Lyle’s has been on the list for some time and our latest visit to London gave us the perfect opportunity to visit as we had arranged to stay in the Brick Lane area of London for the first time.
I was rather relieved to be able to book a table as days before the bookings opened it was placed in the top 10 at the National Restaurant Awards. I now know why!
The relaxed feel, the open kitchen, witty staff and music that was a continuum of classic hip hop and R&B through disco to 80’s electro in the background all adds to what makes this place appealing.
At Lyle’s the food offering is a set menu of an amuse bouche and 4 courses.
Our amuse bouche of dashi tomato with dehydrated tomato on top and some smoked mussels was a great sign of things to come. It never ceases to amaze me how someone can pack so much flavour in to something so small.
The first course of Beefsteak and hedgehog mushrooms, Lardo and egg had a wonderful hit of tarragon with buckwheat adding a lovely texture, the little bit of sauce packed a punch and sat alongside a perfectly cooked runny egg.
The second course of Monkfish, liver and crab apple was the dish that divided me. The combination of flavours absolutely worked together, the sharpness of the apple counterbalancing the richness of the monkfish liver. However the texture and flavour of the liver on its own was a bit too intense for me.
The third course of Dexter sirloin, onion and gherkin really summed up for me why Lyle’s is the place to go. Perfectly cooked meat, a rich sauce, velvety onion purée and the light pickle of the gherkin leading to a perfectly balanced dish. Simple in presentation but nowhere to hide.
The final course of blackcurrant and lemon verbena was my kind of dessert. The addition of blackcurrant vinegar to the meringue transformed the dish. I ate every mouthful with a big grin on my face.
We ended our meal with coffee, lemon thyme brown butter cakes and cherry chocolate ganache. The dessert and the lemon thyme butter cakes were so good that I felt compelled to go over and thank the pastry chef. Her name is Anna by the way.
Lyle’s highlights the best seasonal produce and lets the food speak for itself. It’s a great place to spend an evening.