Leman Street Tavern is billed as a City pub for city people, and we couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Bar stools here are kept warm by the Square Mile after-work crowd, thanks in no small part to the friendly staff, reasonably priced drinks, good food and the trendy clientele. The bar was hosting its first birthday party, so we RSVP’d and got our party hats on…
Just a few minutes’ walk from either Aldgate or Aldgate East Tube, Leman Street Tavern is conveniently located and easy to find. It’s fairly unassuming from the outside, with large floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a neat front garden for alfresco drinking. But step inside and you’re hit with opulence; there’s a huge central bar that stretches the length of the room, chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and a private dining room decked out with a solid oak dining table to seat 20 plus. Every surface was filled with party poppers and bowls of popcorn, waitresses were walking round handing out jelly shots and there was a balloon artist modelling the most fantastic creations.
We headed to the bar’s beer pong table - after filling a cup with popcorn - and got our game faces on. After a few rounds, lots of laughter, and quite a lot of beer, we decided it best to look at the food menu. The fare here is traditional British gastropub, no fuss, no frills. We settled on a selection of carb-heavy bar snacks: fat chip shop chips, crispy, chilli fried squid with a zesty garlic and lemon mayo and a baked camembert with crispy croutons.
Leman Street offers simple food cooked right, fresh fish straight from Billingsgate and ethically sourced ingredients.
The squid had a golden crispy batter but a tender inside, and had been doused in lemon for a beautifully fresh taste. Chips and chips of course, but these were thickly cut and boldly potatoey, fluffy on the inside with a wonderfully crispy outer jacket; the perfect accompaniment to alcohol! (The waitress persuaded us to try a cocktail, and I highly recommend their Old Fashioned which had a wonderful, zesty orange aftertaste.) The camembert was a great sharing dish and we all tucked in as we watched the magician on the table along work his magic - Happy 1st Birthday Leman Street Tavern, we hope to celebrate many more with you!
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