Shane's On Chatsworth
62 Chatsworth Road, E5 0LS
0208 985 3755
AKA: The front room-style restaurant everyone needs on their street
The deal: As Chatsworth Road gets more hyped by the day (oh look, another artisan coffee shop has popped up!), what it really needed was a bistro that was consistently excellent and not likely to fall foul of being just another passing fad. Step forward, Shane's on Chatsworth. The restaurant opened up in 2012 and in two years has become a firm favourite in the neighbourhood for an intimate dinner, or for one of their famous Sunday brunches where you can sit and take respite from the busy market day. It only seats around 22 people, so can be a bit of a squeeze when its full (we recommend booking a table beforehand) but the staff are charming and the food is really great, so who's complaining?
The food: Yes, it's another restaurant focused on seasonal, local British food - but these guys really practise what they preach. Their recent foraging expedition in Hackney Marshes is a case in point for their enthusiasm for keeping it homegrown, and treats like hand-picked blackberries and elderberries are quick to appear on menu afterwards and as a perfect addition to their dishes. Their late summer/autumnal menu might offer a grilled Gressingham duck breast with celeriac puree, cobnuts, rosemary potatoes and elderberry jus (£16.5), or, like we wolfed down, the pave of fallow deer, with mash and blackberries (£16). Game and fish seem to be specialities, but they've also nailed the perfect onglet steak with fries and bearnaise (£14.95). There's a host of intriguing small plates to try, like hare carpaccio with pickled radish and Chantenay carrots (£6.5) or wild wood pigeon breast with mushroom and sea purslane (£6.5). Desserts fall on the classic side, with a lemon posset with poached strawberries and shortcake (£5) or the ever-comforting apple and blackberry crumble with cream (£5). They really know how to make the most from their produce.
The signature dish: The steak has to be the star of the show
The chef: Shane Harrison
When to dine: Weekends are popular, but keep an eye out on their Twitter mid-week for £10 steak nights, plus BYOB or happy hours, which they happily seem to be fond of.
Damage to pocket: Mains come in about £14, so with a starter, dessert and a glass of wine, it should be around £30 a head.
File under: Midweek munches, Date night, Brunching, Weekenders