If you’ve ever walked past the fascinating building that looks like it was from the set of Inception with its sharp geometric lines near the silicon roundabout, now is your chance to explore the inside of the building with a great restaurant called Plate. The owner and creative force behind Plate is Arnaud Stevens, someone I’ve greatly admired from his days working as head chef at Maze Grill and helping to devise the concept for SixtyOne. The clean, classical style of his cooking is very much in evidence on their menu along with a touch of modernity from his experience working with many great chefs like Pierre Koffmann, Jason Atherton, Gary Rhodes and Gordon Ramsay to name just a few.
I wouldn’t normally recommend bread prior to a 3-course meal, but when their signature bread flight is that good, you just can’t say no: it contains sourdough, brioche and marmite with whipped and seasonal butters. It brings fresh out of the oven to a whole new level.
Arnaud might be half French and half English, but he is a proud supporter of local produce. For our starters, I enjoyed chalk farm sea trout whilst my guest enjoyed Nutbourne heritage tomatoes. The former resembled the look of salmon but had a firmer texture and was expertly matched with gravadlax dressing and pink peppercorn yoghurt. Whilst the latter was paired with lemon ricotta and tomato dressing to really help add vibrancy to the salad.
Supporting the UK farming industry is very much in evidence for the main courses too as I tucked into Chilton farm rump of lamb with tomato fondue, anchovy, basil dressing and charred gem. The meat was beautifully pink with just a hint of fat and a small sprinkling of sea salt.
Vegetarians are well-catered for with a Parmesan gnocchi with sprouting broccoli, almond puree and elderflower dressing. It has a delightful bite that you know the kitchen has timed perfectly well when preparing the dish.
Portions are reasonably sized and quite filling especially with the bread course, but dessert is a must-try affair even if you have to share it with your guest. We feasted on banana with buckwheat speculoos, yoghurt, and honeycomb; it doesn’t feel too indulgent like classic chocolate desserts and has a pleasing variation in texture with the crunchy, spiced speculoos and the honeycomb contrasting well with the smoothness of the banana and yoghurt.
Do head down to Shoreditch soon to check out Plate, as they’ve proven the area is not just about the wild nightlife but also about high-quality, locally sourced cuisine.