Lyle’s is a new British restaurant in Shoreditch, London from James Lowe and John Ogier. Located in a building built as a factory for Lipton, Lyle’s is housed in trendy Shoreditch’s Blitz-surviving Tea Building. Making it way on World Best restaurant number 38, Lyle’s serves refined British fare to busy customers every day so making reservations to dine here is a must
It can be easy to miss the entrance of the restaurant as it is located right in front of the bus stop and many locals will be crowding around waiting for their bus. We almost missed the door as there were so many people standing in front of the door. The server at the door will get your reservation details as well as hang up your coat for you before showing you to the table. The décor of the restaurant is quite simplistic in style with clean cut wooden oak tables and black metal frames. Industrial styled lighting and distinctive white pillars surviving from the tea factory.
The rustic character windows provides ample natural lighting into the restaurant with the odd passer by peeping into the restaurant while waiting for their bus at the bus stop right in front of the restaurant.
The entire restaurant has an open concept and you can watch the bustling of the servers and the kitchen staff while they prepare your meals. You can also see the chef making your bread fresh from flour.
The menu is fairly simple as lunch is served a la carte but dinner is a fixed menu so you are encouraged to inform the restaurant at booking of any food allergies or preferences. Tap water is complimentary and filtered and promptly refilled.
We were first served a bowl of bread made from the kitchen and a slab of creamy butter. The crust of the bread was very crisp and the bread was slightly dry but the butter complimented the dryness as it was creamy and oily.
Surprisingly, we were served a few starters which was not in the menu. First was the purple endive with vinegar sauce and shredded cheese. The endive was very fresh and crunchy and bitter but the vinegar and cheese balanced out the bitterness to make it a nice blend.
Next we had the fried onion fritters with wild galangal spice powder. This was surprisingly good as the onions were fried perfectly with a great crunch and the spice added to a layer of taste on top of the sweet onions.
Next we had the sweet pumpkin with whey and melon seeds. The whey soup was foamy like most served at fine dining restaurants and very light. The whey could hardly be tasted and the taste came mostly from the drop of balsamic vinegar and the very sweet slab of pumpkin and the nuttiness of the melon seeds. Personally, I did not like the combination of the soup itself as it left a flat taste on my tongue
We were served the pan fried pollack with Girolles mushroom and buckwheat. The fish was beautifully done with a nice golden brown top crust and juicy and meat juices as you slice through the fish steak. The fish itself was sweet from the freshness of the meat with light flavours from the mushrooms.
My favourite dish is this duck with pear and celeriac vegetables where the meat was not over cooked and still pink and tender. It was very evenly cooked with a nice pink throughout the duck rendering the meat tender and extremely juicy and flavourful. The vegetable and sauce added a nice texture to the duck as an accompaniment.
Lastly we were served dessert which was the quince posset with chestnut meringue. The meringue had white chocolate shavings and the chestnut cream right at the bottom was sweet yet not over powering. Personally, I am not a fan of quince so this dessert was not my cup of tea.
We were again treated to a small snack which is the brown butter almond cake. This cake looks simple but tasted very delightful with strong sweet flavours from the brown butter and sugar and a tinge of almond nuttiness.
The dinner menu is fixed at £59 and changes daily according to the ingredients the chef purchases on the day. Overall, the experience is great at the restaurant and the food is generally on good standards. However, for a high price, I would prefer a more comfortable setting as I found the chairs very stiff. I might return for the lunch menu or visit for dinner again on a special occasion.
Address: Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JJ, UK
Operating hours: 8 am to 11 pm ( 12 – 2.30pm for lunch ) ( 6 to 10 pm for dinner )
Nearest underground : Shoreditch Station