Chef Ben Marks cut his teeth in the heart of London at The Square, Claridge’s, and Noma. But for his first solo venture, he moved out of central, and ventured home to his native East London, to set up shop with Matt Emmerson, who cultivated his placid, amicable front-of-house manner at Polpo. The duo began whipping up a name for themselves by running residencies before moving on to pop-ups, working alongside the likes of Clapton’s wildly popular My Neighbours the Dumplings. Next came their very own bricks-and-mortar space, stationed on a corner of Green Lanes, with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook Newington Green. They built a shining bar at the back, stripped bare the floor to expose the original terrazzo tiling, and began serving food that has rapidly garnered a reputation for its emphasis on innovation. Seaweed bread brushed with roast-lamb fat is served to start, and is followed by a small, well-curated menu. Think panfried gurnard with crab and Jerusalem artichoke, plus roast chicken with wild garlic and grilled puntarelle. For those who opt out of the tasting menu, the à la carte dishes are middling in size and meant to be shared. Our stand-out? The cuttlefish bolognese. Make the trip up to North London: it’s central-London food at neighbourhood prices.