Named after its chef-patron’s favourite Arctic Monkeys song, Cornerstone is a thoroughly modern dining experience, well suited to its East London setting
He may have sleeve tats, but Tom Brown is no hipster (he did, after all, name his restaurant after a favourite Arctic Monkeys song rather than an obscure Swedish jazz record). And despite being located in a fairly remote area of East London and majoring in low-intervention wines, his debut restaurant is encouragingly normal in feel.
Near Hackney Wick station, Cornerstone is a 46-cover whitewashed space that’s full of natural light thanks to a sweeping glass frontage and a brace of skylights. The look of the place is accurately described as minimalist, elegant and informal.
A protégé of two Michelin-starred seafood specialist Nathan Outlaw, Brown jokes that you can tell the restaurant was designed by a chef: his open kitchen is located slap bang in the middle of the dining room and dominates the space (it also incorporates Cornerstone’s bar, which seats 11 guests).
Brown is a skillful cook. His light, produce-led style is clearly influenced by his time with Outlaw. His small plates menu includes pickled oyster, celery, horseradish, whole monkfish tail, roast chicken butter sauce for two or more to share and – most famously – a crumpet topped with potted shrimp and artful curls of kohlrabi. Named as One to Watch in the 2018 National Restaurant Awards, Cornerstone may be casual in style but can now safely be counted among London’s very best places to eat.