Test Driving the new bar menu at Lyle's in Shoreditch

cabbageSmoked eel and January king cabbage

Remind me about Lyle's

Lyle's is a Michelin-starred restaurant in Shoreditch, full of contemporary British cooking and headed up by James Lowe. It has an ever-changing menu, gets some pretty amazing guest chefs in the door and is easily one of the best restaurants in Shoreditch.

But if you haven't been yet, then now is a great opportunity.

Why's that?

Lyle's has always had a small bar in the front of the restaurant (and the coffee they serve from there is among our top coffees ever in London) but until now it's been about drinks and snacks. But that's all changed. 

A new bar menu has just been launched - it features both new dishes and some of the favourites from the lunchtime menu too. And this time it's available in the evening - with just six seats available. So if you want to get a taster of what Lyle's has to offer but haven't had the opportunity to book the restaurant, this is an ideal way in. 

flatbreadCalcot, cora linn and wild leek flatbread

So what's on that menu?

You can start with their wonderful bread and butter (just get this immediately while you're thinking about the rest of the menu) and then choose from around 10 dishes (including dessert) ranging from smaller plates to bigger dishes. We think that coming in here for 4-6 dishes between two is ideal.

So what did you have?

And we did just that - ordering 5 savoury dishes and both desserts (because we couldn't choose). As ever, remember our small plates mantra - order as and when you want things, not all at once. 

Our top three favourite dishes on the night were:

  • The calcot, cora linn and wild leek flatbread (£7) - almost like a miniaturised Michelin-starred pizza. A must-have, but you might not want to share...
  • The bitter leaves, pear and Berkswell (£9) - one of the largest dishes on offer, and a perfect match to anything on the menu. Get this early and treat as an accompaniment to the other dishes (and here's how to make it). 
  • Smoked eel and January king cabbage (£14) - We're sometimes a little wary of eel - but this pairing was pretty wonderous.

Note that there is also at least one much bigger sharing dish on offer - on our visit it was woodcock, parsnip and quince (£35).

Of course, the menu changes daily so we can't absolutely guarantee what we've mentioned here will be on offer. The menu is updated daily on their site and you can see the latest one here

puddingBlood cake, chicory and apple mustard

And of the desserts?

Both were excellent - but the baked cream and rhubarb (£9) was the winner thanks to some astonishingly good candied rhubarb hidden in there. 

What about drinks?

To tie in with the new bar dishes, there are a couple of additions thanks to cocktail maestro Matt Whiley and his nearby Scout bar. He's added some pre-mixed cocktails to the menu and we can highly recommend the carrot and melitot, cocchi rosa (£11). It's like a Negroni but with those ingredients must be good for you. 

The other great thing about eating at the bar is that it's so easy to get ongoing recommendations about the wines you should be having throughout the meal. There are six available by glass/carafe and lots more to choose from, ranging from £23 a bottle to the more blow-out £111.

creamBaked cream and rhubarb


The new menu is a great reason to either revisit Lyle's or discover it for the first time. And as it's ever-changing, a reason to go back time after time. Those six seats will be much sought after. 

Hot Dinners were invited to Lyle's. Prices are correct at the time of writing. 


More about Lyle's

Where: Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JJ

How to book: Book on 020 3011 5911 or just walk in if you see a space. 

Find out more: Visit their website and follow them on Instagram @lyleslondon.


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