Yesterday, Tom Brown, the former head chef of Outlaw’s at The Capital in Knightsbridge opened his first solo restaurant, Cornerstone in Hackney Wick — a neighbourhood on the edge of the Olympic village, which has seen investment and change since the Games in 2012. It has not though, until now, had a restaurant which has declared an ambition to, as Brown has said, put Hackney Wick on the culinary map in the same way Lyle’s and Clove Club have did in Shoreditch.
Brown, who left his position as head chef at Nathan Outlaw’s eponymous Michelin-starred seafood restaurant late last year to pursue this solo venture, has built his Cornerstone around a central open kitchen — where the Cornwall native will be serving “adventurous”, largely seafood-focused small plates with “pared-back” representations of a few hero ingredients.
It is named after the young chef’s favourite track by rock band the Arctic Monkeys — and, he says, the location is as an integral part of the restaurant’s identity. Unlike Outlaw’s at the Capital, which is located in one of the most traditional hotels in the highest net-worth part of London, Cornerstone will be informal, and hip, and reflect the artistic and industrial aesthetic of Hackney Wick. It’s a move that recalls Brat head chef Tomos Parry’s transfer from Kitty Fisher’s in Mayfair to his new, very cool, grill restaurant in Shoreditch.
Brown, in his new home, is definitely one to watch. Here’s a first look at what customers can expect.