Weekly, we roll out our landfill wheelie bins under cover of darkness so no one will know just how full they really are. Daily, people in offices snatch rubbish from your hands and force it in to the recycling bin while cursing your existence. Hourly, a polar bear commits suicide because you keep buying plastic wrapped leeks instead of the PERFECTLY ADEQUATE LOOSE ONES.
Which leads me to the centre of the shrubbery maze that is this blog’s introduction…
For a full round up of the vast amount of work that goes into Silo, take a look at their blog.
The restaurant interior echoed the aforementioned meeting of ‘modern and ancient’: tables made from old scaffold boards, box chairs to match, exposed lightbulbs, white-washed brick walls, giant blackboards baring the specials. All the cutlery and crockery is either recycled or upcycled. The kitchen is exposed to the diners, as is the bar and service area.
Nothing is hidden away here, you can see the beer storied in giant plastic tubs, the jam jars that serve as glasses, even the compost machine is a star attraction by the entrance. But this stripped-down chic is paired with modern technological savvy.
The daily menu is projected on to the walls, and menus are presented to diners on iPads. An extravagance? Well…for a restaurant where the menu must change regularly according to season and stock, imagine the cost of printing and reprinting paper menus? For the cost of three or four mini-iPads, they’ve probably saved a packet in printing costs.
Earlier than expected, we were seated – space being tight, couples have to share a spacious table of four with others, but this was not a problem for us and in keeping with the restaurant’s ethos; be fussy about having a private table, then you have to reduce your covers, and one must assume that fewer covers means fewer meals and fewer meals means more waste.
Becky opted for a soft drink, while I could not resist a taste of the Moonface IPA, by Old Tree Brewery (operating from Silo’s basement). It arrived, true to form, in a jam jar and was a punchy little number.
I opted for the fish – catchbox cod, seaweed mash, steamed alexanders and sea vegetables. As we waited, one of the chefs brought us our complimentary fresh baked sourdough bread and homemade butter, explained the ingredients and wished us a great meal.
My fish was perfectly cooked, nestled in a delicate slightly tart sauce and accompanied by silky vegetables with just enough bite. I had never before tried sea alexanders (a forager’s delight), but it is a cross between asparagus and a fragrant chard…I think…never mind, it was delicious.
My dish was probably one of the more pious offerings on the menu, as I saw plates of braised venison, caramelised artichokes and brown rice risotto being devoured by other diners.
Upper Gardener Street, North Laine, Brighton