Latest opening: Acme Fire Cult

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Acme Fire Cult opening Andrew Clarke

Related tags Acme Fire Cult Andrew Clarke Daniel Watkins Barbecue Chef East london

Andrew Clarke and Daniel Watkins have found a permanent home for their live fire cooking concept at Dalston’s 40FT Brewery.

What:​ An East London barbecue restaurant that puts vegetables centre stage. Located within Dalston’s 40FT Brewery, Acme Fire Cult follows the success of the residency of the same name at London Fields Courtyard last summer. 

Who:​ Andrew Clarke and Daniel Watkins. The latter was head chef for the former at Shoreditch restaurant St Leonards. Clarke is something of a barbecue veteran, having been a champion of live-fire cooking for much of his 20-year career in hospitality. He is also the founder of industry mental health campaign Pilot Light. The project is being billed as a collaboration with 40FT Brewery founder Steve Ryan. 

The vibe:​ The restaurant is opposite the 40FT Brewery tap room, seating 50 covers inside and 60 outside on a covered and heated terrace. A large custom-made grill and smoker stand proudly in the covered yard and will apparently operate "whatever the weather". Inside, the space is pared back and dark with industrial elements and pickles and ferments lining the walls. 

On the menu:​ Vegetables may be at the heart of the menu but Acme Fire Cult does offer some high quality meat and fish too (the focus is on rare and native breed meat from regenerative farms and day boat fish). The pair are taking inspiration from across the globe for the menu with dishes including the likes of grilled leeks and pistachio romesco; beetroots with a sweet and sour dill dressing, beetroot purée, pickled blueberries and sorrel; and flatbread topped with Dorset crab, bone marrow, and jalapeño green sauce. 40FT Brewery beer will be used in a number of dishes, for example the restaurant’s smoked beef shortrib is glazed in a molasses made from 40FT Eccles Cake Stout. 


To drink:​ As one would expect, the food is designed to be paired with 40FT Brewery’s ‘fresh, modern beer’. Special edition beers will be brewed each month by the brewery team to pair with the menu. The first of these is Acme Dark Lager, a schwarzbier with a malt bill of chocolate and dark malts with subtle complexity from ancho chillies. But people that might not fancy a beer haven’t been left out in the cold at this semi-alfresco venture - there is a concise wine list from Holly Willcocks (ex Noble Rot, now co-founder of Half Cut Market in Camden) as well as a cocktail menu. 

And another thing:​ Acme is derived from the Greek word akmē - the point at which something is at its best or most highly developed. 

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