The City of London’s stupidly high restaurant bills have been edging eastwards for some time, and Brat is a trendy restaurant capitalising on diners who will happily spend £65 (US$85) on a whole turbot. But despite the prices, this is a friendly, bohemian place, set in one of Shoreditch’s repurposed workshops. There’s as much focus on the wines as the food, and it even calls itself a “wood grill and wine bar”; there’s a long bar (no reservations), plus more seating at shared tables for diners who’ve booked online. Basque-style small plates might include rabbit, blood sausage and beans, or langoustines cooked on the woodfired grill – the same grill that’s used for cooking many of the dishes, from beef chop (£58/US$76 for the large version) to Dover sole (£28/US$37). Wines are supplied by the team behind Noble Rot wine bar, and are expertly chosen; the selection by the glass is exemplary.
VERDICT For City diners who are looking for something a little more interesting than the usual corporate haunts, this retro-looking dining room has bags of charm, and good cooking that belies its humble appearance. Guy Dimond