Loyal Tavern
Loyal Tavern
Loyal Tavern
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SquareMeal Review of Loyal Tavern

Silver Award

After spending a few years 40 floors above London heading up the kitchen at 24/7 big hitter Duck & Waffle, chef Tom Cenci has come back down to earth at Loyal Tavern, although it’s safe to say he’s landed on his feet.

The first thing you’ll get a sense of when walking into the split-level space is just how cosy Loyal Tavern is. Soft lighting, cosy booths and rustic furnishings all add to its sense of charm, and this welcoming feel is only enhanced by the sweet-natured and knowledgeable staff. Don’t be fooled into thinking that Loyal Tavern is a twee gastropub though, as this tavern is turning out some seriously dynamic food.

You can go for the traditional three courses or, as we did, share the menu, though be aware that the food arrives as and when it’s ready, which did occasionally leave us with a pile up of plates to try and polish off before they all got cold.

What we did manage to eat in time though, we loved. A duo of plump and finely spiced lamb skewers were successfully paired with a minty aioli, while a deconstructed cheese toastie saw a bubbling lava of Montgomery Cheddar topped with black truffle shavings, resulting in the perfect combination of indulgence and luxury.

The standout dish, though, was a bowl of buttermilk-poached cod, which was equal parts comforting and robust. The silky fish practically melted on the tongue, while small flashes of heat from the nduja stopped the dish from tasting bland.

Desserts were simpler than we’d have expected from a chef as ambitious as Cenci, but they still did the job. A warm and gooey chocolate brownie was topped with vanilla ice cream, while banana bread came slathered with mascarpone frosting and a dusting of cutesy edible flowers.

The bar is overseen by Antonio Del Monte (formerly at The Ned), and serves up a wine list which champions natural British bottles, but there are also draught beers and cocktails. Loyal Tavern may not be open 24/7 like Cenci’s previous kitchen, but it does stay open until 1.30am on the weekends if you’re in the mood for a late-night snifter.

About Loyal Tavern

This restaurant on the old Village East site in Bermondsey is the first solo project of former Duck & Waffle chef, Tom Cenci. The chef is opening in partnership with Village East’s owners the House Café Group, which is headed up by Adam White and also operates Rail House Café in Victoria and Riding House Café in Fitzrovia.

Now going by the name of Loyal Tavern, the restaurant serves an ingredients-led menu which champions the best of seasonal British produce. The menus are constantly evolving, but you might expect to find the likes of venison tartare with beef dripping, and Cornish mackerel with apple, pine nuts and black truffle shavings. Daily specials, meanwhile, might include gurnard in a crab bisque, served with carrot and seaweed.

The bar at Loyal Tavern is overseen by Antonio Del Monte, who has come from Soho House’s City of London hotel and dining complex, The Ned. Del Monte has put together a wine list which majors in natural, new world and British bottles, while guests are also able to enjoy wine flights in 50ml, 175ml and 500ml measures, which can be sampled with or without the food. For those who don’t fancy wine, there’s a selection of cocktails, including punch bowls to share.

Loyal Tavern also benefits from staying open until 1.30am. To make the most of the late licence, the restaurant and bar runs ‘Loyal Up Late’, when guests can enjoy fun cocktails and other drinks alongside late-night snacks of cheese toasties.  

Speaking about the restaurant, Tom Cenci said: “We strongly believe in the quality of produce that we use and where it comes from, with simple, rustic comfort food. We want Loyal Tavern to be a local restaurant that not only Bermondsey is proud of but London, too.”

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Modern European
Cool, Cosy, Dark and moody, Lively
Food Occasions
Bottomless brunch, Dinner, Late night dining, Lunch

Loyal Tavern is featured in

Best restaurants in South London

This venue also offers

Loyal Tavern
Private Group Dining

Location for Loyal Tavern

171-173 Bermondsey Street, Bermondsey, London, SE1 3UW

020 7260 2560


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu 12:00-15:00
Fri 12:00-15:00
Sat Closed
Sun Closed
Mon 18:00-23:30
Tue 18:00-23:30
Wed 18:00-23:30
Thu 18:00-23:30
Fri 18:00-01:30
Sat 18:00-01:30
Sun 18:00-23:30
All day
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat 09:00-16:00
Sun 09:00-16:00

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