Dining in London last year was not as exciting as dining somewhere else before. Staying with a family over the weekend, we didn’t have the time and the opportunity to explore the London food scene.
We could not leave the country with having typical fish and chips at the local curb side diner that sells snacks and warm meals. It was a no name place at 59 York Rd, with a nice view of the London Eye. Nothing special, but it had everything that we needed; a place to sit down, warm meal, and a baby changing room as M decided that that was the right place to poop.
Lyle’s on the other hand was a slightly different experience.
Voted 33rds best restaurant in the world in 2021 with one Michelin star, Lyle’s serves seasonal British fare as a la carte lunches and set suppers.
Originally built as a factory for Lipton, Lyle’s is situated in the trendy Shoreditch’s Blitz-surviving Tea Building.
Simple and minimalist interior with concrete flooring and simple wooden chairs with no cushions, like the ones we had in elementary school are complete opposite to the lunch or dinner menu.
Btw the chairs are called Windsor chairs.
The sunlight was streaming in through large Crittal windows warming us for our several course menu set by the chef James Lowe.
His main idea was to show everybody that there’s more to British food than shepherd’s pie and fish and chips.
The restaurants strategy is very simple but the local ingredients are high selected from the best producers.
Since bread is incredibly important at Lyle’s, and it’s the first thing the new chefs learn to make we started with their freshly made bread and butter, just after we ordered some drinks; beer for D and a cocktail for me.
Going through the menu it was not easy to choose the courses; it all looked so interesting and delicious. But we had to start somewhere so we went for oysters. We always go for oysters if a restaurant has them. It’s a great and beautiful reminder of summer and sea.
Simple yet very delicious combo of sliced apples and oysters that come Mersea Island in Essex, England, from the Blackwater and Colne estuaries to the south-east of Colchester.
If you know me, you know that I will always go for a rabbit even if I call my own son ‘’a bunny’’. Rabbit meat is one of the most softest and tastiest that I have ever had so having the liver is no exemption. Spiced with various sauces and seasonings they were so soft, but nicely paired with bitter chickory, that we scraped the sauce with fresh bread. Jummy!
I have always found sea and earth combinations impossibly tasty. Not that I would every succeed in cooking fish and pig together but some people manages. Or some chef do. Anyway, squid, calçot (a type of green onion) and cured pig speck from Hungarian breed of domestic pig were a tasty salty, herbal combo.
Another interesting combo were scallops from Orkney Islands with pink orange a creamy sauce blended with salmon roe, sugar, salt, and spices.
Dried winter tomato, raw beef and black pepper that came with toasted bread were soooooo delicious that we thought only that dish would be sufficient for us. Of course in a larger portion.
No lunch or dinner should go without a desert and since I don’t take coffee after a meal I opted for a coffee desert with ice cream. Top notch! Creamy ice cream, crusty merengue with coffee inside. What else do you need? A loved one by your side. And a cocktail 🙂
LYLE’S, Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6GY