Modern European·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Perilla

Silver Award

One only needs to stroll past Perilla early on a Tuesday evening to see the stylish dining room teeming with regulars. It’s a Swiss army knife of a restaurant; romantic but great for groups, buzzy but not too loud, inventive but not too experimental. The food is by no means cheap, but neither are ingredients of this quality. Besides, the prices here include service, which is prompt and amicable.

Even Perilla’s bread is famous, and by no means overhyped. Its sharp crust, fluffy innards and lashings of brown butter quickly have us entranced. Having located the cutlery drawers on each side of the table, we eagerly await more mastery. Soon, cabbage and sorrel are piled into a featherweight vol-au-vent, with a moat of brown butter hollandaise to spike the heap with energy. Elsewhere, some mushrooms are pressed into croquettes, while others become the rich sauce atop them. It’s elegant yet playful, complex yet effortless. Even the drinks - a hot honey margarita, in particular - embody this theme.

Other dishes push this even further, with varying levels of success. An all-star line-up of mackerel, oyster, beetroot and salmon roe jostle on a girder of rosti and, while undoubtedly delicious and picturesque, the ensemble ends up feeling a touch chaotic. The finale of whole baked bream, however, is a rip-roaring success, stuffed with spicy-sweet red peppers, wrapped in vine leaves and topped with softened red grapes. The epilogue of this riveting narrative comes as a quenelle of the greenest green: Granny Smith and soft herb sorbet. Like much of what we eat here, it is fresh, bursting with flavour and utterly mesmerising.

Perilla was opened with the aim of becoming a special neighbourhood restaurant with a loyal following. Almost exactly six years later, to say this goal was achieved would be a gross understatement. We just wish it was our local.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Modern European
Cool, Lively, Romantic, Unique
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Dates, Romantic, Special occasions


Pitched as an ‘anti-fine dining restaurant’, Perillo, located in Newington Green, serves high-quality food without any unnecessary frills or fuss. Ben Marks and Matt Emmerson’s joint venture opened with the aim of becoming a neighbourhood gem where everyone from bustling groups to couples looking for a romantic date spot felt at home. Mission accomplished. Using seasonal ingredients to create a series of Modern European dishes, alongside house cocktails and interesting wines, the duo have managed to nail this tried-and-tested formula bang on the head.

Interiors lean towards a cool and minimalistic aesthetic, featuring plaster walls, wooden tables and chairs and the odd pot plant providing a hint of colour amidst a sea of beige tones. One window-lined wall ensures the space remains bright and airy throughout the day, offering views over leafy Newington Green just outside.

The menu changes daily and with the seasons – always a good sign – and offers diners the choice between either a la carte or a tasting menu. While prices may seem a little high, the menu acknowledges this with a note explaining that service is included in the price of each dish and bottle of wine, so as to guarantee its staff fair wages.

The tasting menu includes around five courses, while its regular menu is designed to be shared. Examples of dishes might include its famous Perilla sourdough with brown butter, mackerel tartare with salmon roe, poached oyster and horseradish on potato rosti, and a cauliflower mushroom carbonara. To finish, think an apple and quince tarte fine.

Cocktails are made using botanical, home-infused ingredients, and feature twists-on-a-classic, such as a Hot Honey Margarita made with Mezcal, hot honey and lime. While wines change daily and are available by the glass, carafe or bottle.


How do I book?

Reservations can be made via the website or over the phone. A few tables at the bar and on communal tables are reserved for walk-ins.

Helpful? 0

Does it accommodate dietary requirements?

Simply let the team know beforehand and they will do their best to accommodate you.

Helpful? 0


1-3 Green Lanes, Canonbury, London, N16 9BS

020 7359 0779 020 7359 0779


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri 12:30-14:30
Sat 12:30-14:30
Sun Closed
Mon Closed
Tue 18:00-22:00
Wed 18:00-22:00
Thu 18:00-22:00
Fri 18:00-22:00
Sat 18:00-22:00
Sun 12:30-18:30


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8 Reviews 

Serena K

24 November 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Fantastic neighbourhood restaurant with innovative, modern food and regularly changing menus.  It's low key and relaxed and staff are charming.  Great natural focused wine list too.

Stephen D

11 November 2021  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 3
Value 4
Excellent neighbourhood restaurant

geniunely surprised by how good this restaurant is. My one small criticism - and it is small - is that the restaurant was very busy and a bit too noisy as a result. But that's because the food and service is so good that they are bound to be busy for a long time to come. the greek salad is a wonderfully inventive dish that defies the very understated description and really stood out for me. Good wine list and attentive staff made for a very good evening and i'll defnitely return (if i can get a table).


Dennis H

26 July 2019  
Imaginative food without going too experimental, team led by Ben Marks are a delight and very much in the image of Ben himself. Good range of wines that are fairly priced. A joy from start to finish.

olly S

08 July 2019  
Just fantastic, simple and very tasty food & wine.

Geraint L

02 July 2019  
Delicious and unusual dishes. Great wine list and friendly services. A small restaurant so need to book but there are two sittings.

Serena K

28 June 2019  
Interesting, intelligent cooking and a regular changing menu coupled with a diverse and heavily organic/biodynamic/natural wine list makes this an excellent choice for lunch or dinner. Ostensibly it's a neighbourhood restaurant with a relaxed friendly feel, but the food really catapults the experience into something special - excellent value too.

Jens B

29 March 2019  
Innovative food, great service, laid-back atmosphere, very competitively priced.

Serena K

02 July 2018  
Innovative, exciting modern British cooking with "new Nordic" influences, the chef really knows what he is doing and his passion and enthusiasm along with that of the rest of the staff really shines through. Great low intervention wine list, warm and welcoming front of house and a lovely relaxed vibe.
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