London, WC2R 2ND ·Website ·Call020 3930 8592

SquareMeal Review of Toklas

Everyone knows that in order to achieve peak coolness, it must be done totally effortlessly, a requirement that Toklas understands to a tee. The spacious dining room is boldly unembellished and feels a little like an urban-style canteen. Aside from a few widely-spaced wooden tables that just about fill the space, there’s little else to add. This is low-intervention dining at its very purest. It’s not a bad thing and, actually, we respect the confidence that comes with such a low-effort (read: cool) approach. Even the staff who served our table all evening seemed understated in a polite and calm sort of way. 

The menu is as you’d expect: concise, simple and mostly familiar. In true Mediterranean style, Toklas bases each plate around a few simple ingredients cooked really well. Such stripped-back cooking requires every element to be faultless in execution, however, a standard that even the best restaurants in the UK struggle to meet. That’s not to say Toklas’ food isn’t delicious. Torn hunks of mozzarella are paired with crunchy shards of celery and salt-imbued anchovies, while velvety spring onions with a chunky romesco, roasted almonds and crème fraiche demonstrates an excellent understanding of texture and seasoning. For two cold starters, they managed to be exciting and gratifying.  

Mains were good, with a meaty piece of monkfish served on a bed of bulbous butter beans and miso-rich greens delivering salty and slightly smoky flavour. What we struggled with was the prices. The monkfish alone, which for all intents and purposes was fish and beans, came in at a whopping £30, and that’s before you’ve reached the wine list, which are all natural by the way, and start at £28 for the cheapest white. 

The desserts, however, are priced at their worth, and included a perfect triangle of mousse-like chocolate cake, plus an intensely zingy lemon tart with a custardy middle and short pastry case. Oh, they were good. Don’t visit Toklas expecting anything new, but for confidently classic cooking in an unpretentious - for it is unpretentious - setting, Toklas is your ticket.  

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cool, Unique
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Food Hygiene Rating

About Toklas

Toklas London is a cafe, bakery and grocery store, centrally located just a short walk from Temple underground station, it is also within easy reach of both Covent Garden and Holborn making it a great place to stop off for a pre-theatre meal. 

Toklas has a bright and contemporary interior, it is open from Tuesday to Saturday serving dinner, and lunch from Wednesday to Saturday. The bar is open from 6pm. If you’re visiting Toklas you will find a selection of freshly made breads, pastries and sandwiches served from 8am. You will also find plenty of fresh fruit and veg, homewares and tinned goods in the shop. 

Lunch dishes vary daily depending on what has been freshly made, however an example of the dishes you may find for lunch include grilled mackerel with chickpeas, chermoula and peppers, and a Swiss chard tart, followed by salted caramel ice cream. If you’re visiting Toklas for dinner you will find a varied and seasonal menu. You may find dishes such as grilled langoustines made with garlic, chilli and lemon, or perhaps you’ll go for a mussel and monkfish stew made with chickpeas and aioli. Other dishes on the menu include fettuccine with buffalo butter and parmesan, and a smoked eel dish made with leeks and horseradish.

If you’re looking for desserts you will find plenty of tempting sounding dishes, perhaps you’ll go for the chocolate pudding pie, or the quince and almond tart served with creme fraiche. There is also a cheese option, plus fresh tea, herbal tea and coffee. Look out for plenty of unique seasonal dishes and specials served throughout the year at Toklas; perhaps you’ll go for their traditional German Christmas bread, or the cinnamon and citrus rice pudding tart. You will also find a good selection of sourdough on offer, the perfect treat on your way home from work. Small and large tables are welcome at Toklas however booking is essential for large groups. 


Can I book a pre-theatre dinner at Toklas?

Yes, there's a pre-theatre menu. You just have to let the kitchen know when your show is due to start so that they can serve you in good time.

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1 Surrey Street, Temple, London, WC2R 2ND

020 3930 8592


Opening Times

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


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