Leonard Street, EC2A
WHAT? An uber hip restaurant with earthy undertones, akin to Native in London Bridge and Lyle’s nearby in Shoreditch. Only, this one has a more primal feel to it, incorporating a ‘raw bar’ of pick-your-own shellfish, a speck-carving station and a flaming hearth.
WHO? This is the second restaurant from Andrew Clarke and Jackson Boxer –grandson of food writer Arabella Boxer – after the much-lauded Brunswick House in Vauxhall.
WHAT’S THE DEAL? There’s an Express menu for lunch, handily located at the top right of the main menu, offering two courses for £22 and three for £26, not including drinks, with two or three choices for each.
WHAT SHOULD I ORDER? Everything if you’re doing the set menu – why wouldn’t you? Each dish is a talking point, but they are hit and miss. For every lamb with hazlenut and fig – cold and underdone – there was a delicate raw mackerel with soy butter and dandelion. In fact, we’d say have a light lunch and stick to the seafood and plants here. The vegetable plate is a seasonal mish-mash, often with lentils, that you can’t go wrong with, either.
ANYTHING WORTH GOING OFF MENU FOR? The hispi cabbage is smeared with fat before it’s thoroughly acquainted with the smokey grill, then topped off with a crunchy pile of umami crumbs. At £5, it’s one of the cheapest dishes on the menu and also, incredibly, the tastiest.
ROOM FOR DESSERT? The desserts are complex little mouth bombs – it’s all rapeseed oil ice cream and sichuan pepper sorbet round these parts. The salted caramel and sherry tart with cardamom ice cream manages to be both a crowd-pleaser and a knockout.
NEED TO BOOK? Booking is essential. Call 020 7739 1291 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.