Seasonal menus with global influences are many a mouthful: so when you think you’ve heard it all before, it’s reassuring to know St Leonards in east London is a place serving umami-focused plates that inspire ravenous fork to mouth action. From rich custardy foie gras paired with delicately smoked eel to zingy, chubby oysters that reign solo, the carefully considered dishes are moreish, punchy and provocative. No surprise then that the chef duo is Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke from Vauxhall’s esteemed Brunswick House. While their first notable restaurant is a classic and traditional fit-out, the Shoreditch sibling site is industrial and underdressed. A spectacle of chic polished concrete and ocre hessian banquettes can understandably incite ‘same old same old’ expectations, but don’t be so quick: St Leonards neighbourhood eatery is produce-focused and grown-up; boldly imaginative and fiercely flavourful.
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