Chef Tristan Downes opening The Timber Loft Upstairs at The Light Bar
03 December 2021The Light Bar has announced that Tristan Downes has joined as Head Chef. Having previously worked with Stevie Parle, he brings much of his previous JOY team back together to launch The Timber Loft, a new 80-cover, modern European restaurant located upstairs at the Shoreditch venue.
Opening in January, the Timber Loft menu will feature dishes such as ‘Celeriac and winter tomato terrine’, ‘Brioche crostini- Squash Ravioli, Fried sage and chestnut’ and ‘Confit duck leg, roscoff onion and red cabbage’.
A plant-based, Veganuary special tasting menu will offer five courses, including: Caponata, Sourdough, Mint Oil; Jerusalem Artichoke Gnocchi, Artichoke Crisps, Nasturtium; Roast Squash, fregola, porcini, calvo, salsa verde; Passito Granita, Muscatel Grape and Roasted Pear Panna Cotta, caramel, basil’ at £45/ head.
Located on the top floor, original exposed beams and skylights frame the ‘Timber Loft’ dining and events space. The architecture has been illuminated with copper light fixtures with exposed filament lamps, and a mix of teal and green accent colours, marble bar counters, bespoke mid-century furniture and lush planting all combine to soften and elevate the original features with warmth and richness.
Tristan has also redefined the ground floor ‘Engine Hall’ offering. The epic bar space will focus on cocktails, fine wines, beers and hearty, satisfying bar snacks and comforting small dishes such as ‘Carlingford oysters, shallot vinaigrette, lemon and tabasco’, ‘Fermented sweet potato bread, tapenade, aromatic butter ‘, ‘Sausage & Sage Roll’, ‘Chicken wings & Black garlic chilli sauce and Aioli,’ and ‘Short rib of beef croquettes and truffle Mayo’.
Shortlisted for National chef of the Year in both 2021 and 2020, Tristan brings extensive experience from working at foodie destinations such as JOY, Brunswick House and across Gordon Ramsay restaurants. Having been discovered by the celebrity chef who spotted him on Master Chef professionals in 2018, he went on to help launch Street Pizza York & Albany.
Tristan says, “The Light Bar has really taken shape since opening earlier this year and this restaurant element will be the completing factor in its offering. It’s a great opportunity for me to help shape that vision. The incredible space deserves to be shared, and so over the coming months, I’ll be inviting guest chefs to join me for a rotating residency. Launching The Timber Loft has also given me the chance to reunite my team from JOY back together, it’s very rewarding to work with such a strong team again alongside my Senior Sous Chef Vincenzo Calì.”
Set within a historic site in the heart of Shoreditch, The Light Bar has recently reopened under new independent ownership by long-standing Hackney residents Morten Jensen, Darren Collins and Jo Jackson. With lovingly restored interiors set across three floors, the new restaurant, bar and outdoor terrace is quickly becoming one of the area's must-visit social and culinary destinations.