Welsh heritage meets Basque Country-inspired dishes, by way of open-fire cookery, at Mr Tomos Parry’s restaurant Brat in Shoreditch, east London. It may sound like an unlikely culinary formula, but it works. The chef’s seemingly simple but insanely delicious dishes – turbot cooked slowly over flames until its skin is nutty gold and its flesh soft or just-charred bread with silvery anchovies, billowy from the oven – have meant the pared-back restaurant is packed out day and night since it opened last year.
Mr Parry, who ran a series of cult residencies at Climpson’s Arch in Hackney before a raved-about stint at Kitty Fisher’s in Mayfair, describes the food at his debut restaurant as “native produce, cooked directly over fire, with a Basque-influenced cooking style”. The wood-fired grill, also a feature at Kitty Fisher’s, is a crucial part of his approach. “It’s my favourite way to cook,” says Mr Parry. “It creates a complex, unique flavour.”
It’s the simplicity of the cooking and a fierce respect for ingredients that Mr Parry loves about Basque cuisine. “My favourite restaurants in the world are Elkano and Ibai,” he says. “Both are family-run and in the Basque Country.”