The Geronimo Inns are rapidly developing a reputation for delivering high quality gastropubs. From the Builders Arms in Chelsea to the Bull in Westfield, they are all renowned for attentive service, exciting food offerings and comfortable settings. Their latest offering, Leman Street Tavern in Aldgate is no exception.
Belonging to a corporate group, you might expect all the decor to have cookie-cutter similarity. That is very far from the truth, the design would be what I call modern, glamorous-chic. The room is dominated by stunning sparkling chandeliers, yet it always feels cosy and relaxing due to the comfortable seating and funky prints on the walls.
The menu is a best of British offering with quintessential, traditional dishes cooked in a simple and elegant way. Pickled octopus, fennel and soft-boiled quails eggs, radish and pea shoots is presented in the most picturesque of manners and is the ideal summery dish to tempt diner’s palates. The octopus is soft and gently salted with the texture contrasting well with the fennel, and quail eggs. The ceviche of arctic char is slightly smaller in quantity but equally stunning in its presentation. If Monet cooked food, this would be what his dishes would look like. It’s a fantastic opportunity to try a more unusual fish from further afield subarctic coastal waters.
Service is discreet yet attentive; when the waitress heard that I thought the guinea fowl daily special was marginally dry, she went into the kitchen to find some more sauce for my main course without any prompting. The slow roasted shoulder of lamb had meat that was flavoursome and rich tasting, no doubt helped by the irresistible gravy that covered the dish. It was quite a filling portion of meat for a main course meal. I haven’t tried a fennel fondue myself before, which led me to wonder what part of planet earth have I been living on to miss this sinful side dish. It is a great little dish for dipping bread into, although I do have to doubt the relative health value of the dish, given there are more cheese than fennel in the pot.
If you are opting for meat dishes like ourselves, I would highly recommend ordering the Viña Torcida Rioja. It has very strong berry aromas and offers a rich and expressive palate ideal for pairing with red meat dishes such as the guinea fowl or the lamb. End your meal the classic way with a traditional Eton Mess or some chocolate indulgence with the triple chocolate and iced berry bomb.
With restaurants like Leman Street Tavern, you either have to pray Geronimo Inns might be opening a gastropub near you soon or make more frequent trips to Aldgate to enjoy the finer things in life.