Alex Hely-Hutchinson, founder of 26 Grains in Neal’s Yard, went south of the river to expand her empire, opening Stoney Street by 26 Grains on the eponymous street by Borough Market last autumn. 26 Grains made its name with porridge and the daytime menu features its signature alongside pastries, tarts, galettes and lunch dishes. Come evening, it flips to a proper restaurant dinner menu and after the first lockdown, Alex wanted to give the evening service over to chefs who no longer had anywhere to cook because of the pandemic.

Tom Cenci is the first chef to have taken up residency at Stoney Street with a focus on championing British produce and reducing food waste. That coupled with his broadly British-American style has resulted in dishes like a thick cornmeal pancake topped with Old Bay butter and charred corn, and Navajo flatbread with yoghurt and nice bit of heat from chilli and rose oil.

It’s proper comfort food, taken to the next level through the use of excellent produce, with the larger plates. The braised Irish feather blade steak was super tender and served with rich but not in any way stodgy Appenzeller mac & cheese. You’d think one beef and cheese combo would be enough but the beef dip burger with Schlossberger cheese and dill cucumbers was definitely worth an order- it’s a sloppy one though so have knives, forks and napkins at the ready.

There are only three options for dessert and one is a cheese course, so we opted for one sweet alongside the savoury. The cardamom and five-spice custard tart was very well judged in terms of the spicing and the filling was smooth AF, although the pastry was far too thick for us. The cheese plate however, with a wedge of Doddington cheddar, pickled apple chutney and a cheese scone that was so buttery it was almost like pastry, was the real winner.

We managed to eat at Stoney Street just before lockdown 2.0 and the place was full, inside and out (even the unheated terrace was packed) and it’s been that way since Tom’s residency started. We’ve got our fingers crossed it carries on this way.

2-3 Stoney Street, Borough, SE1 9AA