This October, Institute of Light (IOL) – Hackney’s favourite collaborative space – launches Helio’s Cantina, a new residency from Nigella Lawson’s favourite chef Helio Fenerich.

Helio’s Cantina offers a comprehensive menu of Mediterranean rustic delights, grounded in the eternal elegance and simplicity of Italian regional cuisine and complimented by highlights from Spain, France and Portugal. Combining timeless ingredients and striking presentation, Helio’s Cantina responds seasonally to ingredients and makes use of herbs and spices from IOL’s own roof garden.

On the menu will be a delicious range of small sharing plates such as Artichokes alla Giudia with burrata and Zucchini with Sage Fritti, alongside primi dishes such as Homemade Rigatoni with an exemplary Slow Cooked Beef and Pancetta Ragu in Chianti. Mains include succulent Moorish Chicken with Prunes, Olives and Capers served with Smashed Chickpeas, Spinach and Almonds, and a delicate Pan-Fried Sea Bass with Black Olive Tapenade, Lentils and Swiss Chard. Helio is famous for his sweets and his famous Flourless Chocolate Cake with Crème Fraiche, and Verrine of Roasted Apricots, Almond Ice Cream and Brûlée topping are not to be missed.

Helio’s Cantina will also be offering up a delectable Sunday Feasting Menu, a seasonal roast for friends and family. Guests can choose between Porchetta, Rolled Pork Belly stuffed with Prunes, Fennel Seeds and Lemon Juice or a classic Roast Chicken with Truffle Butter, Lemon, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme. Sides comprise Roasted New Potatoes with Rosemary, Garlic and Pecorino, Green Beans with Dijon Dressing and Green Salad with Walnuts and Balsamic Vinaigrette. Guests also have the choice between a timeless Tarte Tatin with Almond Ice Cream, or Chocolate Panna Cotta with Salted Caramel Sauce.

Helio’s fantastic menu can also be experienced as part of a cinedining offer at IOL’s intimate cinema. With a selection of sumptuous sofas and retro airplane seats, guests can enjoy their meal followed by a great film from a programme curated by ex-Secret Cinema producer Harry Ross.

IOL is the brainchild of Architect Jo Hagan and Photographer Mark Bayley. It is an analogue emporium, a one-stop cultural hub located in an enigmatic railway arch in London Fields. Opening out to a relaxed courtyard, IOL houses a vinyl record store curated by seminal independent record label BBE [Barely Breaking Even]; an intimate restaurant/bar and an independent bookshop run by iconic booksellers ‘Pages of Hackney’.

Cinema Tickets: Economy Class – £6, Two Seat Sofa – £18
Feasting Menu (Main course with x3 seasonal sides and dessert) £16.50 per person, minimum two people
Cinedining (Three course meal + film) – £30

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