As far as I’m aware, not much goes down in Aldgate East. It’s not somewhere I’ve been to many times or a place that you think of for a night out but it’s just a 15 minute walk from Liverpool Street station and this evening I discovered one of its gems. The Leman Street Tavern‘s menu of traditional English seasonal grub has won me over and I’m putting dates in my diary to go back for their Sunday Roast as we speak.

It’s got outdoor seating for those optimistic British summertime afternoons, a private dining room for special occasions, a huge bar area and heaps of comfy indoor seating. The decor is homely, there’s loads to look at and even on a Monday evening at 6pm the atmosphere was really enjoyable.

For a Monday pick me up we ordered cocktails and as usual I went for a Bloody Mary. It’s basically soup right? As a fussy customer when it comes to Bloody Mary’s I was very impressed with how perfect it was. They’d got it SO right.  Hannah’s Sloe Gin Sour was also very well received – she’s also hugely fussy when it comes to drinks but it was clear by the look on her face as she drank it that she was satisfied.

It’s health kick time (kind of) so we both ordered the Asparagus, beetroot, spinach and pomegranate salad. Although I’d probably have ordered that regardless of my diet, all four ingredients are weirdly irresistible to me and I was super impressed with how fresh and tasty the dish was. The perfect light starter and something I’ll definitely be recreating at home.

For mains we couldn’t decide between the Spring vegetable and avocado tartare with raspberry vinaigrette or the Roast aubergine, charred red peppers, goats curd and pine nuts with herb oil and apple balsamic. It didn’t matter though because after we’d spent ages deciding and settled on the aubergine, the manager brought us over an amuse-bouche of the tartare and we were able to enjoy both. Words can’t describe how delicate and delicious the tartare tasted and we were overjoyed we got to experience it. I know overjoyed seems like an exaggeration but we genuinely couldn’t have been happier when they arrived in front of us. We were dangerously close to licking the raspberry vingarette clean off our plates but managed to contain ourselves and maintain some decorum.

Our real main was equally incredible. I’m a sucker for anything involving an aubergine (no aubergine emoji inuendo intended) and as roasted aubergines go this was was up there with the best. So many mmmmmm noises were made whilst we devoured the dish and although I was drooling every time the waiter passed with portions of Beer battered cod and triple cooked chips or the Slow roasted shoulder of lamb, I still didn’t feel like I was missing out.

If I’d had my way I’d have ordered the Pineapple upside down cake with coconut sorbet and rum syrup for dessert but Hannah is phobic of most of those ingredients and there was no chance day three of the health kick was ending in me finishing the whole thing. We went for the  Triple chocolate and iced berry bomb (for the obligatory bomb video) and the Eton mess with champagne jelly. I’d never usually order Eton Mess but I did have a taste (more than a taste) and it was hard to deny how good it was. The chocolate bomb was rich as hell but amazing.

Super duper dinner, lovely service and a hidden gem of a venue. Highly recommended for food but I imagine it’s the perfect after work drinks or cosy date venue. If Aldgate East is your hangout (or even if it’s not) then put this on your list.

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