As you may have seen, I only very recently visited Terroirs for the first time so having heard that the owners have just opened a brand new restaurant on Columbia Road called Brawn, we decided to take my mum and check it out when she came to visit the weekend before Christmas.
It was the coldest day of the year and we trudged across London through the snow to get there. Market stalls outside were selling Christmas trees like crazy, which added to the Christmassy atmosphere!
Brawn doesn’t have a sign outside – luckily we had taken note of the building number before we left. The decor is different to Terroirs – Brawn is very East London with cool, vintage/reclaimed furniture and the inside is white, much brighter than Terroirs. The tables are white with old reclaimed wooden chairs, good quality cutlery and very thin glass beakers, which I LOVE.
I scanned down the menu and immediately decided to order the Pork Rillete – after having the Duck version at Terroirs a couple of weeks ago, I knew I was in for a treat.
I have to say that I didn’t know what the majority of the menu was due to the fact that a lot of it is written in French (maybe I should have paid more attention at school). So we asked one of the many attractive French waiters that was on hand to explain.
The fresh Bread basket that is brought to the table at the beginning of the meal is most certainly my downfall, especially since it was delicious freshly baked Sourdough Bread from local e5 Bakehouse.
Along came the Pork Rilette and we all tucked in. I didn’t think that my Boyfriend and Mum would like it due to the high fat content but they wolfed it down. The best way to eat this dish is by buttering a slice of Bread, slathering the Pork Rilette on top and adding a slice of Cornichon (that’s Gherkin to me and you).
Next came the Brandade with Green Beans and Warm Duck Egg Yolk. Brandade is an emulsion of salt cod and olive oil – the addition of Duck Egg Yolk was fantastic, rich and runny. Again, a dish that needed to be eaten with the fresh Bread.
We also ordered the Mongetes – another dish that I had to check before hand. It is a Catalan dish of Sausage with White Beans and it arrived at the table hot and sizzling. The Sausage proved too much for one of the party so it was left to two of us. It was quite a filling dish and we had trouble finishing it all. It would definitely be good to recreate this dish on a cold winters day.
We also shared the Puy Lentil and Ham Hock Soup. The Lentils had been purified so the soup had an extremely creamy texture. It was delicious – the only slight problem was that there were only two bits of Ham in the dish and that wasn’t enough since we were sharing!
We were only out for lunch so we didn’t have a pudding but instead moved on to another cafe just off Brick Lane.
I think that Brawn is a fantastic place for lunch but I’d like to go back for dinner and sample the wine list and experience the atmosphere of the restaurant when it is busier.
49 Columbia Road
020 7729 569
That brandade looks stunning; I was a huge fan of Terroirs so I imagine I’d like Brawn a lot too. Can’t wait to visit.
It was a treat – i think I prefer Brawn as a setting too. It wasn’t very busy on Sunday at lunch time so i’m going to go back for dinner in the New Year. I imagine the atmosphere will be amazing when it’s busy!