Behind | An exemplary chef’s table experience in London Fields
Determined not to live up to its name, Behind got off to a fast start…
It won a Michelin star within 20 days of opening and that was in 2020, a year that we all know – to put it mildly – wasn’t exactly kind on London’s dining scene. It was an impressive feat to say the least, and since quite possibly smashing the record for quickest ever time to gain a star, Behind has settled into being one of East London’s best restaurants, which you’ll find tucked away in a low-profile setting in London Fields.
The whole idea here is to get rid of the wall, in both senses, between the dining room and kitchen – so an intimate group of up to 18 guests perches up on high blue-velvet stools around a vast horseshoe counter, chef’s table-style, under the exposed pipework of an industrial room, watching absolutely everything play out front of them. It’s the same sort of food theatre you get at Kitchen Table. You’re there with the chefs themselves as they prepare all the finicky details, decorate without error, and even directly hand over the finished plates. Almost as though you’re one of the team, without, you know, actually needing to break a sweat yourself.
Chef-owner Andy Beynon previously honed his craft under big names like Claude Bosi and Jason Atherton, and even though in theory, this type of open environment could prove a massive distraction (and potentially a little awkward if an argument broke out…), he and his chefs happily embrace the chit-chat and talk you through the intricacies of every dish. And they are intricate. The menu is an eight-course taster and almost exclusively committed to British seafood. For that reason, it’s in a constant state of change, but the likes of fish pie croquettes (that come with a crisp fish scale coating); Hampshire trout that’s wrapped in nori and served with a hazelnut pesto; oyster tacos; lobster-topped English muffins; and Scottish scallops that are finished table-side with a pour of white gazpacho, have all been spotted at different periods.
One dish that everyone comes across, the ‘breakfast buns’ (sometimes filled with smoked kipper hollandaise and cured salmon), were previously an item to sign off the meal and take home for breakfast tomorrow, before they earned permanent status.
Behind offers two sittings per day; one for dinner and the other for lunch, with a wine pairing available as well if you wanted something to accompany the food. And for those seeking a cheap (well, relatively speaking) way into the restaurant, lunch is priced at £54 (compared to £98 for dinner) and shortened to six courses – which is probably for the best if you have to return to work.
It’s a deal we can definitely get behind…
NOTE: Behind is open from Weds-Sat. You can find out more and make a booking right HERE.
Behind | 20 Sidworth St, London E8 3SD
Once you’ve all finished up, you could go home, or… visit one of the best bars in East London