While speakeasy bars might be commonplace, secret restaurants haven’t proved as prolific (or perhaps they’re just too well hidden). Giving the Sherlocks among us a run for our money, tucked away under The Blue Posts pub, is Evelyn’s Table - a 12-seat chef’s counter named after Faye Dunaway’s femme fatale in Roman Polanski’s 1974 film Chinatown (which, of course, is where we are).
Running the show now is former HIDE and Adam’s head chef James Goodyear, who fills the size twelves left behind by previous incumbents Luke, Theo and Nat Selby. The brothers Selby scooped a bunch of awards here - not least a debut Michelin star - before taking their talents to Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. It’s no small challenge, but as soon as the first snacks start to arrive, it’s clear that Evelyn’s Table hasn’t dropped the baton here.
Descend down the narrow stairs and you’ll see a sleek marble counter stretched before you, welcoming you with open arms. James greets and preps behind the counter with swan-like serenity, receiving guests into this bougiest of dinner parties. One thing we will say is that the atmosphere is cosy - we wouldn’t recommend going with someone you’re not comfortable sitting very close to for two and a half hours.
Once the first course appears in front of you, any other concerns fall away - a gorgeous tranche of trout, smoked over pine at the table, is a signal of things to come. Goodyear’s cooking is complex but electric, interweaving myriad influences in intriguing layers. There’s a lot going on at times but dishes hang together in perfect equilibrium - for example, a gorgeous main course of duck, which is glazed in lavender honey and served alongside wild mushrooms, pine nut miso, and a shimmering blackcurrant duck sauce.
Evelyn’s Table also offers a half and half pairing of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options - a brilliant idea we expect to see more restaurants doing. Goodyear and team aren’t just filling the shoes of the Selby trio - they’ve taken Evelyn’s Table in an exciting new direction.