Second, the service. It's atrocious. Like it says in the post title. That was a truth I told. It's in super-trendy Dalston (I don't know if Dalston is actually super trendy but it's where Voodoo Ray's pizza and my hair salon live so I like it) so it's a great, easy to reach location (for me) and I would love to go often for some amazing tofu and oyster mushroom scallops. But I just can't go back unless I know the service has improved, and I'm definitely not going to be the guinea pig to retest it.
Before we get to the food and the service, we need to discuss the biggest draw and best part of this restaurant: its wine list. You might be thinking, what are you talking about, you a) don't like wine and b) can't tell the difference between alcohols anyway. I don't mean the quality of their offerings. I mean the actual wine list, how it is written. How is it written? Beautifully.
- "unlike most proseccos, this one is actually nice."
- "the charming rusticity of an earthly chenin, with an elegant poise and togetherness."
- "exactly what you need, all the time."
- "destined for dancefloor consumption."
- "it's wild but well dressed too."
- "drinking white burgundy like this makes you feel extra fine."
- "best entered into your face"
HOW F-ING GREAT IS THIS? There's even an entire section of wines under the heading "Wines Which Require A Willingness To Consider Beauty As Something That Isn't Necessarily Instantly Gratifying." Does that just mean "wines that don't taste good"?? "Wines that will make you puke even if you only drink a little because they will not taste beautiful at first but maybe after you throw up you will be happy"?? I could write an entire post or even series of posts about this wine list. I won't but I really am tempted to.
Anyway, you know what else is best entered into your face? Their food. We (I was with my friend the famous blogger) were pleasantly surprised by what we put into our faces at Brilliant Corners.
The menu is very small but very well curated, and most of the items have a little (v) in the title. Some even have the word vegan, like the vegan scallops! Crazy! We asked our waitress if all the vegetarian items were or could be make vegan. She said yes, they were! So we said give us one of every vegan item (except the edamame because everywhere) and enter it into our faces!
All the food came at once. Granted, we didn't say, "Hey, could you spread things out, or bring appetizery things first or just somehow not give us 6 dishes at once" but we didn't, but maybe they should know to do that? They had to move us to a bigger table to accommodate all the dishes. Hilarious? Or just ill-planned? And embarrassing? Well no one was really there at 8pm on a Thursday. It got really crowded by 9pm which is odd, but I think it has something to do with all the DJ stations and, well, DJs, and the fact that it doesn't know whether it wants to be a chic Japanese restaurant or a club where 18-year-olds wear neon and do drogas.
Ugh. Let's move on before I turn red.
Our last two dishes were pretty basic, the red cabbage wakame (seaweed salad) and the tenderstem steamed broccoli. The broccoli usually comes with sesame dressing but that wasn't vegan (that one they knew in advance, so wtf) so they brought us tahini, like plain thick tahini. But whatever, tahini is good. The broccoli was just steamed but it's nice to have a good vegetable. It was still crunchy so that's good. Good job steaming the broccoli, guys. The wakame was good but, like with falafel and other things that I'm sure will come up in our time together, I'm pretty sure seaweed salad has a quality ceiling. Very solid though.
BRILLIANT CORNERS, DALSTON, LONDON
Water speed: Baby tumblers but we got carafes so thank the lord for that.
Service: My oh my, don't you cry.
Bathrooms: One or two back near the kitchen. Sketchy but it's a small place.
Food: Really impressive considering everything else going on.
Bonus: Get treated like you are an imposition for daring to patronize the restaurant! Have an allergy? Be given something that will make you have a fun reaction and then never get an apology! Do they make a mistake? Pay for it anyway!