – £2 for a slice of bread and butter is mean, even if the loaf is own-made. The wine list isn’t great value either. Our only other grumble is that service failed to cope when the room was full; but overall, this cute little place is a sign that Clapton’s early adopters were on to something.