Beneath a Shoreditch street, down a muralled stairwell, are the vaults where restaurant mastermind Conran presents his vision of dining. It’s a magnificent space with soaring bare brick pillars, clever lighting and decor that mixes funky and luxury. Service is unrushed, and cooking – in a trademark open kitchen – is impeccably French. No tricks, no surprises, just superbly done. For a price, mind, and the prix fixe menu wasn’t offered unprompted. From this, don’t miss the charcuterie trolley with its rillettes, terrine and saucisson, giving as good as the carte.
Monkfish with artichokes and broad beans or duck confit with a sticky reduction, tiny fungi and the smoothest of mashed potatoes were subtly excellent, as was an amuse-bouche of radishes with goat’s butter. The seven-course tasting menu includes greatest hits such as the charcuterie, fish with seasonal veg, and beef fillet with ravioli and wild mushrooms. Though crème brûlée was terrific, more out-there desserts such as peach tarte tatin with thyme ice-cream or mandarin soufflé with roast almond ice-cream provide a sniff of innovation. Otherwise, the Chris Martin and Cara Delevingne lookalikes and expense account holders don’t seek out this well-concealed location for experimentation. Or to eavesdrop – tables are very well spaced.
The sommelier can help with an awesome list arranged by region; for stronger drinks, there’s an over-furnished 1950s-style bar. Six floors up, the Boundary rooftop bar and grill is completely different.