Acme Fire Cult, the new live-fire concept from chefs Andrew Clarke and Daniel Watkins, has opened its first permanent restaurant in collaboration with 40FT Brewery in Dalston. Acme Fire Cult offers a new approach to BBQ, where vegetables take centre stage, and where food and drink are intrinsically linked; from using beer by-products such as yeast and spent grain to make ferments and hot sauces, to using Acme’s favorite ingredients as adjuncts in beers, such as ancho chilies.
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The menu at Acme Fire Cult is an evolution of Andrew & Daniel's London Fields Courtyard offering, but central to the collaboration with 40FT is the symbiotic relationship between the food and drink. The low waste menu uses beer brewing by-products to make ferments and sauces, such as our Acme ‘Marmite’, made from leftover beer yeast; Ancho hot sauce made with beer-soaked chillis, and beer molasses made by reducing down the ‘first runnings’ to be drizzled on desserts. Spent grains are used for fermenting dish ingredients such as nukazuke pickles and even to make dog biscuits.
At Acme, inspiration is pulled from around the globe, evident in our grilling and fermentation techniques, as well as our heavy use of chili and spices. Vegetables will be at the heart of the constantly evolving, seasonal menu, alongside rare and native breed meat from regenerative farms such as Lyon Hill Farm and Swaledale Butchers, plus dayboat fish from sustainable suppliers such as Fin & Flounder and Bethnal Green Fish, in supporting roles.
There is also a reduced menu of small plates and flatbreads served at the 40FT Brewery taproom across the yard, which will also be available to takeaway.
The restaurant has 10 beer taps pouring fresh beers brewed on-site to be paired with Acme dishes. Special edition beers will be brewed each month by 40FT to pair with the menu, with ingredients that will later be used in cooking. The first of these collaborations is the Acme Dark Lager, a schwarzbier with a malt bill of chocolate and dark malts with subtle complexity from the ancho chilies.
In addition to 40FT beers, we offer a concise wine list from Holly Willcocks (ex Noble Rot, now co-founder of Half Cut Market, Camden) and a cocktail menu to pair with the food - featuring classic negronis, margaritas, and beer-based cocktails like the Acme Dark Lager Michelada.
Acme is a small, self-funded operation, which opened in the spring of 2022 with a very small budget, big ideas, and some hand-me-down tables and chairs from the venue’s last occupants. Acme uses palm leaf compostable bamboo plates, mainly to be conscientious about what we do, but also because we don’t have a plate warmer, or even a dishwasher. It is by no means perfect, but by constantly reinvesting in “our humble little restaurant”, Acme Fire Cult will evolve organically over time.
At Acme Fire Cult, we offer two different dining experiences. Opposite the 40FT Brewery taproom, the covered and heated outdoor patio seats 60. A large custom-made grill and smoker stand proudly in the covered yard, serving Acme Fire Cult flavours whatever the weather. The vibe is laid back but buzzing, the music is loud, the benches are a bit wobbly, and you will leave smelling like a fire pit, lightly dusted
with ashes from the grill.
Inside, the space is pared back and dark with industrial elements, seating 42 guests. Pickles and ferments line the shelves behind the bespoke bar, which seats four for drinks and snacks. The atmosphere is intimate, less smoky & better for
bringing your mum.
The full menu is available, both inside and on the patio. The restaurant is open Wednesday evening - Sunday lunch, and is also available for private hire.
The Bootyard, Abbot Street, London E8 3DP