A velvet curtain at the back of a clothes shop on Brick Lane conceals a thirty-seat dining space, with dim and sumptuous décor that hints at the seventies. Stopped clocks are scattered across the aubergine walls and un-intrusive, slick music keeps the atmosphere bubbling away.
Established by Stuart Langley and head-chef Fredrik Bolin as one of Disappearing Dining Club’s many quirky endeavours, Back in 5 Minutes stands as an island of European cuisine in a sea of Bangladeshi curry houses and bagel shops.
Leave the hand-wipes at home. The current vogue for greasy, sauce-splattered American food has not laid claim to the dining club's kitchen, which boasts unfussy, elegant fare. Bolin, formerly of Erik's and Zefferano & Glasshouse, uses his Michelin credentials to great effect. The premise of the menu is simple and seasonal, so one dish never sticks around for too long. However, do expect Bolin’s Swedish roots, alongside his experience in British, French and Italian kitchens, to act as strong influences.
The menu encompasses several distinct European flavours, and can move fluidly from crab on crispy melba toast and duck terrine to lighter options of mackerel salad. You might find tenderly cooked lamb on a vivid green risotto. Bolin bakes his own bread, smokes his own ham and churns his own butter. Love is smuggled into every ingredient. Being presented with "something from the kitchen" at the start of our meal contributed deliciously, to the quietly artisan feel that pervades the place. Disappearing Dining Club also have a private dining space upstairs: 'Side Door', which can be hired by medium and small groups.
From the mains, move onwards to desserts such as a decadent brownie or a perfect apple and blackberry crumble in a pool of English custard.
The wine list is exemplary, and there are plenty cocktails to choose from. Tables are communal, a la Ottolenghi, but everyone comes with friends, so you can be as friendly or unfriendly as you wish with other diners. The staff are courteous, the dishes prompt.
Pop ups have grown up.
Every Wednesday to Saturday, from 6.30pm
The Disappearing Dining club also has a new cocktail bar and dining room at LASSCO ropewalk in an architecture salvage yard in Bermondsey's Maltby Street Market.
All DDC's spaces are available to hire for Christmas dinner, with feasting menus, classic roasts and plenty of alternative festive offerings.
|What||Back in 5 Minutes Restaurant, Brick Lane|
|Where||224 Brick Lane, 224 Brick Lane , E1 6SA | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Aldgate East (underground)|
01 Oct 14 – 30 Apr 16, Every Wednesday to Saturday, from 6.30pm
|Website||Click here for more info and to book.|