Brummell recommends: Hackney Coterie

Hackney Coterie’s innovative and delicious food and wine makes it one of the most exciting restaurant openings in London

Food and Drink 29 Jul 2021

Cured pork belly with kisaichi pickled watermelon and smoked tofu

Cured pork belly with kisaichi pickled watermelon and smoked tofu

The background

Hackney Coterie is a new restaurant and wine bar on Dalston Lane from restaurateur Anthony Lyon and sommelier Kelvin McCabe. Lyon is known for opening beloved Crouch End restaurant Lyon’s Seafood & Wine Bar, and Lyon and McCabe are joined by head chef Dominic Auger, who worked at Ollie Dabbous’s Hide in Mayfair. The team behind Hackney Coterie come with a wealth of experience at the capital’s best restaurants and have teamed up to open one of London’s most exciting new restaurants, promising all-day dining, seasonally driven food and a focus on creating as little waste as possible.

The space

Hackney Coterie is in a long, buzzing space near Hackney Downs Station. The restaurant describes itself as a ‘warehouse brasserie’, which comes across in its exposed ceiling, concrete floor and hanging pendant lights. Despite the warehouse feel, Hackney Coterie retains a cosy and intimate atmosphere. The kitchen sits at the back of the restaurant while the front works as a wine, coffee and bread shop. Like all the best places in Hackney, the restaurant and wine bar promises to wear many hats to keep its neighbourhood happy and well served.

Shio glazed celeriac, gari, crispy shallots, black garlic
Shio glazed celeriac, gari, crispy shallots, black garlic

The menu

Hackney Coterie’s menu changes to adapt to what’s in season and available. When Brummell visited, the menu includes a selection of snacks, small plates, large plates, desserts and specials. The menu is reassuringly small and well thought out and sharing is encouraged to make sure guests have the chance to try as much as possible. Dishes are an exquisite melange of European and Asian flavours and techniques.

Snacks included an irresistible fish crackling with smoked tofu dip, and flatbread with taramasalata, beaten graceburn feta and hummus.  Small plate options were universally delicious and interesting: a thousand-layer Szechuan potatoes with black tea mayo, charred mackerel fillet with pickled cucumbers, gherkin powder and hung crème fraiche, pickled turnip and carrot salad with beansprouts, fermented chilli flakes and crushed peanuts, and charred hispi with dashi ketchup and shrimp candy floss.  Larger plates included cured pork belly with pickled watermelon and smoked tofu, dry aged salmon steaks with sambal salad and burnt lime, and shio-glazed celeriac steak with gari, crispy shallots and black garlic. For dessert the options were a moreish and delicate burnt butter custard with fennel sable or a beautiful apple filo tart with hazelnut and koji crumble. Flavours and textures throughout the menu are carefully considered, utterly delicious and completely original.

To drink, there is a small but perfectly formed selection of cocktails to start Hackney Coterie is a wine bar as much as it is a restaurant and prides itself on its extensive list of organic and low-intervention wines from across the world. A good number of vintages are available as a carafe or by the glass, including the excellent selection of skin-contact wines.

Charred mackerel fillet, pickled cucumber, gherkin powder, hung creme fraiche
Charred mackerel fillet, pickled cucumber, gherkin powder, hung creme fraiche

The bill

For a selection of shared plates, cocktails and a bottle of wine for two, expect to pay around £110.

The verdict

Hackney Coterie is an enthralling mix of being fun, affordable, something completely new and serves delicious and innovative dishes along with an original and intriguing wine list. Anyone living nearby should count themselves extremely lucky, but Hackney Coterie should also become a destination restaurant for any Londoner wanting to try something new and exciting.