Last Updated on September 7, 2021
Sustainable cuisine in London’s Brick Lane
The Buxton on Osborn Street just off Brick Lane can be identified by its stylish 5 storey brick façade. Opened in 2019, The Buxton has rooms above the restaurant which are available should diners wish to stay the night. The rooftop garden offers views across London’s East End and the City. Also on the rooftop is the restaurant’s herb garden, and that is just the beginning of The Buxton’s commitment to sustainability and high-quality food and drink at a minimal environmental cost. Working with local farms, The Buxton offers seasonal vegetables which avoid racking up air miles and keeps the menu refreshingly creative. The Buxton also strives to encourage suppliers to deliver ingredients in minimal plastic packaging. Fish is sourced from local fishmonger, Fin and Flounder.
Diners can choose to sit in the spacious outdoor area surrounded by plants, some of which are picked for use in the kitchen, or the chic indoor area, atmospherically lit by low hanging bulbs over the tables along with the ubiquitous plant pots. On the Wednesday evening when my guest and I attended The Buxton, the ambience was warm and pleasantly buzzing for a weekday dinner. After being seated, we were offered a selection of six house cocktails which are presented to each table on a small blackboard. The menu can be easily accessed by scanning a QR code as well as being written up on a large blackboard at the back of the restaurant.
The Jasmine No. 2 cocktail was sweet and tasty, and whilst the Mexi cosmo looked very similar in colour, it was smoky from the mezcal with a savoury hint. To accompany our cocktails, we ordered off the bar snacks section of the menu. The baba ghanoush was well seasoned and tangy with sumac, and the texture was suitably creamy and smooth. The Padron peppers were hot and blistered – I always order them in restaurants when I have the opportunity and I would order them again at The Buxton without hesitation.
The highlight of our first course, and possibly of our whole meal, was the warm sourdough bread served with homemade butter. The butter was luxurious with plentiful sea salt flakes. It was creamy and rich and incredibly moreish. Butter of this quality simply can’t be found at the local supermarket despite how much we wished it could!
On to the starters, and the house-cured mackerel with pickled cucumbers and crème fraiche was full of flavour and the fish was well complemented by basil oil. The heritage tomatoes were a gorgeous end of summer crop, well accompanied by generous quantities of purple basil and capers.
For the main course, the Yorkshire bavette was a well-prepared and tender rare steak, and the side of courgettes was perfectly grilled and cross-hatched.
Elsewhere on the mains section of the menu, the pan-fried gnocchi were simply a revelation. Shaped into cubes, the gnocchi were perfectly fried. Made with gluten-free flour, the gnocchi had a hard shell but were soft inside which made for a satisfying chew. Buttered greens including Russian kale under a blanket of parmesan made this a deliciously luxurious plate. To accompany our mains, we enjoyed a glass of Andert-Wein 2019. A recent addition to the by the glass section of the wine menu, we enjoyed the fruity notes of blackberry of this red.
With just enough space left to enjoy dessert, we ordered the Duchess rapeseed polenta cake which was paired well with the house-made apricot compote and tangy yoghurt. The Virunga chocolate mousse with rye shortbread. The addition of rye shortbread to the dark, rich mousse was a successful new twist, offering a deft contrast to the sweetness of the chocolate. The rye, which also had hints of cinnamon, added a nuttier flavour than the typical biscuit accompanying a chocolate mousse. The mousse itself was bittersweet, airy and pleasurably decadent.
As a palette-cleanser after our delightful meal, we enjoyed a homemade sweet and sour fruit pastel with a dusting of sugar on top which was a refreshing finale to our dinner. A visit to The Buxton is highly recommended; the constantly evolving menu in tune with the seasons and produce from local suppliers offering a mixture of excellently prepared classics as well as exciting new offerings.
42 Osborn Street
Disclosure: We were guests of The Buxton for the purpose of this review.