As restaurants rush to make preparations to reopen from 4 July, there are those who are biding their time, instead continuing to pivot, adapt, and innovate in the face of ongoing uncertainty. Michelin-starred grill restaurant Brat has announced that it will not reopen at its home on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch until the middle of July. Before then, chef Tomos Parry has confirmed that he will takeover the outdoor space at Climpson’s Arch in London Fields from 11 July until the end of September.
Parry is making a return to the venue where he first made a name for himself in London, between 2013 – 2015. It was on the outdoor grill that the chef developed cooking styles and dishes that he would go on to cook at his first head chef role at Kitty Fisher’s in Mayfair, which in turn paved the way for his standout debut restaurant in Shoreditch in 2018.
Parry will split his time between both sites once Brat reopens, since Climpson’s Arch will be open for dinner service only during the week. “There’ll be a little bit of a different approach,” Parry told Eater London. Yes, there’ll be the signature turbot and wood fired breads, but he says he wants to “try and get in the direction of holiday [dining].” He’ll hope the weather holds. As for the menu, it will mean plates of oysters and velvet crabs; “as opposed to more constructed dishes” which earned Brat a Michelin star and a series of rave reviews within its first year of opening.
About the residency more generally, Tomos Parry said it presented an opportunity not just to return to the roots of his cooking style, but also to offer a means of supporting the suppliers he has come to rely on in his restaurants — suppliers, who like his own industry, have been hit hard by the pandemic. “This is an anxious moment for the farm to restaurant food system and our communities. Getting back to basics at Climpson’s Arch to spend a few hours grilling fish and the produce we love, means we can go some way to supporting our team and suppliers when we need each other most and in a space that safely brings people together.”
Daily menus will feature simply grilled produce from the likes of Dan Cox of Crocadon Farm in Cornwall and Calixta Kilander’s Flourish farm in Cambridge. Those ingredients will be fashioned into a series of new dishes, such as grilled Crocadon Farm aged mutton chops, petit snap greens with smoked new season garlic, homemade ricotta, and unfiltered olive oil; Basque fish soup with Cornish velvet crabs; and a salad of slow-grilled pollock, laverbread, and tomatoes.
By day, the Climpson’s Arch premises doubles as a coffee roastery and storage unit for one of the city’s original “speciality” roasters. Founder Ian Burgess said that he was looking forward to reopening the outdoor dining space for a residency having closed it closed four years ago. He called it one of his proudest projects. “It was an exciting hub for chefs and the food loving community,” he said. “People were drawn by the theatre and rawness of cooking on fire, as talented chefs merged wood, fire, food. It’s a silver lining in these crazy new times to be able to offer this space back to the now struggling hospitality industry and come full circle.”
In the spirit of innovation during these extraordinary times, Brat will also begin distributing ‘Brat at Home’ food boxes filled with prepared seafood like roasted whole crabs, alongside cuts of meat from Philip Warrens butchers in Cornwall, as the grilled bread with anchovy, smoked potatoes and whole burnt cheesecake with rhubarb.
Brat at Climpson’s Arch will open seven days a week from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. and will accept reservations for tables of two, four, or six people are available to book now via Brat’s website.