Restaurant St Barts

British·
££££
·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Restaurant St Barts

Gold Award

A meal at St Barts starts with a wax-sealed envelope. Within are the 15 courses soon to be embarked upon, each showcasing two key ingredients. We opt to leave the menu as a surprise, blindly putting our faith in the all-star trio who brought us Nest and Fenn. Instead of browsing the line-up, we soak in the space over crisp pickled fennel martinis. Stone floors, candlelight and views of the neighbouring church create a monastic atmosphere. An atmosphere that is only augmented by our first dish: humble but gloriously warming beef broth in an unglazed cup.

While this may all sound a little too solemn, what follows is anything but. Rather than Gregorian chants, the speakers play upbeat neo-soul. Rather than austere, the staff are convivial. And, rather than ascetic, the food is lavish. What’s more, the two key ingredient rule is more of a suggestion. An ‘East End seafood cocktail’, for example, is a brilliant melting pot of whelks, smoked fish, oyster mayo and caviar. When the rule is followed more religiously, as is the case with a goat’s cheese and onion tart, the result is a little one-note (or rather, two-note).

Soon after the canapes, we are led through the space to the main dining room, coming to rest at a table hand-carved from London’s fallen trees. At the room's centre lies a stone altar filled with various bottles, from which circling sommeliers preach their liquid gospel. Here, there is more rhythm to the menu. A seared duck breast with lingonberries and granola, in particular, is a vibrant masterpiece. But, when joined by a hybrid of Pinot Noir and skin-contact Pinot Gris, it is utterly mesmerising. The same can be said for the desserts, with preserved plum, plum stone ice cream and a semi-sweet Jurançon harmonising perfectly.

A visit to Nest or Fenn is always a delight. The £200 pilgrimage to St Barts, however, is a religious experience.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Cuisines
British
Ambience
Cool, Cosy, Fine dining, Glamorous, Luxury, Quiet conversation, Romantic, Traditional, Unique, Widely spaced tables
Other Awards
One Michelin star, SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
People
Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About

From the team behind Fenn in Fulham and Nest in Hackney comes St Barts, a fine dining restaurant offering a British tasting menu experience. Located in London’s Smithfield with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the Church of Bartholomew the Great, the restaurant is brought to east London by long-term friends Johnnie, Luke and Toby where it serves tasting menus exclusively for lunch and dinner.  

The interiors take inspiration from the buildings in the surrounding area, with stone, wood and soft fabrics used in abundance throughout. Bespoke tableware and ceramics are both made in-house, with the former all hand-carved from wood from London Plane trees in keeping with its sustainable ethos. 

The menus are designed to take diners on a journey through the British isles via menus that champion only the best small-scale farmers and producers in the UK. Dining at St Barts is an experience, beginning to end, with diners invited to relax with a drink in the bar before being guided to their table for a multi-course feast.  

Johnnie Crowe occupies the role of executive head chef, with each of the numerous and varied dishes on his tasting menu featuring only two or three ingredients. The menus change regularly in line with its hyper-seasonal concept, but examples might include wagyu beef bellini with Exmoor caviar, native blue lobster with fermented red peppers and British XO sauce, poached cod with preserved Wiltshire truffle and a Hackney honey and lavender dessert.

Meanwhile, the drinks list offers a selection of classic cocktails, local beers, natural cider, premium spirits and a wine list that revolves around low-intervention bottles from artisanal producers. Drinks pairings are available with the menu, featuring unusual combinations like a Portuguese sherry to accompany cod or a skin contact-red hybrid with duck. 


FAQs

Does the restaurant cater for dietary requirements?

Yes, it can cater for dietary restrictions including vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten-free and some allergies. Please give the team seven days notice or more.

Helpful? 0

How much time should I allow for dinner?

The restaurant recommends allowing at least 1.5 hours for lunch and three hours for dinner.

Helpful? 0

Location

63 Bartholomew Close, Barbican, London, EC1A 7BF

020 4547 7985 020 4547 7985

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 12:00-13:30
Thu 12:00-13:30
Fri 12:00-13:30
Sat 12:00-13:30
Sun Closed
Dinner
Mon Closed
Tue 18:00-20:00
Wed 18:00-20:00
Thu 18:00-20:00
Fri 18:00-20:00
Sat 18:00-20:00
Sun Closed

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