Restaurants near Liverpool Street
There’s a dedicated entrance for the restaurants in Heron Tower, from where a glass lift will whizz you in seconds up to Duck & Waffle on the 40th floor, or its glitzier sibling Sushisamba two floors below. The views are, as you might expect, stunning – if you’re pointed in the right direction and, preferably, sitting at a window table (many of which are for two diners only). Alternatively, linger in the entrance bar, where you can press your nose against the glass and gawp unhindered. Food is an on-trend mix of small plates, raw offerings (oysters, ceviche) and a few main courses (including roast chicken and the namesake duck confit and waffle). Our dishes ranged widely, from the spot-on (three dense pollock balls in creamy lobster sauce) to bonkers (who thought it a good idea to combine beetroot chunks with watery goat’s curd and sticky knobs of honeycomb crisp?). Prices are as sky-high as the setting; it cost £8 for a harissa-tinged herdwick mutton slider that was undoubtedly tasty, but came unadorned and vanished in a mouthful. Desserts of cold rice pudding, and chocolate brownie sundae, were better (and bigger). Service wavered between keen and offhand. Another downer: all that glass, plus marble and wood tables and a low ceiling (with yellow ‘waffle’ design) mean the acoustics are terrible. D&W is open 24/7, so breakfast or late-night snacks are further possibilities.
Venue says Join us after hours for new late night dishes, unique cocktails and perfect sunrise views everyday from 11:30PM - 5AM
A little known fact: Tony Kitous’s cheap and cheerful Middle Eastern franchise, Comptoir Libanais, set up shop two decades ago, but it also has an older, more seductive sister. Hidden just off Devonshire Square, Kenza is flanked by a bodyguard (with possibly the sweetest security gig in the city), flickering flames and an entrance that’s more Arabic nobility than your average Liverpool Street alley. Leave London cynicism behind and let yourself be wooed by the twirling mosaic-covered staircase and rose-petal-scattered water features, as it leads down to a dining space that you may genuinely struggle to leave. A dark wooden lattice divider separates the bar and restaurant areas, which are fashioned like an upmarket souk, with striped silken furnishings and twinkling Moroccan lanterns. It’s just the right level of opulent-kitsch and on our Saturday night visit was packed with chic, merry groups of all ages. As for the food, it’s home-style Lebanese meant for sharing – we opted for the mashawy feast menu, comprising seven mezze plates, lamb meshwi, shish taok and lamb kofta on a mountain of rice, with a tiered platter of fresh fruit, baklava, Turkish delight and mint tea. First came fresh, hot pitta spiked with nigella seeds for dipping in buttery smooth houmous (they peel the chickpeas first), a rich umami moutabal (fried aubergine dip) and koosa bil tahina, a cooling blend of fried courgettes, yoghurt and garlic. More arrived as soon as we scooped up the last of the dip holy
They say it’s the early bird that catches the worm, and this bright and breezy Antipodean café – the first to open in the City’s Broadgate Circle restaurant complex – has been working hard to make loyal customers of everyone passing through its doors. Its modern, colourful interior, chirpy staff and loud hip-hop music – plus the quality coffee – certainly shake morning visitors from their stupor. And the pretty food displays, the pleasant terrace overlooking the piazza below, and little touches such as fresh flowers encourage them to linger. The all-day menu ranges from Aussie-rules brekkies such as bacon and egg wraps or broccoli and sweetcorn fritters, to fresh, hearty salads and the sort of filling, protein-rich snacks that go hand in hand with the Australian reputation for healthy living. Think huge ‘power balls’ of meat and pulses, skewers and berry and nut smoothies. There are also plenty of sweet treats ranging from feather-light lamingtons (sponge cake with chocolate and coconut) and slabs of marshmallow-laden rocky road, to broccoli loaf cake and sticky ‘energy balls’. For after-work lingerers, there’s a sizeable drinks list, including cocktails. Beany Green’s founder is a former investment banker, so it’s a good bet that there’s a solid market for healthy fast food in the heart of the City. But in terms of your investment, prices are reassuringly reasonable – a real plus in this part of London.
Stretching across one bendy swathe of multi-storey foodie development Broadgate Circle, the City branch of the Cantonese chain looks a bit like an extremely glamorous spaceship. Designed as one very long room, it creates the illusion, as you walk through, of going on for ever. Obviously it doesn’t: there’s a flowery garden at each end for smoking in. But on our visit, that sense of unreality was heightened by the fact that the hoarding hiding the building site opposite was papered over with fake sky. As in life, the best bit was over before we really knew it was happening: Yauatcha’s sublime venison puffs – tiny parcels of intensely caramelly pastry stuffed with rich, dark meat. Crab dumplings were juicy and translucent, while plump scallop shumai were so wonderfully slippery we actually dropped one. Other plates underwhelmed: hand-pulled noodles were unexpectedly thin, basically your-average-Chinese-takeaway standard; and Yauatcha’s speciality jasmine ribs came dry and caked in a gummy red jelly. There’s a bakery downstairs serving fancy French-Asian patisserie. You can order these to be served at your table (staff are polite and accommodating) and you cannot leave without eating the chocolate pebble: a smooth globe of brownie, crunchy cocoa nibs and squirty chocolate liquid. It’s possible to eat extremely well here, if you mostly stick to dim sum and puds. Much like that papery, building-site sky, the mains looked swisher than they actually were.
Japan, Brazil and Peru come together here. That’s not an eye-opener these days, but the entrance to this expensive New York import is. Take the glass elevator that clings to the side of Heron Tower, shoot up 38 floors in a few stomach-flipping seconds, then walk into a bar from which you can practically browse workers’ emails in the Gherkin. Go on through to the double-height glasshouse of a restaurant, with its magnificent bamboo-lattice ceiling, and your table will likely face north across Spitalfields towards Alexandra Palace or east over Stepney and out to Essex. Allow time to drink in your surroundings, and maybe a cocktail or seasonal saké, while perusing a menu that will need deciphering by your well-drilled waiter, peppered as it is with terms such as ‘tiradito’, ‘taquito’, ‘moqueca’ and ‘chicharrons’. It’s all tough visual competition for a plate of food, but the sushi does its damnedest to catch the eye with cloaks of red or green yuba (soybean curd skin). Rather than leave all the fillings to battle it out in one big, bursting-at-the-seams futomaki, the Samba London roll makes a starlet of each one (crab, tuna, salmon, yellowtail, prawn, scallop, beef, avocado) by placing it on a rice-slice pedestal. With that view – impressive in daylight, awesome by night – this is a special-occasion destination; they get a lot of birthday bookings.
Venue says Our Samba Set Menu is perfect for a quick business lunch or early dinner. Pick any 3 dishes and enjoy them with our spectacular City views.
An offshoot of Westminster's Cinnamon Club, the Indian fine dining institution.
A British restaurant that specialises in beef, near Liverpool Street Station.
The Old Bengal Warehouse was built in the eighteenth century for the East India Company. Over the last couple of years it’s undergone a massive renovation to create two spanking new bars and two expense-account restaurants. There’s the New Street Grill (meat), the Fish Market restaurant (yup, fish) and the New Street Wine Shop (an off-licence plus wine bar) – but our favourite bit is the Old Bengal Bar, which is by far the most fun and frivolous of the foursome. New Street, a cul-de-sac directly opposite the main sluice into Liverpool Street Station, surprisingly contains a secluded high-walled courtyard that forms the Old Bengal Bar’s garden. The bouncer, greeter, waiting staff and bartenders were all notably welcoming on our visit, allowing us to admire the comfy outdoor seating and custom-made awnings before we dashed inside to recover from all that fresh air. The East India Company monpolised the opium trade in Bengal during the eighteenth century, trafficking the drug to China. The bar’s designer has used this heritage as the inspiration for the low-lit interior, as dark as an opium den, save for a few red highlights: the leather-bound menus and the banquettes, more Shanghai than Calcutta. The well-stocked and mirrored back bar is beautifully lit, displaying a fine collection of bottles; a far wall is also mirrored, with concealed doors leading to the loos. The music’s not too loud and is suitably ambient. The cocktail list is long and well considered, divided by spir
Ed and Tom Martin's Sloane Square spot gets a sister venue over on Broadgate Circle.
Walking into Broadgate Circle on a warm summer evening is like entering a gladiatorial arena. The roar from the City folk is a shock; pushing your way through is a feat. Thankfully, things get a lot more civilised inside José Pizarro’s new restaurant. The Extremaduran chef is a master of hospitality: his Bermondsey Street tapas bar, José, is the kind of gem you’d wish to stumble upon while in Spain; while his larger, smarter Pizarro restaurant just a few doors down manages to be a destination venue that has a neighbourhood feel. This third venture is not as big as you might expect for a City flagship. Clever design hides the awkward layout: a high communal table separates the long bar from the blue-grey dining room. JP is slick, but that’s not to say it lacks heart. Our waitress sat at the table to take our order, and Pizarro himself grabbed a bite with friends. The food is quick to arrive and thoroughly delicious: gooey croquetas; tender, paprika-sprinkled octopus; crisp-edged fried egg with grilled asparagus and romesco sauce; sardines cooked in oil and served in a tin; and juicy prawn buñuelos (stuffed and fried dough balls). José Pizarro offers sherry and cava to whet the appetite as well as a selection of Spanish-style G&Ts – perfect for quaffing on the terrace. The well-explained wine list offers lots by the glass and carafe. The City JP does nothing startlingly different from its two branches. But in its own arena, it entertains the crowds better than Russell Cro
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