Lyle’s has been open in Shoreditch’s tea building for over a year. Time FLIES – it’s been on the to do list for a while as a “new” restaurant to try!
So off I trotted on a work lunch, immediately grabbing myself a craft beer on arrival
(lonnnnggg day) whilst surveying the white tile decor. My immediate instinct is that Lyle’s had kind of a scandi- inspired minimalist vibe which is pretty much the done thing in this area of the city. Butttt my focus, as always, was both on my refreshingly sour beer and the food so I had a good old gawp at my menu.
Now it is worth mentioning that Lyle’s menu is both simple and regularly changing. Today’s may not be the same as the next. They also revel in naming dishes that will tug at your inner squeamishness, such as “blood cake,” (black pudding) and “pollacks head,” (exactly as it sounds!)
The traditional format of starters and main courses is not exactly adhered to and all options are tossed together on one sheet – our waiter says this is because it is designed to encourage ordering more with the intention of sharing/tasting/”experiencing.”
Cool – so share we did. We initially ordered the salad & Berkswell, girolles, buford brown and sweet cicely and the courgette, goats curd and lemon thyme, passing them around among ourselves (along with their truly delicious fresh bread and glorious butter.) sharing is caring – but sharing here is a touch awkward – especially when it comes to egg yolk. I can’t fault it’s incredible flavour though or help but note they way it perfectly blended with the brown bread. Yum.
The Berkswell salad was good but the amount of cheese on the dish was not designed for sharing, a honey is going to need that all to herself.
Each salad was beautifully presented with edible flowers a plenty, but the tastiest and easiest to portion up to hungry diners was the courgette. I love a julienned courgette at the very best of times and here it was divine with the goats cheese mousse.
I decided I had had enough of the sharing game and ordered the plaice, samphire and whey, which the price bracket suggested was a main, all to myself. I’m glad as whilst dishes such as the Hebridean lamb and summer vegetables (above) looked incredible, I couldn’t imagine parting with half of it.
My fish was cooked to perfection and tasted a real treat with the creamy whey dressing. The dish isn’t heavy at all either so is perfect as a lunch option.
I would have loved to stay for desert (even sharing) but we had already been sat for an hour and a half, apparently meaning we absolutely had to head back to the office!
With a number of shared starters, a main and a few slices of truly delicious bread, I did feel full enough but I would say that the portions don’t necessarily suit their price bracket.
Lyle’s is undoubtedly delicious but my meal alone would have been around £35 , which for lunch in what seems to be another trendy Shoreditch restaurant is a bit steep for what was on offer.
Yes, this was a lovely place to try and it certainly looked the part. However considering the price bracket, I know a few places in the area that are a more rewarding investment – even if it comes at the cost of losing the flowery garnish.
2x beer = £10
Starter = £6.50
Main = £15.70
+ tip at 12% = £36.84
Visit Lyle’s website for further information