Opened in late April in 2014 by the talented young chef James Lowe with chef John Ogie, restaurant Lyle’s soon became a popular dining destination in east London. Housed inside the old Shoreditch Tea Building, the restaurant is spacious and stylish, with large windows that allows the sunlight coming through. Also featuring an opening kitchen where all the magics happen, along side a cafe bar where i’d love to spend the entire afternoon here.
The menu design was simple and clear, the a la carte menu that changes everyday to comprises modern British dishes with the finest local ingredients.Lyle’s is currently sitting No.66 of World’s Best Restaurants of 2016 and holding one Michelin star.
I have emphasized several times that the breads in Copenhagen was nothing but amazing. While those i had in London was much weaker in comparison. Look back to all the restaurants i have visited in London, Lyle’s sourdough was serisously the best, at least for my liking. Besides the crispy crust, the moist and chewy center was also packed of natural fermented sourness of the dough.
We started with the refreshing Jersey rocke oysters topped with crab apple granita. Very clean and oceanic flavors to awaken our taste buds. Followed by a warm vegetarian appetizer of steamed pumpkin with black cabbage and a creamy sauce of cobnuts, i never thought such a simple combination can be so delicious.
I loved the vegetable-protein balanced dishes at Lyle’s, but at the same time, i was quite disappointing by the imbalanced seasonings. For example, i really loved the eel which was aromatic and melt-in-mouth tenderness. The drained kales on the side added some bitterness to balance the dish, unfortunately, the seasonings were too salty to match the rest part.
Another example was this pretty dish of baked beetroot with cured beef and walnut. The beetroot was gorgeously sweet and flavorful, however after mixed up with cured beef, the entire dish tastes so overpowering.
I loved the idea of vegetable-driven dishes such as the beefsteak which was actually beetroot and mushroom, pairing with a soft-boiled egg on the side, with some vegetarian beef stock as a base. Another lovely combination but sorry about the over-salted broth.
Grouse was in season thus we tried the grouse on damson toast for the last dish before the desserts. I really enjoyed the succulent grouse which was quite flavorful. Sadly, the toast was too salty after absorbing the jus, it hardly balance the delicious grouse. Kind of a waste of the nice breads, it was not a correct way to eat this dish but we only finished the grouse itself.
Desserts was lovely. The hazelnut ice cream was such a clean but textural bites of creamy ice cream and crunchy cobnuts. We also enjoyed the tartlet topped with fresh black figs and ice cream, the fig leaf dust wisely gives some bitterness, very sync sweet ending.
Based on my dining experience at Lyle’s this time, i found it was somewhat overrated. I loved the simple and ‘balanced’ matching of the ingredients, however as mentioned, most of the warm dishes were imbalanced in seasonings which was kind of a pity to the fresh produces. The desserts were comparably satisfying. I really enjoyed the moment the sunlight through the window on a chilly day, the atmosphere was so relax that i can spend the entire afternoon here with friends talking and eating or drinking. The food was good of value, although overall the dishes weren’t match my expectations, i don’t mind to give it a second try next time.
Address: Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High St, Shoreditch E1 6JJ
Hours: Open weekdays from 8am, Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, Mon-Sat 6pm-11pm