Helix/Iris – Searcy’s Gherkin flagship with great views

Our principal Barbican Centre restaurant (now Osteria) used to be, arguably, the original signature venue in Searcy’s portfolio of restaurants.  Their new Helix on level 39 of the Gherkin, coupled with the Iris bar on level 40) elevates both the cuisine and the view.  It’s a shame that we couldn’t get a view of the Barbican’s Towers from the restaurant but you do get a magnificent skyline spectacle around the remaining 270 degrees. And we had to make do with a spectacular view down to Tower Bridge!  Helix is yet another great dining venue with spectacular views in the City’s plethora of high … [Read more...]

New Bottles in Old Spitalfields

Bottles launched in early July 2018 in the remarkable Old Spitalfields Market as a new Italian wine bar.  This is a partnership between the co-founders of Bottles & Battles in Mercato Metropolitano, Franco Mancini and Daniele Marano, and the pop-up restaurant concept, SOOD Family.  The focus is definitely on the wine here and the food (albeit delicious) is almost a mere accompaniment. Entrance on Brushfield Street With entrances on both Brushfield Street and from inside Old Spitalfields Market, this is a convenient spot with enough space for about 50 diners. The Market entrance is … [Read more...]

Bowling us over

Bowling us over The Bowling Bird restaurant and wine bar is over to the West side of the Barbican tucked down Cloth Fair (a shortish street which runs parallel to Long Lane), opposite St Bartholomew the Great church and close to West Smithfield.  I have passed it literally 50 times to and fro and so I was really happy to be invited to the press evening where a bunch of journalists were presented with some taster fare.  There were a couple of reviewers from an online blog and one from the local paper over at Canary Wharf; a testament to how tempting our local restaurants are!  The … [Read more...]

Galettes and Crêpes par excellence at L’Ami Malo

For perhaps a lighter choice of restaurant food it is hard to beat the more flavoursome take on French style Galettes and Crepes and L’Ami Malo in Artillery Passage, close to Liverpool Street Station, does these really well.  It offers a good choice of savoury galettes and sweet crepes to whet one’s appetite and these are filling enough to more than satisfy the discerning diner.  Indeed the range of flavours on offer makes this small, very French, restaurant down a tiny narrow street, packed with bars and restaurants, a great choice for something a little different from your average restaurant … [Read more...]

Update: A Dinner at the Devonshire

Article updated with details of the newly appointed Executive Chef and the new menu. The Devonshire Club is a high-end members establishment which recently opened in one of the old East India Company warehouses and a Georgian townhouse in Devonshire Square. It is also a great 68-room hotel with high quality guest rooms available to members and non-members alike and with its very convenient location is ideal as an overnight, and luxurious, venue for people with business in the City – or anywhere else in London given its proximity to Liverpool Street mainline and underground stations.  This … [Read more...]

25th Ward. Good food, good prices, well presented.

If Barbican residents are looking for a close-at-hand restaurant serving well prepared and well presented dishes at a reasonable price, then they probably need look no further than the new 25th Ward establishment on Long Lane.  Going back in time the venue was once the home of Mustard’s Restaurant and then Il Boteglio, but the latter was replaced by 25th Ward back in November last year and we were impressed with the quality of the food and the service when we visited on a cold, damp February evening.  The restaurant is right opposite the eastern end of Smithfield Market and will be well-placed … [Read more...]

Temper City: Ultimate Fusion

Temper City is nestled in Angel Court, just off Throgmorton Street between Moorgate and Bank.  It is the second such restaurant from Neil Rankin.  The first still operates very successfully in Soho and the City restaurant opened in July last year.  Both are quite dazzling “firepit” restaurants with giant barbecues and grills in the centre of the dining rooms with all the prep and cooking on show and with everything radiating out from that central open kitchen area.  The menu is unique in offering flavour combinations seldom seen elsewhere.  It might be described as the ultimate fusion … [Read more...]

Intimate Dining Par Excellence – Little Quiet

Intimate Dining Par Excellence – Little Quiet You have to try this place, even if you only go once.  Little Quiet is the first permanent restaurant from the team behind The Disappearing Dining Club whose mission is to bring people together to enjoy great food and drink in private and unusual spaces.  They have been fashionably ‘popping  up’ temporary restaurants, and running supper clubs and dinner parties since 2010 in venues as varied as lighthouses to laundrettes.  Locally, they have previously temporarily hosted at Old Street, Bethnal Green, Brick Lane and Bermondsey but here in … [Read more...]

Eating on the Ned’s rooftop

The brand new Ned hotel, which has been opened in the old Grade 1 listed Midland Bank HQ building and which occupies a big area opposite the Bank of England between Princes Street and Poultry, has no less than nine eating options. The Ned (named after the building’s original architect, Edwin (Ned) Lutyens) is both an exclusive club and a 252 room five star hotel.  (One hopes that Scottish visitors are not put off by the name as Ned is something of a derogatory term north of the border!)  Two of its nine restaurants are only available for use by club members and hotel guests, which is a … [Read more...]

Piano Works in Farringdon – one for the bucket list

The Piano Works is on Farringdon Road a short walk up from the tube station and on the left hand side in a listed Victorian basement.  It is perhaps as much a night club as a conventional restaurant but is definitely a fun venue and around a 15 minute walk from the Barbican. Before starting to read this review and just in case you don't get to the end, I urge you to visit at least once.  The place is enjoyably different in that the music takes centre stage.  As you go downstairs from the entrance, you enter into an abyss of a basement with lots of types of seating and zones to get … [Read more...]