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Bright

Restaurants, Contemporary Global South Hackney
5 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
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5/5

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

A restaurant from the same team as popular Dalston wine shop P Franco.

Heard of P Franco? It’s a super-cool Dalston wine shop that also happens to do a mean line in comestibles. Bright is from the same crew, but is a restaurant proper. And it’s the best thing to hit the neighbourhood since sliced bread. Sliced bread also happens to be the makings of the cutest thing on the menu – a meaty take on a fish finger sarnie, using Japanese katsu chicken (ie crumbed and deep-fried) in a white bread sandwich. With its crusts off. And cut into quarters. Like I said, cute.

The rest of the food is a little more mature, but it still shows courage, and cojones. There’s a bowl of ‘legumes’ – a posh word for a medley of beans, lentils and chickpeas – topped with a primrose-hued parmesan cream and an egg yolk. As soon as it arrives, you’re made to mix it up. If you thought it was ugly before you stuck your fork in it, don’t even ask about the aftermath. It looked liked stewed sludge. But close your eyes and take a leap of faith. Because it was profoundly delicious: a happy harmony of wholesomeness and unctuousness, both moreish and comforting.

It went on and on. The menu is eclectic – you could say random – but in a brilliant way. One minute you’re eating like you’re at a seven-year-old’s birthday (there was also a ‘cheddar pastry’ – a seriously understated way of describing seven huge, pillowy gougères, served piping hot and under a snowdrift of microplaned cheese for £6 – and a wholesome, miniature take on a deep-dish Pizza Hut pizza, again a snip at £6), the next it’s like you’re in a cutting-edge fine diner. There were lemony, soupy plates of broccoli fronds that looked like weeds but tasted like they’d been clipped from the Garden of Eden. And perhaps my favourite dish of the night – though there was nothing I wouldn’t race back to eat again – a little bowl of mussels in a clear broth. It had the mild fishy notes you get when cooking with bonito, but which here came from mackerel, plus smoky notes that lingered in the mouth and nostrils. The mussels were juicy and plentiful, with al dente slivers of kohlrabi for texture. Later, a perfect partridge ragù. Finally, in-season figs, macerated in honey and thyme, with a blob of milk ice cream.

As for the room, I hadn’t expected to like it. The last time I was here, this metal-and-glass box was home to Ellory, which was cold in both temperature and atmos (its new Shoreditch incarnation, Leroy, is much better). But Bright, despite its name, is low-lit. Also vibey, the thrumming music cut through by kitchen buzz and the loud chatter of a packed room. Staff, too, were superb, turning away hopeful walk-ins with grace, pacing the plates perfectly and – that rare thing – bringing the bill the instant we asked. So, thank-you, Bright. You are a lovely, shiny place.

By: Tania Ballantine

Posted:

Details

Address: 1 Westgate Street
London
E8 3RL
Transport: London Fields Overground
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £105.
Contact:
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Users say (2)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|2
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tastemaker

I've been saving Bright for a special occasion so when we were looking for a restaurant to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary, the only place I wanted to go was Bright and after being there, I really wish I hadn't. Not because the food was awful, but the overall experience was so disappointing that it actually ruined our night. 


Bright only takes 2-hour booking, So we booked ours from 18.15 till 20.15 on a Friday night. When we were going to run late, I called them and advised them, but they managed my expectations by saying that they will need the table back at 20.15, which is fair. 


Then we arrived. Mindful of the time pressure, we were keen to start ordering, but no one came to take our drinks order for 10 minutes. Then when they did, we chose a wine we wanted to try. We asked what was it like and her response was "oh loads of people order it". So we ordered it. Then shortly afterwards, I'm guessing a sommelier came to warn us that this particular wine was unfiltered and we may not appreciate it, so that took another 10 for our second choice to arrive.


With the arrival of the wine, we ordered starters that took another 15 to come out and our main didn't come out for another 15 after we had finished our main. 


Now to the food, the two starters, oysters and scallops were divine, but then we ordered a whole grilled fish, that came with absolutely nothing. The waitress at no point suggested that we get any sides, so we just had the under-seasoned fish with nothing to go with it.


After we were done with our main, the waitress absently asked if we wanted dessert and as soon as the word "no" came out of our mouth, the bill was smacked on to our table. 


So there are a few issues here:

1. As part of booking, they asked if it was a special occasion, I mentioned our anniversary and there was no acknowledgement made of that.

2. Yes we may have been 10 minutes late, but if the service was more attentive, we would have finished our meal in one hour 50, which I personally think is loads of time. 

3. Lack of staff knowledge.


Overall, it felt like we went to down the local Chinese where we weren't welcome and they couldn't wait to get rid of us.


Very disappointed. 

tastemaker

There is something reassuring about seeing one of the worlds greatest chefs leaving the restaurant you’re about to walk into looking happy. Just think had any of the four buses I waited for been on time I’d have missed Pierre Koffman and Richard Vines, so thanks tfl

The restaurant in question is bright, opened in XXX by the team behind R Franco where I was meeting NC for a much anticipated dinner. I actually walk past not once but twice the only signage a poster in the window that without close inspection I assume is for basket weaving or such like, what with us being deep in East London, well beyond the sanitised E1.

The menu is another two from here, three from here, one from this section and then maybe you’d like to add three from here. 

We are guided by Darcy, fresh off the boat and full of charm and enthusiasm, I’m not sure he felt the same after we left! 

We start with the chicken katsusando because it seems if you are it’s the rule. It looks for all the world like something my gran would have present to me, bread so white it’s almost illuminated, a far cry from the artisan sourdough we’ve come so used to (they do of course offer this too). It tasted however somewhat different. The chicken is moist (sorry), with a perfect crunch, there is a slight bitterness from the cabbage, the bread just sweet, enhanced by the sweet sharp mustard. I’d love to have something with just a little more creaminess in here. 

Pizza fritta is literally thatfried pizza something a girl from Glasgow is no stranger to. This is unlike anything that ever came out of the Philly chippy. It’s a little cloud of soft, puffy dough, atoned with sharp, sweet tomatoes and salty ricotta. 

Clams, mussels and tomato vinaigrette is a vibrant bowl of summer. The flavours bright and exciting, plump mussels, the crunch of onion and little pebbles of green olive oil.

We move to pasta and the tagliatelle and partridge ragu. It’s rich, creamy, the pasta is slick, dusted in Parmesan. This is the type of dish I’d happily eat alone in my pjs while binge watching Killing Eve.

Our main is pork chop with soured cucumber, (that’s essentially a pickle to you and I) with more of the mustard. We also order a side of celery, pear, Stilton and almond which had all the making of something beautiful if it had all of those things, but mostly it was celery and almonds. 

But let us not forget the glistening slab of pork in front of us, the juices pooling around it. It was glorious, perhaps the fat could have been rendered a little crispier for me but the meat was stunning.

We could fit in dessert, we think we saw Darcy breath a sigh of relief at the thought we might leave but we did stay for another glass of wine. 

Bright is just that, everyone is smiley and happy and just bloody lovely. I hope this light continues to shine for a long time to come. 

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