Restaurant Review: Lutyens, Fleet Street in London
Lutyens is a stunning restaurant situated on the infamous Fleet Street in Central London, which, up until a few months ago, was considered the most important location for journalism in the world, with Britain’s national newspapers making the street their home for centuries.
Housed in the former Reuters building, it has been converted to a restaurant, wine bar and bistro and members club, and has four private rooms accommodating two to forty people. It has also recently added The Pepys Room, a new events and entertaining space. Designed by Terence Conran, it is owned by Prescott & Conran and is a sister restaurant to Boundary and Albion in Shoreditch. The restaurant is an art deco theme and was very modern with muted colours, mainly whites, with soft woods and pale blue velvet chairs.
My dinner guest, Emily, and I had the pleasure of eating in the restaurant on a wet and windy Thursday evening. On arrival we were greeted by very friendly front of house staff and our coats and umbrellas were stored safely away in the cloak room. We were offered a glass of glorious Champagne whilst we perused the menu and it went down very nicely indeed!
Our sommelier advised on the wine list and we chose a lovely bottle of Les Chemins de Carabote Carignan, a powerful, full bodied and elegant red.
To start Emily ordered chicken liver and foie gras parfait with toasted brioche. This was smooth and light and Emily remarked that it was very sweet but very tasty, and was presented with 2 large slices of wonderfully crunchy toasted brioche. The portion size overall though was definitely not for the faint hearted and, in my opinion, possibly could have been presented a little more daintily! I chose warm Dorset crab tartlet with shellfish dressing, samphire salad, and it was truly delightful. The crab was deliciously soft, perched on top of a warm pastry case that melted in the mouth, with a deep red shellfish sauce, a salad garnish and salty samphire that complemented the dish perfectly.
For main I chose steamed paupiette of plaice, scallop, mussel and chive beurre blanc. This dish was outstanding; the fish was cooked to perfection with juicy mussels and scallops sat on a delicious buttery sauce with a hint of chives, topped with samphire. A wonderful combination of flavours and textures that were a marriage made in heaven. Emily chose slow cooked lamb shoulder, spiced aubergine and chickpea ragu, polenta chips. She really enjoyed this dish of perfectly cooked lamb, deep Moroccan flavours of the aubergine and chickpea ragu, with a good dollop of yoghurt to cut though the spice. Accompanied with thick, crispy polenta chips, this was a winning dish. We chose some side dishes to accompany the mains – broccoli with chilli and heritage carrots, which were cooked al dente and went with both mains perfectly.
For dessert I chose warm chocolate pudding, pecan parfait and chocolate sauce and this really was chocolate heaven! The pudding was like a square of squidgy, warm brownie, with oodles of chocolate sauce, topped with a delicious, crunchy, pecan ice cream and toasted almonds. It took all of my willpower not to lick the plate clean!! Emily (who is on sugar free February!) chose the cheese board. The waiter brought the cheese trolley to our table and let Emily choose her favourites, explaining each cheese in detail. This was accompanied by a selection of biscuits and crackers and a gorgeous quince jelly which complemented the cheeses wonderfully.
Finally, as we were finishing off our wine, the waiter brought us a little plate with delicate pastries and shortbread. The shortbread was my favourite, it was deliciously crumbly and buttery – a lovely end to the meal.
Luteyns is an art deco inspired restaurant serving modern European food in the heart of the city and as its website says, it is quintessentially Conran, that is reminiscent of a dining room on an art deco cruise liner! It felt modern, open and airy. The atmosphere was buzzy but not too much and there was a varied clientele, including a table of priests! The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and the food is of a high standard, it is the perfect bolt hole for city workers, romantic couples and the clergy!
Prices for starters range from £9-£14.50, mains from £17 to £40 (sirloin steak being the most expensive dish) and desserts from £6-£7. There is also a City Supper Menu which is £32.50 per head, for 3 courses, including a glass of champagne, and is a much smaller version of the al a carte menu.
Address: 85 Fleet St, London EC4Y 1AE / 020 7583 8385