Hackney Restaurant Plates Up Japanese Knotweed & Jellyfish in New Supper Club

Hackney Wick’s Silo Chef Patron Douglas McMaster has launched an ‘invasive species series’ that turns things like jellyfish and Japanese knotweed into superb cuisine…

Photo: Silo

‘I’m really craving a dish of Japanese knotweed’, said no-one ever, and yet one creative chef is putting it on the menu as part of an invasive species supper club series.

Each dinner, Douglas McMaster the chef behind Silo, an unfussy but fine restaurant above Crate Brewery, will focus on one key ‘invasive’ ingredient that is seen as destructive to our native species and environments.

For the first dinner, on April 5, that key ingredient is Japanese knotweed.

The invasive plant may be able to render your home unsellable, but, as McMaster will demonstrate, it can also become a kind of rhubarb-esque jam that works when swirled through ice-cream.

Following Japanese knotweed, there’s a dinner centered around freshwater crayfish, which are a major threat to British biodiversity, outcompeting UK’s native species.

Jellyfish and venison will also take starring roles in future dinners in series.

Perched on the Regent’s Canal in Hackney Wick, Silo champions zero-waste cooking and sustainable eating habits.

Using ingredients that are invasive and in excess is the most sustainable way to cook says McMaster and it contributes to creating a healthier environment. It protects native species, and reduces the waste caused by destroying them.

The first invasive species dinner, showcasing Japanese Knotweed, is on Tuesday, April 5, 2022.

Tickets cost £65 and the optional wine pairing is an additional £50. Tickets can be booked on

Address: Unit 7, Queens Yard, London, E9 5EN


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