[London] Lyle's - 1* Casual Modern British in Shoreditch
Rating: ❤❤❤❤ (4/5)
One of my chef friend loves Lyle's so I had to come try it when I was in London! Located in the trendy area of Shoreditch, the casual Michelin-starred restaurant fitted in nicely with its white and minimalistic decor. The chef is James Lowe who had worked at The Fat Duck and St. John before doing a series of highly acclaimed pop-up dinners around London as part of the Young Turk Collectives. We were one of the first ones to arrive for lunch and had our pick of the seats in the restaurant so we sat at one of the tables with a view of the open kitchen. The lunch menu was simple and straightforward with a dozen of dishes to choose from and most of them are small plates which are meant to be shared, so we chose 4 to share between the 2 of us (contrary to my friend's advice who told me to "just order everything!").
The Jersey Rock Oysters & Salted Gooseberries (£12.90) was a refreshing combination and while I adored the gooseberries, I couldn't help but feel that the pure flavors of the oysters was being a bit overwhelmed.
I always look forward to trying the bread and butter in restaurants whenever I'm in Europe and the freshly made sourdough bread here didn't disappoint.
The Grilled Razor Clams, Asters & Alexander (£12.50) came next and we were delighted to find the razor clams perfectly cooked with a plump and yet springy texture.
The White Asparagus, Walnuts & Spenwood (£11.10) turned out to be rather disappointing though. There were just too much going on here with the cheese and the walnuts which overwhelmed the delicate flavors of the white asparagus completely.
The Squid, Artichoke & Green Almonds (£9.90) fared better with its flavors (again the squid was perfectly cooked) and I loved the sprinkle of karasumi (dried mullet roe) on top.
We were mildly full at this point so we each ordered a dessert. J's choice was the Treacle Tart & Milk Ice Cream (£7.50) which was simple but a bit too sweet at the same time - Ledbury's brown sugar tart was far more superior.
I opted for the Brown Bread Ice Cream, Honey & Elderflower (£7.50) which had bits of burnt brown bread and a piece of sugar glass with honey and elderflower. I loved the ice cream but the actual brown bread and sugar glass became too much after a while and I left most of them unfinished.
While not every dish worked for me, I can see the appeal of Lyle's - I mean the food is simple and yet creative, the price is fair and with its ever changing menu, there's always a reason to go back.
Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JJ, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3011 5911https://www.lyleslondon.com/
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