An eclectic mix of British and Mediterranean-influenced dishes made from the best of seasonal ingredient
Review by Deniz Karagulle
It’s not the most obvious of locations for a restaurant, but that doesn’t stop Eelbrook (located Common-adjacent) from being a popular location – likely due to the excellent quality ingredients that have been expertly balanced and perfectly cooked.
The venue itself is both intimate and well equipped; there is both a bar area and genuine al-fresco seating augmenting the Haruo Morishima designed interior. Unlike many places that offer the amenity of sitting in the open air, this is not merely a few tables thrown onto the pavement but rather a genuine effort looking onto the Common. You won’t have to contend with rush hour traffic or ponderous pedestrians as you choose from the elegant and frequently changing menu.
Given the location, I thought it appropriate to sample the smoked eel, though there’s no shortage of options for those feeling a little less adventurous. The waiting staff are more than happy to provide you with suggestions should you require them, and are as friendly as they are knowledgeable. I’ve heard it said that if you want to know the quality of a sushi chef and have time for only one item, the best indicator of their skill is the eel roll. If there is a similar equivalency for modern British cuisine, it is safe to say that Head Chef Brett Barnes’ restaurant is worth a trip to – though given its popularity you might want to make reservations. The main courses were similarly perfectly cooked, and it is apparent that as much care has been put into sourcing the ingredients as preparing them. Eelbrook’s menu takes advantage of whatever is in season, so you can expect quality at whatever time of the year you choose to go. Should you fancy something lighter to accompany a glass of champagne at the end of a lazy day on the common, the small plates look as appetising as the restaurant courses, something that many lucky locals will be availing themselves of over the summer months.