Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Lyle's

Gold Award

Occupying a ubiquitous spot opposite Shoreditch High Street station, and having held a Michelin star for most of its life, Lyle’s might give the impression of a restaurant that’s trying its very best to be noticed. Inside, however, is a scene of coolness itself, with white-washed walls, industrial air vents and soaring ceilings reminiscent of its roots as a tea warehouse in a former life. There’s a large open kitchen at one end, and a bar at the other, while spindly, old-fashioned wooden chairs fill the airy space. Maybe it’s the Nordic, neutral vibe, the uber-chilled staff, or the humungous windows that soak the room in natural light, but we feel an immense sense of serenity sitting here.

Dinner is a single, six-course taster of fashionably brief descriptions that bely the level of mastery behind each dish. Things being with a series of snacks, including a gorgeous bite of smooth, game liver pate and sticky damson jam on sourdough toast. Next, girolles steeped in butter (made in-house), with a velvety yolk, intensely tangy plums and the crunch of something fatty and deep-fried. A pan-fried scallop served with a brown butter lobster sauce is stratospherically delicious – an unworldly mingling of salty, toffee-toned, silky flavours that words alone cannot sufficiently describe. There is perfectly seasoned seabass with lemony courgettes, and pink, pan-fried duck paired with bold bass notes of cherry and beetroot. Dessert is a toffee-like honey cake, with a jammy black fig and ricotta ice cream. Everything is nothing short of tremendous.

On another visit, we’d love to make a dent in the comprehensive wine list, although on this occasion we opt for the non-alcoholic pairing, which turned out to be one of the most fun and insightful drinks offerings we’ve ever encountered. A combination of kombuchas, sparkling teas, and fermented juices are constructed with care and intent, from a sprightly lemon verbena and elderflower kombucha, to a lusciously sweet concoction of new-season strawberries steeped in rose tea.

The menu comes in at shy of £100 per person before drinks, but it's well worth every penny. Lyle's remains one of London's finest restaurants to date. 

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Cool, Fine dining, Quiet conversation, Romantic
One Michelin star, SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Dates, Romantic, Special occasions


The aim of Lyle’s is simple: to ensure British food has a place in this day and age. This Michelin-starred London restaurant offers a ‘micro-seasonal’ daily menu, celebrating whichever ingredients that are fresh and available that day. Matching the trendy surroundings of Shoreditch, this pared-back space was once a factory for Lipton’s tea. Wooden tables and chairs, large windows and simple lighting adorn the white-walled space. Clearly, this is a place where the food speaks for itself.

Due to the ever-changing menu, you likely won’t know what’s on the menu until you arrive. But you can expect simple, elegant dishes using only the finest British produce. There is typically a mixture of familiar flavours like anchovy, cider or chard and less familiar tastes like crab apple, ewe’s cheese or quince. Top-quality meat features at Lyle’s too, but this is certainly a vegetarian-friendly place.

Previous vegetable dishes at Lyle’s have been combinations like Tema artichoke, chard and preserved lemon or radicchio with apple and Berkswell cheese. Seafood is handled with care, paired with the likes of sweet oroblanco and smoked roe or sea beet and seaweed broth. Meat is typically paired with somewhat punchier flavours, such as dried winter tomato and black pepper or liver and broccoli.

Desserts at Lyle’s are certainly not to be missed with previous creations like blood orange and panela sugar millefeuille, bee pollen ice cream with pear and meringue or caramel ice cream with expresso.

At lunch, there are choices of dishes, but in the evening this is not the case. Instead, you hand the reigns over to James Lowe and the team (there is still a vegetarian menu to opt for). The primarily European wine list is refined, with a fair few options by the glass before you get onto the big hitters. Aperitifs, beers, ciders and non-alcoholic options are also available.


Does the restaurant have a Michelin star?

Yes, it has one Michelin star.

Helpful? 0

Are there vegetarian options?

Yes, there is always an entirely vegetarian menu.

Helpful? 0

Is there a lunch menu?


Helpful? 0


The Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, London, E1 6JJ

020 3011 5911 020 3011 5911


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue 12:00-21:00
Wed 12:00-21:00
Thu 12:00-21:00
Fri 12:00-21:00
Sat 12:00-21:00
Sun Closed


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9 Reviews 

Nick S

24 March 2024   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Best meal in town

The food, atmosphere, service, concept and venue were all incredible. Easily one of the best meals I've ever had. 

Monica W

12 March 2024   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 3
Value 3
Slightly disappointed

Food was very nice but very small portions, so you need to order more which adds to the cost. My favourite was the hogget which was beautifully tender, juicy and flavoursome. Teal was disappointing- meat was tough. The oysters, scallops and razor clams were nice but I had food poisoning from the seafood.  However my lunch companion had exactly the same thing and he was fine.  Guess I was unlucky. 

Jean T

28 December 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

A beautiful restaurant serving food with amazing flavours, accompanied by a carefully selected wine list and served by knowledgeable, friendly staff

Andy H

27 December 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

The place for a special occasion. It's not cheap, but it's worth every penny.

Thomas C

26 July 2019  
Never have I been to a place which manages to be so stripped back yet so refined. What you are left with is incredible food, stylish decor, attentive staff. The choreography of the menu is not like any other, each course is a surprise, a contrast from the last and at the same time exactly what you want. Lyle's makes some of the most modern west end restaurants look snooty in their own right. I love it.

Nadia K

02 July 2019  
Delicious, seasonal food, lovely dairy dining room, great music and ambience. Excellent value set meal too.

Stuart D

27 June 2018  
Best place in London for lunch.

Owen B

24 June 2014  
Food & Drink 5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4
Value 4.5
In the middle of Shoreditch, in the Tea building, is James Lowe & John Ogier's new restaurant, Lyles. They originally met having worked together at St.John's Bread and Wine, and on walking in the influence is apparent with a simple whitewashed, modest, open plan room that includes the kitchen. It is a huge contrast to the image conscious Boxpark opposite. With 3 aperitifs and 6 courses, the set menu is testament to sourcing of quality seasonal produce with many different cuts and offal used no doubt contributing to the good value. For dinner, except for a vegetarian option, there is no option other than the set menu at £39. If you want to pick and choose go at lunch time where most dishes here, and more, are available. Not satisfied with just lunch and dinner, Lyles is set to be an all day affair with their own coffee bar and pastries open early aswell. While we pondered over the lengthy wine list (with 20 reds and 20 whites there is quite a choice), a plate of sourdough and some rather good in-house made butter was brought out. Although yet to start their own bread, the sourdough tonight was from another ex-St.John's of Bread Ahead, considered by many one of the best bakeries in the city, so not a bad back up! First up was the appetizers; anchovy on toast, asparagus and walnut mayo, and blood cake with damson and chicory. The anchovies poised on little sourdough toast soldiers had a really intense powerful flavour, rather too overpowering for my tastes especially for the first bites. The asparagus with walnut mayonnaise was about as good as fresh veg gets. The gritty and moreish walnut mayo gave it that extra dimension, like a refined peanut butter. It could be a campaign to get kids (and adults) to eat more greens if it was spread with this. Next was the bitesize blood cake, damson, and chicory, the best of the bunch. The cake was light with that familiar taste of black pudding with a bit of sweet fruitness from the damson and the crunch of the chicory. The sharing of the starters reflects the laid back, simple approach to Lyles, stripping back the pretense other refined dining experiences. The first main starter was nettle soup with cured pig cheek and pheasant egg. The nettle soup had flavour as vivid and pronounced as the striking green colour. Breaking the egg oozed out the yolk into the nettle giving it more richness Unashamedly I wiped the bowl with my remaining bread, it was that good. How uncouth! The lamb sweetbread came with yet more greenery of of braised lettuce and a ransom sauce. The ransom sauce was thankfully quite subtle not overpowering the sweetbread which was cooked beautifully with a nice char on the outside while still soft in the middle. No doubt their will be an awful lot of offal in this place (..groan). A really enjoyable dish, again showcasing what can be done with just a few ingredients. A couple of days before going to Lyles I read this fascinating piece by James on aging of not only beef, but white meat and fish. If you haven't read it take a look here, it'll change some preconceptions you may have. I can't wait to try that aged chicken if that description is anything to go by. It's great that they have the space to have such control over many elements of the produce, and willingness to experiment with even the aging process. That strive to go outside normal convention really will set it apart. This really comes through on the dishes, none more so than the dover sole. Having been aged for 5 days, instead of being flakey as you would expect for fish, it was alot more denser, like bacalhau, with some elasticity that you wouldn't expect and yet still soft once chewed with much more intense flavour than normal sole. You'll just have to try for yourself, I've not had anything like it. The cider butter gave it an almost sticky texture in the mouth. While the baked Riseley was a little too rich and heavy for my liking, and I had enough bread by this point, never have I been so enamoured by a bunch of leaves before. A bowl of delights, with great texture and flavours, some giving a powerful peppery punch, and very nicely topped off with apple juice. An unexpected, simple pleasure that makes me look at salad in a new light. At £39 for food of this quality is exceptional value. This is refined, but simple food, complexity is not added where it is not needed. With so few ingredients in each dish, flavours of each are dialled up to 11, that for the most part works exceptionally, bar that initial anchovy. While only their opening night, FOH were very pleasant, although it seems some had yet to find their voice. A shame that people should mumble when describing such good dishes. With their background, the set menu, use of offal and the minimalist set up it would be too easy to call Lyles a cross between St.John's & Clove Club, however it is very much an individual, and I struggle to think of another place like it in London. Book now before the word gets out, it could well become another place booked out for months.

Nigel S

16 May 2014  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
This is clearly operated by a group of interesting and enthusiastic professionals, I had a very quick lunch, but managed three courses of brilliantly executed little mouthfuls of wonderment, was shown two lovely wines by the glass and got a charming education in coffee – if you get the treatment I got your in for a treat. It might be quite stylish, but its all about the product.
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