British, Modern Restaurants in City
1. Fenchurch Restaurant, Sky Garden British, Modern restaurant in City 20 Fenchurch St - EC3
“It is rare to encounter a five-star ambience, as well as welcoming service, and a high standard of food, all at once in the City” and, on pretty much all accounts, there’s “no better place if you’re looking for an exceptional evening location” than the 37th floor of the ‘Walkie Talkie’ (“go for a walk in the garden... with a drink... take in the amazing view…”). As the survey was concluding in June 2019, chef Dan Fletcher left for Somerset, and a new chef, George Farrugia (ex-Bob Bob Ricard) joined this operation run by caterers ‘rhubarb’ – hopefully the good all-round performance will survive the upheaval.
2. Treves & Hyde British, Modern restaurant in City 15-17 Leman St - E1
2019 Review: At the foot of a new aparthotel near Aldgate East tube, this year-old venture comprises a coffee shop and terrace downstairs, and a restaurant and bar upstairs, which – under seasoned chef George Tannock – tries harder than you might expect in this location: “a welcome, local, go-to business lunch place, with an excellent and varied menu and staff who are efficient but welcoming”.
3. Café Below British, Modern restaurant in City St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside - EC2
“Escape the feel of the City for very reasonable home cooked-food” in the ancient crypt of Bow Bells church. “There are no better dining establishments in the Square Mile: affordable, great service, good food with delicious daily changing salads” including “excellent veggie and vegan options”. Depending on when you go, it’s either a “quiet” space or quite a “noisy” one.
4. Darwin Brasserie British, Modern restaurant in City 1 Sky Garden Walk - EC3M
“Go for the spectacular views alone”, “especially at night with the city lights twinkling below”, from the “unique perspective” of this all-day brasserie at the top of the Walkie-Talkie tower. “The menu is limited and fairly expensive”, but – on most accounts – “the food is surprisingly good” for the location.
5. Northbank British, Modern restaurant in City One Paul’s Walk - EC4
You can’t argue with the location of this bar/café, right by the Wobbly Bridge, looking over to Tate Modern, and with an outside terrace in summer. It inspired limited and mixed feedback this year: fans applaud its seasonal modern British cooking and tip it as a business option, but one or two others feel “it’s overpriced, with poor service, and only exists due to its view of the Thames”.
6. The Anthologist British, Modern restaurant in City 58 Gresham St - EC2
This very “convenient” and sizeable bar-restaurant from Drake & Morgan, near the Guildhall, is valued for its efficiency and reliable (if pretty standard) menu. Nothing about it will set the world on fire, but it’s a pleasant and versatile standby that can be pressed into action for any number of occasions.
7. Hilliard British, Modern restaurant in City 26a Tudor St - EC4
2018 Review: “Sandwiches above the usual cut” and “especially good salads and tarts (savoury as well as sweet)” meet the brief at this “well executed” coffeehouse, ensuring it is always “full of lawyers from the local legal scene”.
8. Humble Grape British, Modern restaurant in City 1 Saint Bride's Passage - EC4
2017 Review: “A lovely venue in an old crypt of Fleet Street” (under St Bride’s, the journalists’ church), hosts this new bar/restaurant (which also has an older Battersea sibling). “There’s good food to be had here, but it’s not really the point – it’s the wonderfully diverse and well-priced wine list that will keep you coming back”.
9. Humble Grape British, Modern restaurant in City 8 Devonshire Row - EC2M
“An amazing choice of wines” is served by “lovely staff, who are passionate and knowledgeable about the list” at these “proper wine bars”, whose liquid offering is “complemented by a very good food menu” of “well-made” dishes (small plates, plus cheese and charcuterie). The Battersea original is still the branch attracting most feedback, although the chain is spreading eastwards, and its operation in the crypt of St Bride’s Church and newer Liverpool Street branch are “very competent”: next stop is an opening in Canary Wharf.
10. Coppa Club Tower Bridge British, Modern restaurant in City Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street - EC3
“The Christmas igloo during December was one of the nicest experiences ever…” – “the absolutely stunning location on the Thames is perfect for a summers day…” – “you can snuggle up on a sofa in front of the fire during the winter months…”; “the food is a bit so-so, but who cares?”: all are comments from fans of this all-day ‘club without membership’ near Tower Bridge. It’s part of a growing chain, with most branches in the Thames Valley, and a (much less interesting) sibling in a bank-conversion looking across the road to St Paul’s Cathedral.
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