A happy place where the focus is on our three favourite things: food, drink and sustainability. So let’s be honest, we were always going to love Mr Lyan and Douglas McMaster’s new baby, Cub.
Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr Lyan, wanted to blur the boundaries between food and drink and instead, focus on the overall experience of an evening out. When we go out for a nice meal, we don’t focus on stuffing ourselves in the same way as you might at home (oops!) Instead it’s about the flavours, the plating, the ambiance. This is exactly what we have always done with cocktails – so why not blend the two? The way that Mr Lyan phrases it, it sounds like the most obvious thing and yet it’s unchartered territory in 2017.
As if the concept isn’t cool enough, along comes Doug – the brains behind the UK’s first zero-waste restaurant, Silo in Brighton. By zero-waste, we mean THERE IS NO BIN. Incredible stuff. Anyway, moving on, you then add in Dr Arielle Johnson (formally Noma and currently MIT), and you have a formidable trio.
To set the scene, we are one vegan and one not. One zen “body is my temple” type, and one “I will die sky diving with a glass of bubbly in my hand”. Unsurprisingly, it’s not as easy as you might think to please us both… and yet, we both loved it!
Delicious cocktails (especially the Sloe gin & preserved gooseberry one), incredible butter (or olive oil for vegans), and life-changing cauliflower (black garlic and lemon thyme are officially a heavenly combination – you heard it here first!)
Each course beautifully explained with the perfect level of detail, with the warmest style of service. Two highlights: firstly, the gorgeous plates which are made from plastic bags, and secondly, and rather randomly, we learnt so much about apples! To finish our meal, we had the Peated barley & apple skin dessert. Of course this links back to the zero-waste concept because we had the actual apples for the previous course and now we weren’t wasting the skin #winning. What did we learn about apples I hear you ask? Well, it turns out that apples are not true to type, meaning that the tree from a seed will produce apples that are likely to be different from the parent. This causes havoc (and a lot of wastage) when it comes to apple orchards where there is an aim to cultivate a certain type of apple. I’m not quite sure what the takeaway is here but I think it’s that we should just love all apples – any colour, flavour or type!
Our verdict? Definitely worth a try. Don’t go super hungry because portion sizes are fairly modest. Go very thirsty though, and try every food dish.