What can you tell us about Behind?
It's the dream restaurant of chef Andy Beynon, who previously worked for Jason Atherton as development chef. He's now going it alone in London Fields with Behind, which is all about opening up the whole experience from the kitchen to the counter.
We visited Behind just before the lockdown kicked in - but it reopens with all other London restaurants on the week we write this.
Counter dining as a focus, then?
Counter dining plus. we'd say. The closest thing to it in London right now is Kitchen Table (which is undergoing renovation at the time of writing). But even with that in mind, this is quite unique.
While the finishing-off action happens in the middle of the counter (see below) the space opens up further so you can see everything that's going on in all areas. When social distancing isn't a big thing any more, part of the evening's dining will be in and around the kitchen itself - but right now, it's all at the main counter.
With plenty of COVID measures in place?
Absolutely - the distancing between us and other diners was some of the roomiest we've seen, and the counter itself is pretty deep too.
Where is it?
It's in London Fields, about a few minutes from the station, and has taken over the space that most recently held Fold Pizza. But even you've been there before, it's all changed dramatically.
What about a drink nearby?
First off - this is obviously for when we're back to tier 1. There are quite a few options close at hand and our personal favourite is Martello Hall, which has always been always a good place to meet up. Alternatively, there's the London Fields brewery taproom just around the corner and plenty more options down nearby Broadway Market.
They also have a small wine bar as part of Behind. It was still getting ready to launch when we visited - but that definitely looks promising.
What about the food - what can we expect?
It's a single set menu, served to everyone in the same sitting with seafood as the primary (but not sole) focus. Dishes are small, but there are a lot of them with a good steady pace to the meal.
Here's a taste of some of the 10+ courses we had on the night:
And what about drink?
You can either choose what you want or go with the pairing - and we'd definitely recommend the latter as it really added another level to the evening, with each class pairing one or two courses.
Yes - there's actually something to take away with you. They've created a pastry that will be perfect for first thing the next morning - a touch we were very appreciative of:
As mentioned above, Behind was one of the last restaurants we visited pre-Lockdown 2.0 and we're so glad we went. It was everything that we can't get in our own kitchen - great attention to detail from expert chefs, a convivial atmosphere while still remaining nice and socially distant, a fun and interesting wine pairing and most importantly an excellent meal. There's nothing else quite like it in town right now and if you've been craving something that showcases what the London food scene is capable of - this is well worth your attention.
Hot Dinners ate as guests of Behind. Prices are correct at the time of writing.
More about Behind
Where is it? 20 Sidworth Street, London E8 3SD
How to book: book online at behindrestaurant.co.uk/book
Subscribe to be the first to get the news from Hot Dinners