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The Institute of Light, London,

The Institute of Light

4.4
4.4
38 Reviews
£25 and under
Japanese
The Institute of Light is a one-stop cultural hub set in an enigmatic railway arch close to London Fields. A multi-sensory space containing a private screening cinema, vinyl record store, and an evening audio lounge serving cocktails & delicious Hiroshima style okonomiyaki. All under one majestic roof.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable booking network.

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Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Price
    £25 and under
  • Cuisines
    Japanese, Okonomiyaki, Izakaya
  • Hours of Operation
    Tue–Sat 18:00–22:00
  • Phone number
    020 7249 6919
  • Payment Options
    AMEX, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress Code
    Casual Dress
  • Area
    Hackney
  • Parking Details
    Street Parking
  • Public Transit
    London Fields station
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Beer Garden, Cafe, Cocktails, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Outdoor Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 38 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.4
4.4 based on all time ratings
  • 4.3Food
  • 4.4Service
  • 4.3Ambience
  • 4.2Value

NoiseEnergetic

38 Reviews
  1. EaterKS

    London

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on 16 February 2019

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 4
    OK if you like student food. Great music and fun atmosphere.

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  2. NicoleW

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 16 February 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Delicious food and a lovely atmosphere! Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a nice evening with good food and cocktails.

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  3. OpenTable Diner

    London

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on 14 February 2019

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Valentines date - food was enjoyable.

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  4. LouiseW

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 23 January 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    It's a glamorous bar. The okonomiyaki are delicious. The DJ'd music is pretty good.

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  5. ChrisK

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 7 December 2018

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Food and surroundings were great, would highly recommend

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  6. MikhailG

    London

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on 5 December 2018

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Okonomiyaki was pretty great, also good value with the special offer.

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  7. AnnaT

    London

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on 21 November 2018

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Super tasty and interesting Japanese food. Glad that Shu Foh Doo has found a new kitchen!

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  8. KCCC

    London

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on 17 November 2018

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Top setting and food to match, pork and chicken wings starters were the two highlights, and the deep fried oysters. (Not forgetting the okonomiyaki of course) Music was ace too, all in all think this spot has got it bang on. Highly recommended.

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  9. LRs145

    London

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on 16 November 2018

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 3
    Really cool venue with great tunes but let down by poor food and inattentive service. Music was also quite loud... Am I getting old, or was it really just a bit too loud... Thankfully they were really good beats so didn't mind too much

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  10. christopherl

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 7 November 2018

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    obscure back street location only adds to the surprise inside. excellent music, sound, food, service & ambience.

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  11. Foodie1

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 1 November 2018

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Loved the vegan japanese food, an amazing bar! Highly reccomend to anyone

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  12. Kaybar007

    London

    42 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    42 reviews

    Dined on 19 October 2018

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Early days but so far, so good. The vegan platter and the chicken wings were delicious. The onomiyaki wasn't quite as good as I've had in Japan - it's a regional style so there's more cabbage and a thin crepe at the bottom rather than the rice flour version. It's OK but maybe an acquired taste. Three of us couldn't finish any of them, so unless you're ravenous skip the wings and platter and just order an onomiyaki if you're curious. Wine list was very limited (one offering of red, white, orange and a rose) and the beer we wanted was off (which is odd as the Five Points distribution centre is walking distance). The cocktail I ordered was delicious though, and nice to have a BBE DJ playing tunes.

    1 person found this helpful

  13. SimonR

    London

    126 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    126 reviews

    Dined on 21 April 2018

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 1
    When we arrived it was not clear who or where we had to check in. We were ignored by staff so we walked out. Huge queue for the bar so we could not ask there.

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  14. JackWorthing

    London

    10 reviews

    3.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on 30 March 2018

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    We were greatly looking forward to out visit as the the kitchen is currently being taken over by Zoe Adjonyoh. However, whilst the food that we had was ok, we felt it was massively over priced. Some of the dishes were great value like the whole baked Tilapia but then the dish if meat balls was tiny. 5 little balls of meat each no bigger than an olive and luke warm. again three skewers of tiny meat strips for nearly a tenner was not sufficient to impress. All in all the food was ok but the execution wasn't great and was not enough to get me to rush back anytime soon.

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  15. OpenTable Diner

    London

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 16 September 2017

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 2
    I've been for dinner few times at this restaurant and I've been really happy. Service was very good and the food was amazing, however my experience at Saturday lunch has been very bad. The restaurant was extremely cold and even though in the whole restaurant there were just my friend and I, service took long to come just to us some menus. After that we felt like we've been pushed to make a decision very quickly. The food arrived half cold and the other half took not long to become cold thanks to the very low temperature there was in there. I ate as quick as I could and left without enjoying what could have been a nice lunch. I will definitely try to go there again for dinner hoping it will still be same service/quality they used to have, but I wouldn't recommend anyone to go there for lunch or at least not on a Saturday lunch.

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  16. Kaybar007

    London

    42 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    42 reviews

    Dined on 16 August 2017

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Current food residence is BBQ - the pork bun was delicious, really good salad and smoked chicken wings. Sadly the fries were off the night we went and the corn wasn't anything special. Pals ordered the lamb "gyros" which was like a slab of lamb meatloaf in a bun, they said is was OK but wasn't as good as the pork. Great service and really good atmosphere. Short wine list and 5 Points beer on tap.

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  17. No1Home

    Washington DC

    2 reviews

    1.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 29 July 2017

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 1
    We weren't able to enjoy our reservation because the venue had a private event but hadn't blocked off the time slots. We had to find another space

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  18. PaigeB

    London

    32 reviews

    4.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on 8 July 2017

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Really pleased with this cool, fun spot. Beautiful outdoor seating and really innovative small plates. It was a perfect Saturday night out.

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  19. OpenTable Diner

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 5 July 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Splendid in every sense. Booking, welcome and seating professionally handled. No rush to eat or drink, but orders nevertheless arrive promptly when bidden. Helpful, friendly and knowledgeable waiting staff. Adventurous seasonal menu prepared by a changing rota of specialist chefs, on this occasion showcasing the almost-unknown (in the UK) food of Muslim China, Hunan and Sezchuan -but throughout July, modern British/American barbecue. Good cocktail list, excellent Five Point beers on draught. The wine list is slowly showing improvement from when the venue first opened, but needs to be more varied and diverse, please! Plenty of dogs and children, too, all made welcome, exactly as they should be. And..unrestricted & plentiful parking immediately outside. And if you time your meal right, you can just fall into the luxury cinema sofas a few yards away to see a mix of new and classic quality movies without all the faff of travelling again, queuing etc etc.What more can you ask for?

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  20. OpenTable Diner

    London

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 30 June 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Ate outside in the pop-up restaurant Dhaba - best food Ive eaten in a long shot - staff were lovely and really helpful .

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  21. DanielF

    London

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on 24 June 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    What a brilliant place. The whole experience was great. From wonderful northern indian food (a pop up visiting chef) to sitting on a sofa watching a movie under the arches. All topped off with fantastic staff. This place is a gem.

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  22. OpenTable Diner

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 23 June 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Food was amazing! Definitely recommend getting down to Dhaba pop up in the next week before it finishes!

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  23. elrafa

    London

    25 reviews

    2.0

    25 reviews

    Dined on 19 May 2017

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 1
    I chose the place because I had known the chef from his HarleyDogs pop-up at Mother Kelly's and he had served a big group of guys burgers, which we all agreed where the best we ever had in London. What a disappointment! I should start by saying that we were 5 extremely drunk guys that went off menu and asked him for burgers there as well. I can only suggest that the paddies were from the freezer (again: off menu, so why keep them there fresh) because they were really tough. But the mutton tomahawks from the menu were also a disappointment. no meat on the bone, really. Ambience was weird. Not many people (and this was a Friday night), and the place looks like a canteen (it is the foyer for a cinema room, so that explains the slightly industrial look to it. Service was great, though, our waitress was patient and accepted us for what we were, (again) 5 extremely drunk (but not aggressive) city guys looking for a good burger. I hope our chef finds his way again and we can go back to that burger heaven from before.

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  24. OpenTable Diner

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 11 May 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Amazing! Literally nothing bad to say at all. Will definitely be returning again and again.

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  25. Minerva

    London

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on 21 April 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We visited the Institute of Light to see a movie (Mulholland Drive). Good food, great wine and all in all a lovely date night!

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  26. chad

    London

    17 reviews

    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on 20 April 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Fantastic music! Great funny service! And fantastic food

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  27. JamesF

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 10 March 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Absolutely amazing venue. lovely concept, staff, food, wine and layout. Cannot wait to go back. My new favourite cinema in London.

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  28. KatyB43

    London

    38 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    38 reviews

    Dined on 18 November 2016

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 2
    During a cold evening I strongly advise you do not request the table directly by the entrance. It is a very wide double glass door timber surround with a huge opening which is frequently left open by unassuming guests. Stunnng during the Summer but an absolute no-no during colder weather. We had to seriously request turning up the heating twice before a rather reluctant waiter pointed a blow heating at our space..... not impressed. Veg fritters as a starter were fine, nothing to write home about.... moorish chicken as a main was okay.... 'am over it, the quality was nowhere near to the reviews I read.... 5.5/10 max.....

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  29. Kate

    London

    94 reviews

    4.0

    94 reviews

    Dined on 5 November 2016

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    I didn't know that The Institute of Light had opened in the area but wanted to try somewhere different and was attracted by the number of gluten free options on the menu. I wasn't disappointed. We were greeted by a very friendly host on arrival and the great service continued throughout. The food was delicious and it was great to see malfatti on the menu - something I haven't had since I was in Italy! The only thing that wasn't ideal was the price of the bottle of Prosecco which was more than expected (it wasn't priced by the bottle on the menu) however it was very nice Prosecco.

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  30. OpenTable Diner

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 4 November 2016

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great find. Lovely food and drink and friendly service. We had small plates which were just right for a pre-gig dinner. Will definitely go again and leave a bigger tip this time :) They also have a cinema!

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  31. OpenTable Diner

    London

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 23 October 2016

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Helio's Cantina is a must visit. Such incredible food at excellent value. Really relaxed atmosphere allows the food to shine.

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  32. Muffin

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 22 October 2016

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    friendly, welcoming and attentive service with a personal touch. delicious food and very well-priced wine list. great for dinner before catching a movie there.

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  33. OpenTable Diner

    London

    29 reviews

    5.0

    29 reviews

    Dined on 15 October 2016

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great food, fairly priced, excellent portions, good succinct wine selection, and fantastic service from the Brazilian waitress

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  34. OpenTable Diner

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 9 October 2016

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great space and great concept! relaxed and very enjoyable!

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  35. Hardtopkease

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 9 October 2016

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    What can I say! We were a party of 4 looking for somewhere a little different to eat and I have to say what a great surprise it was!!! The food was wonderful offering a very varied menu but the taste was out of this world. The service was just as wonderful smiling staff and very attentive. I had the basil snatch cocktail which was to die for . I could have drunk them all evening. Little did we know that this beautiful little place tucked away under the railway arches in Hackney also boasted a cinema, bookshop and record store. We thoroughly recommend this place and I'm already considering holding my 40th there as they apparently hire out for private parties. Thanks again for making us feel very welcomed!!!!

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  36. OpenTable Diner

    London

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on 7 October 2016

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    There was a bit of confusion on our visit. We made the reservation just the day before, and Opentable was advertising a Brazilian pop-up restaurant "Rio Boteco". When we arrived at the venue we were told that the pop-up had finished the previous month! Nevertheless we decided to stay and order from the regular "Helio's Cantina" menu. We were not disappointed as the food, service and atmosphere were all excellent.

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  37. Gerry

    London

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 23 September 2016

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Ultra-cool venue in an area fast-becoming the most fashionable in London.

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  38. Szzy

    London

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on 16 September 2016

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    The food was delicious and the staff were extremely friendly and accommodating.

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FAQs

The Institute of Light is rated 4.4 stars by 38 OpenTable diners.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable booking network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


Is this your restaurant?
Claim this listing
Google Map for The Institute of Light

376 Helmsley Place, London, E8 3SB

Additional information

  • Area
    Hackney
  • Hours of Operation
    Tue–Sat 18:00–22:00
  • Price
    £25 and under
  • Cuisines
    Japanese, Okonomiyaki, Izakaya
  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Dress Code
    Casual Dress
  • Parking Details
    Street Parking
  • Public Transit
    London Fields station
  • Payment Options
    AMEX, Mastercard, Visa
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Beer Garden, Cafe, Cocktails, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Outdoor Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Impressum
  • Cookies and Interest-Based Ads
  • Cookie Preferences
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