A fast-becoming-foodie institution that serves inventive British food at its finest
James Lowe and John Ogier opened Lyle’s in 2014 in a bright, stripped back dining room in Shoreditch’s Tea Building and over the past half decade have secured their restaurant as one of the most progressive and interesting in the capital. At the start of 2021 Ogier stepped away from Lyle’s and the pair’s other London venture Flor leaving Lowe to blaze a solo path.
Lowe spent four years as head chef at British food institution St John Bread and Wine in Spitalfields and he’s continued the tradition with his own restaurant. At Lyle’s, the focus is very much on British cooking with dishes that are simple yet skillful, often using ingredients you’re unlikely to find in many other dining rooms.
The menu changes daily as dictated by the seasons and what Lowe can get his hands on, either from suppliers or what his kitchen team can forage locally, with the lunch menu typically featuring about 14 à la carte starters and mains at lunchtime and five desserts. At dinner there is a change of pace, with a seven-course set menu on offer.
What makes Lyle’s standout is Lowe’s dedication to his craft. There’s an underlying geekiness to his approach that sees him go above and beyond what is typically required of a chef, fastidiously sourcing underused and heritage ingredients and cooking in a style that puts flavour before presentation (not that his dishes look anything other than perfect).
The restaurant also takes game very seriously, with an annual, international chef event that celebrates British game season held every September.