Loyal Tavern

Restaurant in Bermondsey

Loyal Tavern is a brand new restaurant in Bermondsey by Tom Cenci (former executive chef at Duck & Waffle) and Adam White (Riding House Café). Located on Bermondsey Street, it’s close to the hustle and bustle of London Bridge. Tom Cenci and Adam White’s aim for the new spot is to bring the best of seasonal British produce in the relaxed neighbourhood environment that was previously Bermondsey institution, Village East.

The interior is pretty relaxed and totally gorgeous. It has a rural, earthy vibe through the natural colours and woods throughout, as well as the hanging plants above the booths. It’s a great spot for a laid back dinner, even if it does feel a little fancy. The service was also amazing from the start. Everyone who popped over made us feel very welcome, and were all cheery and radiating passion. They had some fantastic recommendations on the menu and we could see why they wouldn’t ever get bored of it. 

restaurant in bermondsey

The Concept

The menu currently features just a handful of choices within each of the sections: appetisers, starters, mains and desserts. This sits alongside a few specials which are located on the blackboards. When we visited, the menu featured a variety of British dishes from blackened cauliflower, sesame yoghurt, chilli and green sauce to rump of lamb, marrowfat mushy peas and mustard sauce, and baked celeriac, mushroom broth, confit yolk, parmesan and truffled breadcrumbs. 

The Starters / Appetisers

Starters/appetisers are made for sharing. The spiced lamb skewer, with mint and almond aioli (£3 each) is a great place to start. The lamb is so juicy, flavoursome and soft, a lot like a softer chorizo. The flavour was amazing and went together so well with the mint and the almond aioli, which balanced out the spiciness.

restaurant in bermondsey

The grilled flat bread with chicken fat butter (£2.80) is another must order. The bread itself is warm, lightly toasted, yet so soft. It’s absolutely superb with the chicken fat butter – oily, but not too much so.

restaurant in bermondsey

The charred mackerel with apple and pine nuts served on a salt block (£5.50) finished our starters. This completed the spread which set the bar so high for the meal. The mackerel was incredible and beautiful in flavour and texture. It was great with the slightly fresher, crunchier toppings, and we loved that you could have it as salty as you wanted just by moving it around more on the block. We hadn’t seen that before – quite unique.

restaurant in bermondsey

Starters and appetisers do normally come out as and when they’re ready, super fresh. Although we did ask for ours altogether, we think it’d be just as good having these as and when to appreciate each one in its own time. 

Main Dishes

Mains tend to be a solo venture compared to the sharing appetisers/starters. Both our choices impressed as much as the starters did. 

The buttermilk-poached cod with ‘nduja and white bean stew (£15) was another dish recommended by the team. The cod was beautifully cooked and so soft and tasty on its own. The stew was rich and tomato-y and the nduja added a depth of flavour but wasn’t overpowering.

restaurant in bermondsey

The rump of lamb with marrowfat mushy peas and mustard sauce (£19.50) was superb too.  It was cooked perfectly, pink in the middle bringing out the flavour of the quality cut of meat. The marrowfat mushy peas were delicious, as was the creamy mustard sauce, bringing the whole dish together. 

restaurant in bermondsey

We also ordered a side of potatoes with stinking bishop from the specials menu. These were smelly (they really are stinking), but the cheese is actually milder than expected. We might have liked it a little more salty (or peppered), but they were still good. 

Dessert

We opted to share the recommended dish by our host – The coal-roasted pineapple, salted caramel ice cream (£5). The pineapple was more than warm,and a great texture – we loved the grilled bits. The salted caramel ice cream was delightfully creamy and full of flavour. A fantastic dessert to finish off the meal and we were so glad we made space to share. 

restaurant in bermondsey

The Drinks

We chose a bottle of the Pinot Noir, Espinos Y Cardos, Santa Macarena – Anconcagua Valley, Chile, 2016 (£39). It was a light and fruity pinot noir, and tasted fantastic with the red meat dishes (as well as everything else). Loyal Tavern also offers wine flights and a broad beer selection.

Overall

This is such a great new restaurant in Bermondsey. We loved the whole experience from the service and atmosphere to the seasonal British food and drink. Tom Cenci himself even came out from the kitchen to greet us, which was a lovely surprise and great to see the passion and excitement from one of the duo behind the venture, as well as seeing that he’s actually very hands on himself. It was very reasonably priced for the whole experience and we would highly recommend a trip! 

East London Girl: Loyal Tavern

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