Please note, Brooksby's Walk has now closed. Time Out Food editors, May 2018.
A wildly popular dining room above a Jack the Ripper pub in Shoreditch: how do you top that? By taking over the roof of a public toilet in Homerton, silly. Giorgio Ravelli and Jarrod Cooke, of Ten Bells fame, have moved into the former site of The Convenience for their new two-storey venture, Brooksby’s Walk. While latrines in the interior give the restaurant its quirk-factor, there’s nothing gimmicky about the first-floor roof terrace: it feels Continental on balmy nights, even if the view is of a busy Hackney road.
As at any public lav, you can expect a queue at Brooksby’s Walk. The restaurant has already whipped up quite the local frenzy, and on our first visit we had to make do with a table indoors until one became available on the roof. Second time round, we booked.
Food and drink continues that European vibe, with the wine list plucking affordable finds from the Loire and Piedmont. Dishes are intended for sharing – although these stunning plates are almost too good to share. Deep-fried squid (£8.50) came with vibrant heritage tomatoes and sumac seasoning. Grilled nectarines were dusted in gouda shavings (£5). Perfectly pan-fried plaice (£12) was served on a bed of ‘aubergine caviar’ (more like a veggie salsa, really) and caper agrodolce – a mushy-pea-coloured blob of sweet-sour sauce on the side. Medallions of pork-neck rib-eye with fennel (£13) came swimming in smoked-ham-hock butter – even though it’s delicious, you’ll need to order some bread on the side to see this dish through to the end – but these tender chunks of meat were enlivened by aniseed-rich braised veg.
Our only other quibble is that an extraordinary dessert of ricotta-filled beignets with strawberries and cream (£6.50) was light on the miniature melt-in-the-mouth pastries, with only three morsels to split between two of us. We’d suggest flying solo for your final course or ordering interesting cheeses for the table instead.
Brooksby’s Walk is a temporary restaurant with no set closing date. Don’t get caught short – book a terrace table and spend a penny or two.