Lyle’s — London, UK
It’s been three years since James Lowe left his position as head chef at St John Bread & Wine, and in addition to cooking around the globe as part of the Young Turks - a collective of ambitious chefs who also brought us London restaurants Clove Club and Upstairs at the Ten Bells - he has also been looking for a site for his own set up ever since. Enter Lyle’s, his new 50-seater restaurant fronting the Bethnal Green Road side of Shoreditch’s Tea Building. The interiors are calmly utilitarian, with poured concrete flooring, maximum natural light and nods to the 1930s and 40s: Crittall windows, Ercol chairs and the sans-serif logo. Plates are from Hackney ceramicist Owen Wall, royal-blue aprons are by London textile designer Alexandra Mann, and NYC artist Alice Waese designed the labels for the bespoke Trill Farm hand washes. The food is unpretentious and brilliant. Expect lots of wood-burning oven and charcoal grill action, and only the dreamiest British produce: smoked eel and horseradish; the fattest asparagus with walnut mayonnaise; cabbage, plump mussels and seaweed; aged Dover sole; and rhubarb and custard.