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Bryn Williams at Somerset House

Restaurants, British Strand
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Veggie-centric fine dining in the famous, historical Somerset House.

Set within one of London’s most prominent buildings, renowned Welsh chef Bryn Williams’ veggie-centric restaurant is tucked away in a wing of Somerset House, with rather smashing views of the Thames. Complete with statement overhead copper casks, plush velvet seating and some marine-inspired décor that reflects the building’s naval history, the stately setting is imposing in a way that makes one feel the need to keep noise levels to library (or museum, as it were) volume.

The menu champions seasonal ingredients. Veggies and fruit take centre stage, but rather than going the whole, ahem, hog by swearing off all meat, the ‘vegetables first’ philosophy is mostly reflected in the order that each dish’s ingredients are listed on the menu. As if the flouncy description of the veg will somehow draw our attention away from the meat clearly dominating the plate.

While not a vegetable, the warm soda bread, complete with light and fluffy salted butter, was a highlight. Dense and necessarily filling, because the rest of the small plate offerings begged an emphasis on the word ‘small’. The triple cooked chips were crisp and (triple) cooked to perfection. A creamy hand-cut orecchiette pasta bowl with peas and mushroom, was creamy yet light enough to leave room for dessert. The smoked lamb smothered in cooking juice, melted in the mouth. While a chocolate fondant, with a dollop of pistachio ice cream and swirls of peanut butter, made for a rich, gooey and satisfying end. Simple stuff, sure. But there’s confidence in this simplicity.

By: Nina Clark



Address: Strand
Transport: Tube: Temple
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: £95.
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