The Nitery by Gizzi Erskine at St Martins Lane London

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Bronze Award

SquareMeal Review of The Nitery by Gizzi Erskine at St Martins Lane London

Bronze Award

This restaurant is now closed, but The Den at St Martins Lane hotel is still open and serves an all-day menu

The dining room at the St Martin’s Lane hotel has undergone a lot of change in recent years. It housed celebrity hotspot Asia de Cuba for two decades, but the restaurant closed its doors for good in 2019. Since then, it’s become St Martin’s Lane Kitchen, a pan-Asian restaurant which hosts occasional residencies.

Currently overseeing the menu is food writer and television personality Gizzi Erskine, who has teamed up with chef Michael Hanbury to create The Nitery, a pop up that is inspired by the Parisian niteries (nightclubs) of the 20th century.

The restrictions of a pop up mean that little has been done in the way of theming, although there are attractive artworks on the walls and an oversized cut-out of a crescent moon by the entrance, presumably to invite Insta-worthy posing.

Erskine’s menu is a celebration of comfort food, drawing on the cuisines of England, France and the US. You might think that broad range of influences represents a kitchen grappling to find its identity, but Erskine’s menu is executed with aplomb by herself and chef Hanbury. This is certainly not the place for virtuous eating, though, with the menu including the likes of dauphinoise potatoes paired with goat cutlets, or steak tartare drizzled with beef dripping and piled onto a slice of toasted brioche.

It’s the kind of restaurant that’s perfect for romantic dinners and cold nights with food that’s comforting, rich and utterly indulgent. To start, we enjoyed plump scallops served swimming in garlic butter, while our main course saw roasted chicken legs wrapped in crispy skin and paired with a mountain of golden shoestring fries to dip into bread sauce.

It should come as little surprise that puddings are as indulgent as the rest of the menu. We were tempted by the crepe Negroni (Erskine’s spin on Suzette) but couldn’t resist the queen of puddings, which provided an appropriately excessive end to our meal, its lid of stiff blow-torched meringue peaks giving way to a sponge soaked in the juices of rhubarb and blood orange.

With its homely menu and amiable staff, The Nitery is well placed to bring back a bit of buzz to this once famous dining haunt.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
International
Ambience
Cosy, Dark and moody, Quiet conversation
Food Occasions
Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
People
Dates, Romantic

About The Nitery by Gizzi Erskine at St Martins Lane London

Replacing the long-standing Asia de Cuba, which closed in March 2019, St Martins Lane Kitchen is a temporary east-meets-west concept which is popping up at St Martins Lane hotel until further notice.

Serving both a fun pan-Asian menu and a classic British menu, St Martins Lane Kitchen showcases a range of South-East Asian dishes alongside much-loved Western comfort food favourites, allowing diners to enjoy the best of both from the comfort of the hotel’s smart dining room. Red leather banquette seating, warm lighting and colour-coded books set the scene for the likes of sesame crusted tuna, duck red curry and blue swimmer crab fried rice, perhaps with a side of Asian greens if you’re dining from the eastern part of the menu. Then again, the setting lends itself just as well to western dishes, including fish and chips, a classic club sandwich or mushroom risotto.

Whether you’ve opted for eastern or western fare for your starter and main, the choice of a classic British or eastern-style dessert remains open to you. Indulgent east-inspired desserts take the form of coconut and lemongrass mousse, and mango and passion fruit tart while the western-style sweets include profiteroles, basil whipped ganache, and a selection of ice creams.

Weekend visitors can enjoy a brunch featuring bottomless Prosecco, Mimosas or Bloody Marys, with dishes ranging from the savoury (egg with halloumi and avocado) to the sweet (pancakes topped with maple syrup and crispy bacon). Considering its proximity to Theatreland, you can also count on good-value pre- and post-theatre dining, with two- and three-course set menus available.

Location for The Nitery by Gizzi Erskine at St Martins Lane London

St Martins Lane Hotel, 45 St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4HX

020 7300 5588

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat Closed
Sun 12:00-16:00
Dinner
Mon 17:00-22:30
Tue 17:00-22:30
Wed 17:00-22:30
Thu 17:00-22:30
Fri 17:00-23:00
Sat 17:00-23:00
Sun Closed

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