The term seasonal is thrown around with gay abandon, but truly authentic menus that thoughtfully reflect the bounty of each month are harder to find. Flor – we’re pleased to report – has an authenticity in its offering.
During our July visit plates smacked of summer hedgerows and the bounty of land and sea. Thoughtfully pared back dishes present clean, clear flavour profiles; like in a cucumber salad which cleverly disguises a pile of soft cheese and is dressed with both the acidity and sweetness of gooseberries and elderflowers. The bakery downstairs politely provides warm, crusty bread to mop up the final scrapings. Delicious.
Other standout plates included butter-soft pigeon with a sweet and sticky fig caponata, and a bowl of mild sheep’s ricotta topped with a rich nettle oil, accompanied by a buttery, crisp-edged nettle bun which relinquished its steam when broken and made the perfect little scoop for the cheese. Getting stuck in with your hands seemed to perfectly reflect the wider ethos at Flor.
Here things feel relaxed, despite the kitchen’s Michelin starred credentials (Flor is the little sister site to critically acclaimed Lyle’s in Shoreditch). Staff are warm, friendly, and knowledgeable, making wine pairing simple with their suggestions. Herbaceous, grown-up cocktails also ensure non-drinkers are well catered for and there’s a lively buzz about the place.
The restaurant’s location in Borough Market has dictated its slightly upmarket industrial interiors. Downstairs there’s a busy, open kitchen with counter seating, while upstairs large warehouse-style window, comfy banquette seating and rattan accents bring a contemporary but pleasingly simple aesthetic.
Oddly – for somewhere with a top-class bakery – we weren’t mad about the puddings, but all was forgiven when two glasses of apricot-rich dessert wine appeared. It’s amazing what a glass of sweet nectar can do for your mood.
Plate-scrapingly good sharing plates, homemade ferments, unusual wines, charming service and a low-lit dining room combine to make Flor the perfect spot to have in your restaurant repetoir for when you're looking to impress.