Tomos Parry’s first solo restaurant is on the premises of a former strip club, above Smoking Goat, in Shoreditch. Not only is it Parry’s solo debut, it is the first time he has cooked at a permanent site since he departed Kitty Fisher’s — the Mayfair restaurant which he helped gain so many accolades — at the start of last year.
Brat is its name. Grill cooking is the focus. Seafood, sourced from Cornwall; meat from his native Wales, as well as the English south west; and seasonal fruit and vegetables, will largely be grilled or cooked in a purpose-built wood oven. But even if that style has become increasingly modish over the last three years, Parry will differentiate himself slightly, aiming to emulate those he admires in the north of Spain, and in doing so will be using fire to cook his range of ingredients slowly.
Eater was given a first look inside — and Parry gave a detailed run-through of the menu at one of the most hotly anticipated new restaurant openings so far this year. Now, it’s one of the hottest Michelin-starred restaurants in the city.
Turbot (Brat means turbot in colloquial old English)
Influenced by one eaten in Getaria, northern Spain. It is inspired by their specific approach to cooking whole fish slowly over fire.
“We work closely with four or five different day boats and suppliers to ensure we get the best pick of turbots, mainly from the south west coast.” When’s it’s not available it’s not on the menu.
The turbot is gently grilled over lumpwood charcoal to “maximise its meatiness and stickiness, alongside a golden char on the skin.”
The fish is rested in the mouth of the wood oven, which “relaxes” the flesh and allows the gelatinous roasting juices to come out. Those juices are then loosely whipped, then mixed to form a pil pil style emulsion in which the flesh is basted before being served.
“These are native breeds, which have some dairy heritage, like Jersey. We pick out older cows that have been out on the moors getting loads of mixed grass and roughage before being finished with minimal grain. [Resulting in a] creamy yellow fat and intense beef flavour. Working closely with selected farmers, but mainly Warrens farms in Cornwall — a project that will continue as the restaurant grows with the farmer.”
“After visiting farms in the Basque country, I was blown away by these baby peas and their intense flavour. They are generally picked after a cold night as they are sweetest. Currently we work with a supplier who brings them directly to us from a small area surrounding Getaria. We have planted three varieties of peas, which are currently being grown by Sean, our grower in Cornwall, including the variety they grow in Getaria. Focus is on the smaller, sweet peas. We serve them in a Carmarthen Ham broth and grilled in the pods when the peas get slightly larger.”
Breads will include heritage grain flour from Felin Ganol watermill in Wales.
Felin Ganol is a “mill in the traditional way — a water stone mill. Not many left in the UK. They are working hard to bring back the British/ native heritage grains. Eg “Hen Gymro” (meaning “Old Welsh” ) in grain, which is the longest surviving landrace grain in the UK is now being grown again here after a 90-year absence.”
Steamed oysters with laverbread
A modern take on a classic Welsh combination
Oysters steamed with sea water and seaweed, in our cast iron pots (Netherton foundry) in the wood oven. Served with fresh laverbread (an accompaniment made from seaweed) from Wales and vinegars.
Sea trout over cedar wood
A dish inspired by Dave Pynt, of Burnt Ends, who slow-cooked trout at his London residency at Climpsons Arch, where Parry himself went on to cook.
“When in season, we will use Welsh sea trout, but will always use a river trout. The piece of wood protects the fish from the direct heat of the grill and lightly smokes and brings out natural fattiness of the fish.”
Leeks and grilled vegetables from farmers
“When I was at Climpsons Arch — I focused a lot about grilling vegetables and fruit (gently grilled strawberries with raw cream, as well as young leeks) and [appreciated] the reaction of the char flavour and the bringing out of sweetness.
“[We are] working on establishing a connection with farmers to Brat — spending time with the pickers and selectors in Cornwall hopefully creating those connections. Working with “regrowth” and bolted veg — smaller and more intense in flavour which works well on the grill.”
Ahead of the official launch on Saturday 17 March, the restaurant will be open (on a walk-in basis only) for dinner, at 6pm, on Thursday 15 March. And for lunch from 12pm and dinner 6pm, on Friday 16 March.