Walking around Farringdon, I do often wonder how many people live in the area, which I’ve always thought of as more of a hub for commercial offices. However, having a look at The Localist website, they do say the area has experienced a “spectacular resurgence as one of London’s most fashionable places to live and work”. Hence, it was of little surprise to see a friendly, neighbourhood restaurant like The Localist open up to support the local community.
The restaurant is both casual yet gorgeous at the same time. The exposed brickwalls matched with the alluring aqua blue seating and curtains giving off an air of relaxed charm. The staff are equally welcoming and very adapt at making recommendations from their food menu, wine list or cocktail menu.
Having visited on pride weekend, we celebrated with their cocktail rainbow twister. It was elegantly presented although not quite in rainbow colours. I’ve never tried mandarinetto, which is the mandarin orange version of limoncello, it was even more aromatic than limoncello and worked well with the vodka, peach tree, passoa and a decent scoop of lemon sorbet.
For starters, I tried a very summery, refreshing tuna tartare with avocados and red amaranth. The tuna was fresh, but there was perhaps too much avocado, but I do understand they were trying to add a bit more bulk to the dish and a different texture. My vegetarian guest ordered a crunchy plate of arancini which had a decent amount of heat from the accompanying chilli sauce.
If there is any constructive criticism, it is that the menu looks rather standard and doesn’t shout innovation. However, the execution of the dishes is expertly carried out. The veggie burger had a plump brioche bun with generous doses of goat cheese and fresh courgette, tomato and lettuce.
The stand-out dish I thought was the linguine with mussels. It was vibrant and colourful with cherry tomatoes mixed in with smooth tasting mussels and linguine that was perfectly al dente. It also had pecorino cheese which added even more flavours to the dish.
Courgette fries were thin and crunchy and just that irresistible that we had to finish the whole bowl and risk the possibility of not having any desserts. Thankfully, they offer sorbet and ice cream by the scoop so it wasn’t hard to fit in a light palate cleanser.