1. Behind (Behind)
    Behind
  2. Behind (Behind)
    Behind
  3. Behind (Behind)
    Behind
  4. Behind (Behind)
    Behind
  5. Behind (Behind)
    Behind
  • Restaurants | Seafood
  • price 4 of 4
  • London Fields
  • Recommended

Review

Behind

5 out of 5 stars

A Michelin-star spot in London Fields which specialises in seafood and fish with a hefty side order of fun.

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Time Out says

When you walk into chef-owner Andy Beynon’s east London restaurant Behind, you are confronted by a sweeping, horseshoe-shaped table. It is around this imposing structure – somewhere between Judy Chicago’s gigantic 1970s artwork The Dinner Party and the dining area in a Scandi tech billionaire’s house – that the 18 punters are seated at every service. It’s an assured type of set-up for an assured type of place. 

Awarded a Michelin star in 2020 after being open for only 20 days (a tantalising bit of lore that most chefs would kill for), Behind is a seafood-focussed, chef’s table restaurant in London Fields. The restaurant itself, however, refuses any expectations you might have of its E8 postcode – there’s no exposed pipework or menu with a jolly logo and cursive font (not, to quote Seinfeld, that there’s anything wrong with that particular brand of millennial ambience, but it’s also refreshing to see it bucked). Instead, Behind deals squarely in fine dining, done with a personal, laid-back air. 

The main event is an eight course tasting menu for £98 – with an accompanying £84 wine flight if you’re feeling freaky – though six courses are also available at lunch for a more reasonable £54. Before service began at our Wednesday evening sitting, Beynon sauntered around pouring wine and chatting with each party, as though we were at his house. 

There was a fish pie croquette that looked like The Arm from Twin Peaks: The Return

The menu changes seasonally, so during our early May visit there was an emphasis on springy, verdant flavours. The opening gambit was a set of hors d'oeuvres including, but not limited to, an Iced Gem-alike pea, mint and pike tart, a devastatingly clean piece of raw mackerel, a fennel-y snap of lavash, and a warm cup of wine infused with prawn.

From there, the hits kept coming, like the Generation Game conveyor belt for food. There was a fish pie croquette, ingeniously fried in a coating of fish scales, and comically presented on a gilded structure that looked like The Arm from Twin Peaks: The Return (picture a talking tree and you’re most of the way there). There was a skate wing served with a crush of Jersey royals and a smoked kipper and roe sauce so intelligently designed it made me believe in, well, intelligent design. Dessert began with a rhubarb syrup topped with apple skin foam in a freezing cold glass, followed by a lassi-inspired coriander milkshake infused with cardamom and so bizarrely moreish that when a less keen diner next to me offered hers up, I gleefully accepted, holding out both hands like a greedy child grasping for a Mr Whippy. 

As you might expect with dishes like these, Beynon and the chefs presented them with a real sense of fun. We were told that the sherry foam which accompanied some cuttlefish had been designed to add the same tang to the fish as Parmesan does to pasta (and it actually did), and were asked to guess which herbs were used to flavour a tarragon, basil and lemon verbena sorbet (we got two out of three, plus a sympathetic “lemon verbena is a hard one, to be fair”). 

It was undoubtedly food as theatre, but the down-to-earth sensibility of Beynon kept it from verging into anything irritating. For a special occasion, Behind is a charming, fairly universal bet – well-suited to anyone who is interested in being entertained and surprised by all you can do with a lovely bit of fish.

The vibe Fine dining with loose shoulders. Huge table, muted tones, lo-fi hip hop beats to eat Michelin-starred seafood to. 

The food Fresh, seasonal fish and clever flavours that make you genuinely sad to finish each course. 

The drink The chef-selected wine flight is delightfully varied and takes in fruity reds, honeyed whites and a citrusy English cuvée. The absolute highlight was a 2021 Californian Chardonnay Land of Saints, which was as syrupy and decadent as a sponge pudding.

Time Out tip Make sure you’re sitting near someone who doesn’t like coriander so you can drink their milkshake.

Details

Address
20 Sidworth St
London
E8 3SD
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