This chic Shoreditch hotspot needs more attention, but is it worthy?
Shoreditch might not be the first place you’d think of if you’re looking for a juicy steak.
But Plate puts forward a compelling argument to rethink that preconception, imploring you to try and forget about Flat Iron for a moment, and travel east instead for a Saturday night Sirloin.
The chic restaurant, with the ‘blah’ name, is launching a new seasonal menu, and is hoping to attract more diners to its delightful space, rather than just the lone diners staying in the neighbouring hotel, which currently seems to compromise most of their turnover, judging by what I saw during my dining experience.
But it would be a shame if Plate was only used as stop-off place for a quick bite between meetings. Because first of all, it looks great. Far greater than expected; well lit, well-spaced and with a nice view over the heart of London’s most hipster-y zone, paired with sophisticated décor with a touch of elegance.
Then you’ve got some top-notch service too. Our waiter couldn’t have been more accommodating.
We started off with the signature Bread Flight. Often a burden in nice restaurants, filling you with anticlimactic stodgy dissatisfaction before your main has even arrived, this is not the case here. Plate offers sourdough, brioche and marmite bread – yes, you’ll either love it or hate it, accompanied by a selection of whipped seasonal butters. This comparably light sharing course is less of a pain – French pun, there – and more of an event. A talking point, a curiosity and – most of all – a treat. Highly recommended. Who knew marmite bread would taste so good? Unless you hate marmite, of course, as so many do.
Salmon scotch eggs and beautifully presented mushroom soup continue the theme of exceeding expectations with the starters. I’d go as far as to say the mushroom soup was the best I’ve ever had, which might make my mother angry, but I have to be truthful. Seasoned to excellence, too.
Post-bread and starters, expectations were steadily climbing for the main event: the steaks. I ordered the 8oz ribeye, medium-rare, and although the presentation wasn’t at the same level as the other courses (understandably, there’s more of a limit to what you can do with a steak, I suppose) the meat, which is Josper cooked over aged apple wood, if you’re interested, was prepared supremely, and tasted divine.
The red wine accompanying the beef, which was the house – I’m not made of money – was also just right, and the fries weren’t a let down, either, despite this being something so many restaurants often bafflingly get wrong, leaving punters everywhere with a slight chip on their shoulder afterwards. (Ahem, sorry.) Their fries come with either parmesan or spicy sriracha (the sauce isn’t as messy as it looks written down, very typo-esque,) which is a nice touch, too. It manages to stand out without being too weird, reflecting a well-balanced nuanced approach to the menu, which was designed by Arnaud Stevens, Plate’s owner and creative head chef, who has previously worked alongside Pierre Koffmann, Gordon Ramsay and Tom Aitken. So, makes sense that he knows his stuff, I suppose.
Such a pleasant meal is there to be had at Plate, naturally, I was reluctant to cut it short, so – after my arm was sufficiently twisted – I indulged in dessert too. That Ironbank Pumpkin Brulee is truly one for the history books. Served with candied pecans and spiced crumble, it managed to give the feeling of Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day and summer – all in one mouthful. Light yet rich, exciting yet familiar, and absolutely delicious.
And all at reasonable prices too, considering the location and quality. Pud will set you back £7, mains – such as their LDF burger, fish and chips and risotto, all under £20, more for steaks, into the 30s, as you’d imagine, and £7-£8 for starters.
Worth it, though, from where I was sitting, which was by the window, enjoying watching the DJ’s and yoga instructors mixing with marching bankers on the streets below.
Plate left us full and satisfied. And our plates? Empty. Definitely worth a visit.
Book here: Platelondon.com