Lutyens resides in the former Reuters building on Fleet Street and is named after the architect and designer of the building Sir Edwin Lutyens.
It’s a Terence Conran restaurant and the dining room is a rather simple yet elegantly designed space – everything’s white and very neutral and there’s a glass fronted kitchen so you can see all the action.
The first thing that struck us (other than the extremely friendly welcome) was the price – Lutyens is far from cheap. However, we had a TopTable offer giving us 50% off food (available on Friday nights only) which made the prices a lot easier to stomach.
I started with the grilled squid and ink sauce (Â£9) which was absolutely divine. I have never had squid cooked to such perfection – it was some of the finest squid I’ve eaten. It was charred giving it a real smokiness which worked perfectly. Yum.
My gentleman companion opted for the scallops, Jerusalem artichoke puree and ceps (Â£17). This was a simple dish but the scallops were beautifully cooked and beautifully seasoned.
As our third dining companion knew one of the chefs we were very kindly given the crab gnocchi (usually Â£12) as a gift from the kitchen. The thick frothy crab bisque covered the soft gnocchi – this was a real taste of the sea with big bold flavours.
For main I opted for the chef’s recommendation of monkfish, root vegetables, mussels and sea beet (Â£24). It was a gigantic piece of monkfish which was cooked to perfection. The mussels were soft, the sea beets added texture and the buttery sauce beneath it was a wonderful accompaniment.
The Cornish lamb, spiced aubergine and cardamom yoghurt (Â£28) was a generous chunk of lamb with a charred smokey outside and a tender pink inside – it was meatiliciously delicious.
My gentleman companion opted for the middle white pork, parsnips and crab apple jelly (Â£20) which he happily devoured. The pork was moist and served with a curl of crackling which was like a porky prawn cracker and tasted great. With a side of potato gratin (Â£4) the dish tasted even better.
Desserts were rather triumphant. My quince souffle with gingerbread ice cream (Â£9) was huge yet so light and airy and perfectly sweetened – it was a superb end to my meal.
The goat’s cheese cheesecake, pear sorbet and walnuts (Â£6) was most unusual but it worked really well. Savoury cheese with sweet pear – it was a clever alternative to a cheese board.
The chocolate panna cotta, caramelised banana and peanuts (Â£7) was a rich chocolatey delight. Chocolate, banana and peanuts – what could be better?
Service was actually perfect – the nicest selection of staff I’ve come across. They were efficient and professional yet really friendly and chatty.
We had a really lovely dinner and struggled to find fault with the food (in fact we couldn’t) the only thing we had a problem with was the price – but with 50% off we felt it was thoroughly worth it. If you’ve got the money, you could do a lot worse than Lutyens.