With its burly bouncers and vowel-rationed moniker (pronounced ‘District’), you might expect some attitude and pretentious posing at this basement restaurant on the tackier, Chinatown side of Shaftesbury Avenue. However, there are no airs and graces in the sunken, black dining room, just charming, smiley staff and chefs joshing at the cold station of the open kitchen. The menu offers most types of sharing plates, from charcuterie platters and sustainable caviar spreads to various modern European combos – notably seared scallops with smooth saffron and pumpkin purée, char-grilled broccolini with creamy burrata, and plump, meaty sea bass with char-grilled baby fennel. Not everything works, and over-enthusiastic seasoning needs keeping in check, but post-work groups in party mode should enjoy the smooth transition from cocktails via dinner to the venue’s after-hours club.
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