Test Driving Raw on Brick Lane - alfresco cocktails and seafood buns

OutsideThe terrace seating outside Raw

What can you tell us about Raw?

It comes from restaurateur Ivan Simeoli, who's also behind Laboratorio Pizza (which is just across the street from Raw). 

It's the second Raw (there's another about to open its doors in Fitzrovia) but was called Crudo when it first opened in December just before the lockdown started. When fully open, it aims to be a fishmongers and restaurant on the ground floor, with a hidden speakeasy-style bar around the back. 

Where is it?

On a corner site on Brick Lane, about a 5-minute stroll from Shoreditch High Street overground. 

And it's alfresco right now?

Until 17 May, they've taken over a sizeable area in front of the restaurant but it's not covered, so is weather-dependent. That said, it's a very handy space in the area if the weather is behaving itself. 

What kind of food is on offer?

Raw is subtitled as "Fish & Cocktails" and the entire menu is seafood with a smattering of vegetarian dishes on offer. It's split into oysters (Maldon or seasonal), sea buns and "The sea" which is essentially small-plate seafood dishes. Here's a taste of the menu. 

OutsideFirst up in the menu is the sea buns section, which are as they sound - a selection of seafood laden buns, including tuna tartare and tempura octopus. This is the Cured Salmon sea bun- raw salmon, garlic oil, fior di latte, fried courgette & dry tomatoes. A good size for £11.50  (you can ask them to halve it for you so you can try more dishes) and based on this, one other bun that's haddock with french fries & spicy mayonnaise should be worth a try.

OutsideNext up is the Tempura section - essentially the deep-fried bit. This features tiger prawns, salt & pepper Cornish cuttlefish, arancini and these - salt cod croquettes with spicy miso mayo (£8)

OutsideMoving on to The Sea section of the menu, which features a broader range of dishes, including a Cornish Mackerel sandwich and the ubiquitous red prawns, here served in a carpaccio. Above is the seared yellowfin tuna with lemon, soy and coriander dressing (£9.50)

OutsideAlso from The Sea section, this Miso Cornish Monkfish - flamed monkfish with spicy miso & garden peas (£12.50)

OutsideA special mention from the "sides" section of the menu - these curry-scented, crushed potatoes are unmissable (£4)

OutsideDesserts are simple - a Tiramisu or the above yuzu mouse (£6)

What about drinks?

They take the "fish & cocktails" deal seriously. Alongside classics like the negroni, spritz and old fashioned, there are a number of sea-influenced cocktails like the Kombu Seaweed Martini (£12) and the Squid Ink Mary (£12). Wines start at the £23/£24 mark with the £35 Greco di Tufo a good match for anything on the menu. 

Overall thoughts?

Raw is a handy new arrival for an area not blessed with many seafood spots. They're serving an eclectic seafood menu that hits the mark alongside a strong selection of buns that would make it a very handy lunch spot. Cocktails are also on point, and those should really come into their own when the main bar opens. 


More about Raw

Where is it? 120-122 Brick Ln, Spitalfields, London E1 6RL

Reader offer: You can currently get 50% off Raw with our reader offer

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @rawfishlondon

Hot Dinners ate as guests of Raw. Prices are correct at the time of writing. 


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