Another quick departure from Tokyo (it’s beginning to look like I’m a dedicated Japanese food blogger), this time to talk about the brilliant Burnt Enz in London Fields. With the sun out, there really is no better place to be than Dave Pynt’s weekend barbecue residency at Climpson & Sons roastery, and we believe this so wholeheartedly we went this both Saturday and Sunday (after a full lunch at Cornish Grill). Yes, it’s THAT GOOD.
First things first, don’t go expecting pulled pork and coleslaw – this is not an all-American BBQ spot. Instead Dave (ex-Etxebarri, so you know he means business with a grill) cooks the best available produce simply, but to absolute perfection, so they shine on their own. He does all this in the roastery’s courtyard, on custom applewood-fed grills and brick ovens.
Sweet new season garlic, the edge tempered by slow-roasting, spread like butter on the slices of grilled bread and made a fine start to our feast in the sun.
A scallop each, plump and proudly sitting in its shell, followed. Grilled complete with its coral and served with seaweed and lemon, it was soft, succulent and a real burst of flavours.
Charred Fennel wedges were cooked through but retained a pleasing crunch, their mild aniseed notes nicely complemented by sorrel cream and orange oil.
A beautiful plate of grilled Tomatoes with Goats Milk and Mint confirms that vegetables are no after thought here at Burnt Enz.
Grilled Sea Bream served with salsa verde was absolutely stunning. B and I picked at the crisp-skinned fish with relish, enjoying every mouthful of moist flaky flesh.
Dexter Forerib was equally impressive – the majestic piece of meat had a good char to it, but was still juicy and pink within. It was quite a lot for the two of us to get through, especially after all we had already eaten, but with the help of a refreshing vinaigrette-dressed side salad of wilted lettuce and onions we managed it. Just.
On Sunday, having already had lunch, we scaled back a little and only ordered two things. The first was the Bone Marrow that I had my eye on the day before. Smoky quivering gloriousness – it was all I had hoped for.
Then, a whole leg of suckling pig, meat fall-off-the-bone tender and skin that cracked against the teeth. This time, even with the accompanying citrus-spiked shaved fennel salad, we were defeated and had to ask for the rest of the piglet to go.
If you’ve yet to have the pleasure of kicking back at the Helmsley Place arch, you need to hop down pronto as Burnt Enz is only running until the end of summer. Not only is the grilling top-notch, the relaxed vibe, cool digs and friendly staff (both the servers and bar-keep at the well-stocked bar, as well as the amiable Dave himself) make it unmissable.
London E8 3SB
open weekends 2pm-midnight
also on Thursday nights, bookable here