Whilst dining in The City isn’t to everyone’s taste, one can’t deny that restaurants in London’s financial district are some of the most visually interesting around. With so many historical buildings to choose from, restaurants can be found in the most inconspicuous yet spectacular of settings. Restaurants like Greens, situated on the mezzanine level of the old Lloyds bank and Sauterelle in the Royal Exchange are great examples.
Most recently, we visited 1 Lombard Street, a stunning restaurant set in a Grade II listed neo-classical building outside Bank. It’s impossible not to be impressed by the incredible domed ceiling shadowing the circular bar, whilst the high ceilings and intricate architecture create an air of occasion that simply can’t be imitated. So when choosing the location for a Valentine’s meal, 1 Lombard Street was one of the obvious choices.
Having opened in 1998, the venue has become a firm favourite for The City crowd. With a bar, brasserie and fine-dining restaurant to choose from 1 Lombard Street is ideal for everything from long lunches and business breakfasts to some very good cocktails at the bar.
The brasserie menu keeps things simple, with dishes like Coq au Vin, Cumberland sausages and Paella for reasonable prices (around £12 for mains). However, the real magic happens in the fine-dining area, where Chef Herbert Berger is really let off the leash.
In contrast to the striking and expansive brasserie and bar area, the fine-dining restaurant is an altogether cosier affair. Comfortable chairs, thick carpet and warm autumnal colours make the room feel like you’re in the drawing room of a traditional country manor.
The menu provides an array of unashamedly exquisite ingredients, all beautifully prepared with a few interesting twists along the way. Langoustine cappuccino with white truffle oil set a luxurious tone for things to come. Caramelised scallops with Thai aubergine caviar, ginger, wasabi, lime & coriander demonstrated a delicate touch, whilst the Seared foie gras with dark chocolate & balsamic vinaigrette was sheer decadence on a plate. Equally impressive was the perfectly cooked Fillet of Angus beef with black truffle, bathed in a full-flavoured, yet light Madeira & Cognac sauce. Our shared dessert of Nougatine with rich chocolate cream & sharp raspberry puree was so good that we wouldn’t be surprised if couples split up over it!
Cuisine type: European
Meal for two (excluding drinks): £100
1 Lombard Street Restaurant & Bar
1 Lombard Street,
London, EC3V 9AA
Tel: 020 7929 6611