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It's curious how few kosher restaurants there are in London. Once-famous Blooms, near Aldgate, threw in the towel in the late '90s, as did the wonderfully quirky Kosher Luncheon Club, nearby. For a while there were no kosher restaurants in the City, until this venture - also near Aldgate - opened two years ago. It is adjacent to the Bevis Marks synagogue: London's oldest Jewish place of worship.
The synagogue has created a handsome modern space for eating by extending a glass roof from one of its exterior walls. You get views into the interior through what used to be exterior windows and - with Rothko-esque modern oils hung on the newly-built facing wall - the overall impression is similar to that of a restaurant in a superior arts venue.
The food is 'modern kosher'. This means there are a few modern takes on traditional Jewish dishes (chicken soup with matzo balls, salt beef with chips, lockshen pudding with cinnamon ice cream), and also modern brasserie items (from steak and chips through to confit of duck with crispy noodles). Both types of dish are realised much better than such an eclectic menu might suggest; and with no compromises apparent in the latter to earn their kosher status. The short list majors in Israeli wines (and there is also a serviceable selection of cocktails and so on).
All tables on my visit were occupied by expense-accounters (though the waiter confided they do get the odd tourist). A few gents dining were wearing the kippah, but the style of the place is so mainstream as to make the observances almost incidental. With its slick all-round standards this would make a good - if perhaps slightly offbeat - choice for many a business occasion.
3 Middlesex St, London, E1A 7AA
|Number of Diners:|
lunch noon - 3 pm, dinner 5.30 pm - 8 pm
Last orders: 9 pm