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
££££ - £50 - £79
Cool, Unique, Widely spaced tables
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Terrace
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Celebrations, Dates, Romantic
Food Hygiene Rating


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 offers bright and contemporary interiors with a spacious urban-style dining room and open kitchen. While a large outdoor terrace featuring an awning and lots of terracotta plant pots create a relaxing garden-like feel. Next door in its very own bakery, you'll find a selection of freshly made breads, pastries and sandwiches made daily. While plenty of fresh fruit and veg, homewares and tinned goods are available from the shop. 

The ever-changing menu celebrates simple dishes and exceptional produce cooked to the best of the kitchen team's ability. You won't find anything that reinvents the wheel - just fresh ingredients cooked really well. Nibbles, starters, mains and desserts comprise the menu. Kick things off with the likes of salted almonds and sourdough made in-house. Starters might include grilled mackerel with radicchio, or buffalo mozzarella with delica pumpkin and chicory. Mains range from a pork chop with marsala, sage and rainbow chard, to a hearty Tuscan soup. 

Do leave room for dessert, which includes a tempting array of things like a lemon and bergamot tart, or torta di noci (hazelnut cake) with zabaione ice cream.  There is also a cheese option, plus fresh tea, herbal tea and coffee. 

The wine list features an array of natural wines, with small-scale producers taking centre stage. Expect a carefully-selected line-up from all over the globe, including orange/skin contact varieties for the more adventurous.


Can I book a pre-theatre dinner?

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.

Helpful? 0

When is the bakery open?

The bakery next door is open Tuesday to Friday, 8am-4pm and Saturday, 10am-4pm

Helpful? 0


1 Surrey Street, Temple, London, WC2R 2ND

020 3930 8592 020 3930 8592


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 12:00-15:00
Thu 12:00-15:00
Fri 12:00-15:00
Sat 12:00-15:00
Sun Closed
Mon Closed
Tue 17:30-23:00
Wed 17:30-23:00
Thu 17:30-23:00
Fri 17:30-23:00
Sat 17:30-23:00
Sun Closed


Share your thoughts with other diners

Write a review

1 Review 


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

This restaurant, with head chef Yohei at the helm, is what central London needed! I love the freshness and seasonality of the dishes and find it a really lovely dining room to relax in. 

Book a table

Call Toklas to make a booking on:

020 3930 8592 020 3930 8592

Visit their website

Sorry, you cannot spend SquareMeal vouchers here yet.

Other restaurants we like near Toklas

Check availability