photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

Brawn review image



49 Columbia Rd, Shoreditch
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There are some pleasurable things in life that you just shouldn’t do every day, even if you could. Eating a daily pizza probably isn’t clever. Nor would getting a professional massage be, even if you had the money. That would be creepy. And while bailing on social engagements to drink whiskey alone and play video games every night certainly sounds fun, it’s also a quick way to become single and friendless.

However, something pleasurable that we definitely could do every day is have dinner at Brawn.

Brawn review image

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

Brawn is a restaurant housed in a converted warehouse at the end of Columbia Road that focuses on small plates and natural wine. On the surface, it would be easy to assume that it’s just another East London neighbourhood spot, built to cater to the locals who pop in for a glass of wine and a plate of ravioli from time to time.

And while it certainly is that, Brawn is also so much more. Compared to so many other modern British bistros around town, you won’t just leave a meal at Brawn thinking, ‘Well that was interesting. I’m glad I tried it.’ Instead, you’ll actually think, ‘I would very much like to eat those scallops or that pasta again. Maybe even tomorrow.’

So yes, having a meal at Brawn is something you could do every day. Because it’s excellent, because it’s interesting, and because it’s better than your average neighborhood restaurant in London. Whether or not you should, well, that depends on how much you’re trying to budget for massages and video games. We’re not going to live your life for you.

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Food Rundown

Salt Cod Fritters

Hot and crispy on the outside, and properly melty and full of creamy salt cod inside. If these aren’t aren’t available, get the cheese gougeres.

Brawn review image

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch


Always order the pasta. That’s a good rule for life in general, but it’s true here in particular. Expect handmade noodles that are light and satisfying.


So good. This dish is basically raw scallops with good olive oil, seasoning, and whatever’s good that day. Sometimes it’s peas, and they do a version with celery too. It’s light, fresh, and flavoursome.


Brawn usually has a meat dish that changes all the time - sometimes it’s a French-style lamb stew with tender vegetables, or a duck confit. The pork chop with anchovy butter is a ridiculous dish when it’s on - it’s salty, rich, and fatty, and your arteries will definitely know when you’re eating it.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta With Strawberries

The presentation here basically resembles a dollop of undecorated trifle. Having said that, you won’t care what it looks like though, because it’s really damn good.


The tiramisu isn’t quite as good as the panna cotta - it’s in the middle of the pack, as far as we’re are concerned - but it’s still pretty good. You’ll enjoy it.

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