Lyle’s in Shoreditch, 2017: a review

As Mia treated me to a London trip due to my turning 40 years old1 we ate at Lyle’s one evening. It’s a restaurant that is found in Shoreditch, smack in the East End of London. It currently has one Michelin star, and even though I don’t think highly of such plaudits, this place definitely deserves a dinner visit.

Made a reservation through their site, and off we went. They offer two different set menus, one for vegetarians and one for the others.

They called me to confirm our reservation the morning of. They asked if we had any allergies or food preferences and I happened to mention we’re vegetarians; I didn’t think twice about this until we entered Lyle’s, were seated and given the vegetarian menu without having mentioned it there. Sweet touch.

As seen above, the tables were sparsely and exquisitely set, and the restaurant did not feel crowded nor noisy even when filled up. 

Even though the menu may not seem to be much, I assure you it’s brilliant; you know how good chefs make something out of anything. Well, this lot had racked themselves to come out swinging with this, foodstuffs that were at times enough to start sipping to make our eyes meet in true amazement.

I’ve no idea how they’ve made the above, which is the pumpkin soup. Olive oil was hidden beneath its foamy top, and the piece is what I believe to be a perfectly cooked piece of pumpkin, which was sweet and succulent. Pieces of hazelnut were found on the bottom which only added to the amazement as I’d forgotten about them being part of the dish. It was like a foodie treasure hunt.

I don’t care much for kale. Still, this course was very tasteful. The picture shows the kale on top of beetroot sticks, served with a tangy, thick sauce and pickled walnuts. Delightful shit, really.

You obviously cannot tell from the pic, but the mushrooms were sliced painstakingly thinly, and the lovage worked wonderfully with the egg yolk. A nice one, although my least fave dish.

A proper fucking mint tea. I mean, just debase a lot of mint leaves down a glass, scold the hell out of it with boiling water and you’ve got this. You then lift the glass tea decanter of the tea cup and go ahead.

Still, this was not all. In-between every course we were served “snacks”, which were nearly courses in their own rights. The first one, an aubergine concoction, felt fried and was delectable; from that to mini cakes for our tea, and I felt slightly anointed. The bread and butter were also carefully made. Yes, made. Hats off to the chefs and staff.

Speaking of which, the staff was very nice, even to the extremely odd diners next to us…enough said about that.

Will most definitely visit next time around. Be sure to book at least a day in advance.

  1. I wrote this about Mia very recently: As I turn 40 years old today I feel extremely humble. I have been given a trip to London, from and together with Mia, the individual I most admire and love. I am completely taken back by this lovely, thoughtful, and loving gift. Over and over, throughout the years, I’ve wished that I could express how much her personality, strengths, friendship, humor, and support mean to me, but I fail when trying. Just being with her is to me the best state of being, and most of what is me is she and what she brings out in me. I really cannot describe how it feels, yet I will probably never stop trying to. She has put up with so much of me and I never will know how she has, but for that and much else I am the most grateful and lucky person in the world, and I treasure every day with her as the best that I have ever had. I cannot ask for more. She is the Best.[back]
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