British, Modern Restaurants in Shoreditch
1. St Leonard’s British, Modern restaurant in Shoreditch 70 Leonard Street - EC2A
2021 Review: This potentially “very interesting” yearling in Shoreditch (on the site long famous as Eyre Brothers, RIP) with a ‘fire and ice’ theme – a combination of open-hearth, roast dishes with a raw seafood bar – failed to ignite passions amongst our reporters in its first 12 months, despite some adulatory press reviews. Some fans did proclaim its “amazing” dishes, but others said “how I hate this place” citing “terrible food and snotty service”. Perhaps the management just didn’t gel, as Jackson Boxer unexpectedly severed his ties with the place in August 2019, leaving Andrew Clarke to soldier on solo.
2. Princess of Shoreditch British, Modern restaurant in Shoreditch 76 Paul St - EC2
“Superb food with a real eye for detail and quality” – Ruth Hansom’s “outstanding modern cuisine” is really “going places” at this well-established gastroboozer, just off Great Eastern Street. The pleasant-enough dining area is quirkly located on the mezzanine, up a spiral staircase from the main bar: choose from either a five-course or eight-course tasting menu.
3. Leroy British, Modern restaurant in Shoreditch 18 Phipp Street - EC2A
It’s hard to review this funky Shoreditch five-year-old without mentioning its star from the French tyre firm – the latter setting up expectations that are not always met. Many reports do give the highest praise to its creative small plates and well-curated selection of wines. But there’s a disgruntled minority, who stumble on their feelings that it’s over-egged. (“I’m not a star chaser but I do want to have a good time, and somehow the whole experience felt a bit Spartan…”; “the food is indeed tasty, but is VERY overpriced. Is part of the problem that their Michelin star has pushed them into cramming as many tables in as possible?”)
4. The Clove Club British, Modern restaurant in Shoreditch Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old St - EC1
“In the unlikely, understated but pleasant environs of Shoreditch Town Hall”, this iconic modern venue – a UK flag-bearer on the World’s 50 Best – is approaching its 10th year and, for the most part, “still knocking the ball out of the park”. With its “calm, unpretentious room table setting” and “cool open-kitchen approach”, it delivers “imaginative and precise cooking with a wide range of tastes and textures” that fans say is “the best of the best”, and bolstered by novel wine and drink pairings. (Michelin, never exactly ahead of the curve, awarded it two stars in 2022). “Professional, attentive and caring service” plays its part and there’s been “outstanding attention to detail since reopening post Covid”. The whacking bill continues to be an issue here, though. Even many fans find it “disturbingly pricey” – although they note “you get what you pay for” – but others feel the value just doesn’t stack up: “third visit probably now our last… at over £600 for two, it’s now just toooooo expensive”.
5. The Light Bar British, Modern restaurant in Shoreditch 233 Shoreditch High Street - E1
2022 Review: We have Tracey Emin and Madness front-man Suggs to thank, along with the rest of the OPEN campaign, for saving this iconic (for once the word is merited) Shoreditch landmark north of Liverpool Street, which – after its original launch in 2000 – became a seminal venue for emerging hipster East London. It closed in 2014 when it was about to be flattened for a skyscraper, but this 5,000 sq ft former rail power station (built in 1893) reopened in April 2021, initially with its terrace in operation. This was followed in May and June by its ground-floor ‘Engine Hall’ bar and restaurant and first-floor ‘Timber Loft’. Survey feedback was too limited for a rating, but all-round extremely positive.
6. Brat British, Modern restaurant in Shoreditch First Floor, 4 Redchurch Street - E1
“Sensational” cooking over an open fire in the corner of the room has won the highest culinary esteem (including from the Harden’s London Restaurant Awards) for Tomos Parry’s “unassuming” Shoreditch venue, which sits in a “functional and slightly industrial”, first-floor dining room above ‘Smoking Goat’. In particular, “the signature turbot is a must-try” (‘Brat’ is another name for turbot) and has become a checklist item for London foodie fashionistas. Its food rating slipped this year from the highest heights on a few reports of “great but slightly inconsistent” meals. For most of its many fans, though, a meal here is still “always wonderful”. Top Menu Tips – aside from the turbot: “still superb bread and anchovy…”, “soused mackerel in a piquant broth was divine…”, “smoked potatoes are my Death Row dish…”
7. Lyle's British, Modern restaurant in Shoreditch The Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street - E1
“Never failing to deliver extraordinary food” – James Lowe’s famous (among foodies) canteen, at the foot of Shoreditch’s well-known ‘Tea Building’, “is so consistent in delivering seemingly simple, but actually quite intricate flavour combinations”. These are offered as small plates at lunch and in the evening as a tasting menu. Originally he was inspired by a stint working at St John, but his own cuisine is nowadays something of a benchmark in its own right for modern seasonal British cooking, with “a menu that changes all the time”.
8. The Botanist British, Modern restaurant in City Broadgate Circle - EC2
2021 Review: This pair of “casual”, well-located all-day brasseries serve an “eclectic menu” from breakfast on, but it’s the “friendly ambience that’s a real winner”. The Sloane Square branch is “very Chelsea” – “great for lunch” and “wonderfully convenient pre- and post-show for Cadogan Hall or Royal Court”.
9. The Jugged Hare British, Modern restaurant in City 49 Chiswell Street - EC1
“If you like game, this is the place for you” – a “lively” City gastropub with a focus on “fabulous British food” led by game in season, spit-roasted suckling pig and rare-breed meat. Handy for pre-show dining for visitors to the neighbouring Barbican arts centre, and “great-value Sunday lunches too”.
10. Rochelle Canteen British, Modern restaurant in Old Street 16 Playground Gardens - E2
“Delightful in every way” – this “hidden-away” venue occupies the bike sheds of a former school near Spitalfields, converted in 2006 by Melanie Arnold and Margot Henderson (wife of St John’s Fergus). “Super relaxed” in style and with a “great outdoor space”, it’s in particular a “gorgeous setting” in summer, but, at any time of year, you can enjoy “robust British cooking with beautiful ingredients”. (Its ICA branch was one of the more prominent victims of Covid, closing in September 2020.)
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