LAID-BACK MICHELIN STARRED DINING AT LYLE’S, SHOREDITCH, LONDON
I had previously heard of Lyle’s in Shoreditch and it’s chilled out, laid back vibe, placing the real focus on the dishes and was keen to book in for a visit. I asked my lovely friend Seetal from Savlafaire to recommend places in Shoreditch, she suggested Lyle’s for the very reason I wanted to go. The Michelin Star and now being listed as No. 38 in the Worlds 50 Best Restaurants, just re-ignited the need for a visit and luckily it tied in well with my first night in Shoreditch.
Throwing in his dream of becoming a pilot, James Lowe gained experience with Heston Blumenthal, was Head Chef at St John Bread and wine, worked at Noma in Copenhagen and The River Café. Under the Young Turks Moniker, James perused the pop up route with Chef buddies Ben Greeno and Isaac McHale. April 2014, saw the opening of Lyles in Shoreditch, where James Lowe teamed up with John Ogier with the aim to showcasing British food in the present and 18 months after opening he was awarded his first Michelin Star.
Lyle’s is located on Bethnall Green Road opposite Boxpark, in the factory, which was originally built for Lipton. The trendy Shoreditch Tea Building houses Lyle’s on part of the ground floor with cut back, not fussy reclaimed British oak and walnut wine shelves, ash and elm tables surrounded by white washed concrete walls. The restaurant seating is the classic Windsor chair, chosen by James himself and the huge Crittal windows ensure there is plenty of natural light flooding in illuminating the space.
As expected with the focus very much on food rather than fancy interiors, the daily menu focusses on micro-seasonal availability of ingredients in that particular day. Lunch is more of an is à la carte affair whilst dinner is a set menu
THE DINNER MENU: 26 JULY 2018
After hearing about Lyle’s attention to detail, with fish being couriered from Cornwall daily and the team at Lyles driving to the south coast to pick fruit, I was intent on going for the regular dinner menu but I was both impressed and persuaded by the fact that there was a separate vegetarian menu for dinner.
After being seated we chose to have a carafe of red between us, C’est le Printemps, 2017, Dard and Ribo from Rhone. A beautiful red that would go perfectly with the set menu on both the vegetarian and non vegetarian menus.
The Amuse bouche soon followed with refreshing cucumber and lemon for me and Dr C’s had a consumé of courgettes, milk curd, nasturtium oil and petals.
We opted to have the additional Neals Yard cheese course, consisting of goats and cows cheeses with some tasty fennel crisps providing a great contrast in crunch alongside the smooth flavours of the cheeses.
Finally, it was time to round off the meal with dessert, a deconstructed blackberry and chamomile mess. The tart blackberries and the sweetness form the meringue and subtle flavour of the chamomile ended the meal perfectly.
We indulged in coffee and butter and almond biscuits to end a perfect evening to celebrate our stay in Shoreditch.
It was an absolute pleasure dining at Lyles. The atmosphere was unfussy, unstuffy, not pretentious, cool and totally inviting. The staff were attentive and well informed and the food, well that just speaks volumes for itself. I really admired the concept of just having all the focus placed on the food, there is nothing fancy to look at, well except the open kitchen and stripped back interiors of the Tea Builidng. At Lyles you are forced to focus on real British food, its plating, and the subtle flavours, without distraction. I never thought a restaurant more suited to my casual dining style with no compromise in terms of the fare, could exist. Lyles blew that out of the bag with not only producing one of the best vegetarian menus I’ve tasted but the dining style as a whole. It is evident to see why Lyles has both the accolade of a Michelin Star and their listing in the Worlds Top 50 Restaurants.
56 Shoreditch High Street
London E1 6JJ
Tel. 020 3011 5911
Reservations can be made via Lyle’s website