Doug McMaster’s acclaimed zero waste restaurant, Silo, intends to relocate from Brighton to London this summer. The move, subject to a successful £500,000 crowdfund from craft brewery Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick, whose remodelling of its east London home will include bringing the lauded restaurant to the capital. It will open on 5 November.
McMaster has been spending time in London recently on Cub, the restaurant he opened with celebrated bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana in summer 2017. Cub and Silo’s approaches to sustainability are distinct, however, and McMaster’s Brighton project — which recently extended to recycling all of its glass back into sand to make crockery for the restaurant — is more of an expression of a return, or adoption of an entirely “alternative” food system, while Chetiyawardana more often focuses on working within and between existing structures, looking at the rejection of assumptions about food systems: rural farming, stratified supply chains and the association of culinary luxury with primacy (only the most expensive ingredients make the best food etc.)
Dishes planned for London, from a menu projected on to the wall, include:
- Grilled fantail squid, white kimchi and Douglas fir
- Blue potatoes with barbecued sea kale and caramelised whey
- Golden linseed ice-cream with fig leaf oil
Silo’s former dinner offering was a tasting menu, with a small menu of snacks; it also serves a la carte lunch and brunch. The restaurant formerly divided its menus into plant-based and omnivorous progressions, but has since simplified to one menu. A current sample includes mackerel tartare with purple daikon and miso, and pumpkin seed ice cream with fig leaf and furikake. McMaster was criticised by locals in 2017 after saying that “Brighton is not the town for such a forward-thinking restaurant” in a frank interview, in which he also revealed that a two year negotiation on a London site had fallen through.
McMaster opened Silo in 2014, winning Observer Food Monthly’s ‘Best Ethical Restaurant’ award in 2016. McMaster opened the restaurant on returning to the U.K. from Melbourne, having spent time at Fergus Henderson’s lauded nose-to-tail restaurant St. John in London prior to that, where he worked under James Lowe, who now co-owns Michelin-starred Lyle’s, in Shoreditch.
Crate, meanwhile, will use the money to introduce a small, ‘pilot’ brewery for small batch beers, as well as opening a new workshop space in conjunction with Silo; a seating amphitheatre will also be introduced as part of the refurb, as will an extension of the ground floor bar.