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Could This Ex-Outlaw’s Chef Change the Restaurant Scene in Hackney Wick?

Tom Brown will open Cornerstone in the east London neighbourhood next month. It could be a game-changer

How Cornerstone will look — with chef Tom Brown at the centre of the open kitchen
Cornerstone [Official Photo]

Nathan Outlaw protégé, Tom Brown will open his first solo restaurant, Cornerstone, in Hackney Wick, east London on Tuesday 24 April. Though the artistic neighbourhood has been home to a number of studios, breweries and pizza bars, it has not until now had a restaurant that hopes to make an impact in the way that The Clove Club or Lyle’s did five years ago.

The 46-cover restaurant — named after Brown’s favourite Arctic Monkeys track — will operate “a flexible and regularly changing menu dependent on what ingredients are available — ensuring only the best of British produce is used.”

Designed for sharing, dishes will be priced between £8-£14 and include: Raw mackerel with lime pickle, coconut yogurt and crispy garlic; marinated squid with black pudding, blood orange and a brown butter dressing; roast cod served with Café de Paris hollandaise; ox tongue served with salt cod, tomatoes and gremolata; and for dessert Cornerstone’s pear crumble with Earl Grey ice-cream or a coffee ice-cream sandwich served with a banana, pecan and rum sauce. British cheeses and homemade pickles will also be available.

Ahead of the launch next month, Brown said: “I am thrilled to finally be opening Cornerstone. It feels like it has been in the pipeline for such a long time now so being able to announce an opening date is very exciting! Watching the transition of the restaurant from design to actually being built is an incredible feeling — can’t wait to get cooking now.”

A short wine list comprises 22 varieties, with 12 available by the glass from £6, and bottles from £22 with a focus on natural, organic and biodynamic wines. “Home infused cocktails” are also available and will be priced from £8.50, such as ‘One For The Road’ (Blood oranges, red vermouth, Dewar’s 12-year-old scotch, cherry) and ‘Fireside’ (QuiQuiRiQui Mezcal, vine leaf syrup, egg whites, lemon).

Cornerstone has also partnered up with Cornish distillery, The Wrecking Coast for a bespoke gin which will be available exclusively at the restaurant. Designed to be eaten with the seafood for which Brown earned his reputation under Outlaw in Knightsbridge, the gin has been distilled with cloudy apple juice from Polgoon Orchard in Cornwall rather than water and contains botanicals such as juniper, coriander seeds; liquorice root, angelica root, Seville orange, lemon, lime and rosehip.