Even though, the windows were covered and it hadn’t opened, I immediately liked the look of The Brix from the Moooi Pig Table to the Gerard O’Connor photo ( somewhere between an Earl Carter and a Marian Drew) and the chefs who possess enough tattoos to put a Russian prison to shame.
The idea behind The Brix is a modern day French bistro, modelled on Le Chateaubriand in Paris, which in four years has gone to being one of the top 10 restaurants in the world with its prix fixe 5 course menu.
And so I found myself eating the five course $80 fixed price menu at The Brix first a few weeks back. I returned for coffee the next day on the strength of its Synesso espresso machine and Fives Senses beans. I was back for breakfast a week later, brioche and black pudding with sticks of apple washed down with a house made tomato juice.
On my first visit I recognised how the chefs work, hunched over tweezers at the pass. It all looked very Dan Hunter (from the Royal Mail Hotel). And there was saltbush, something I had foraged for with Attica’s Ben Shewry, in one dish. Sure enough the chef Joel Alderson had worked at both.
The wine list is unashamedly Francophile, and the good thing about it is its brevity; it’s one page long. There are a handful of champagnes, two by the glass, and one local sparkling. With about 10 or so of each red and white.
We start on slate with smoked eel,which is so much more with various pickled beets and horseradish tricked up in that modern melting crummy way.
We move on to and off plates with a gorgeously clear fish soup, more a consommé for the aquatarian. I’m onto lamb, a sweetbread and a cut treated like pork belly.
All the dishes are small and packed with flavour and texture rising up to our favourite course of blue cheese with pastry crumbs. Wow!
If I could lose anything it was the dessert, too sweet after a beautifully balanced meal. The staff could lose the braces on what are to be quite honest jeans that are far too tight.
Don’t come to this bistro expected traditional French modern. This is focused modern cooking at it best and as long as owners Emma O’Mara and Keir Vaughan hang on to their chefs I look forward to the evolution of the food here. A lot.