It's Love At First Bite At This Hackney Restaurant
It's mid-heatwave the evening we arrive for dinner at Silver Lining, and the thought of being indoors at all seems faintly punishing — let alone sitting down to hot food. But even with the odds stacked against it, we fell for Silver Lining hard: it's love at first bite, and it'd be a total fiction to pretend otherwise.
So what follows is less a review, and more a series of small reveries about our dinner that we keep falling into, days later. The restaurant's small and beautifully-formed, with a menu to match — and prices look average (*for London, **for Hackney), coming at about £6-£8 a small plate. That stops looking average when we start eating, because it's mildly ridiculous that somebody's making food this good and not pricing it like a minor artwork.
The fried chicken's the sort of food you find yourself remembering wistfully at odd moments for weeks after. Buttermilk fried and jerk glazed, this one's a constant in the Silver Lining line-up — the rest of the dishes change regularly.
Everything on the menu reads like poetry, and then turns out to be lovelier on plate than on paper: duck breast sweet with cherry tapenade, smoky with whisky butter; green beans brightened with kumquat agrodolce. The soy-cured egg yolk arrives shivering on top of the salmon sashimi, ready for you to stir through like salty, golden sunshine.
It deserves to be busier than it is the evening we visit, and dinner leaves us torn between wanting to preach about Silver Lining like a televangelist, and guarding it jealously like a secret. However there's no real chance of it staying that way: it's on increasingly magnetic Morning Lane, and sister restaurant to next door's Every Cloud, a small bar with a perilously brilliant cocktail list.
And Silver Lining isn't that shabby on the cocktail front itself. The Friesling's a dream of a summer drink: a cool, grainy and slightly sharp mix of white peach, Reyka vodka, Riesling and thyme straight out of the slushy machine, because sometimes being an adult's exactly like you dream it up when you're eight.
We can confirm this is a thoroughly lovely place to be in a heatwave — but then, we strongly suspect Silver Lining's a dazzler in all seasons.
Silver Lining, 13 Morning Lane, E9 6ND.
Last Updated 28 August 2018