A couple of weeks ago we went to London’s Whitechapel for the official and much anticipated opening of Leman Street Tavern, the latest pub in the Geronimo Inns stable.
Close to both Aldgate Underground stations, just around the corner from the City and, in fact, only two bus stops away from Tower Gateway, this cavernous 5,000 sq. ft. gastro pub with seating outside is a very welcome addition to the area.
The pub’s décor is warm and welcoming with a mix of industrial, whimsical and glamorous (think exposed pipes and brick walls, bric-a-brac, framed posters and chandeliers) and it has various comfortable seating areas (The Snug, The Pass, The Lounge Bar, The Back Bar) of various sizes which can all also be hired individually. One even has the feeling of being in a country pub with its comfy sofas and open fire. And The Chambers, the venue’s private dining room, is just beautiful.
And talking of warm and welcoming, this applies to the staff, too!
Head chef Stan and his team fed us very tasty canapés including crab mousse profiteroles, scallops with samphire, spinach tartlets and mini baked potatoes with cheese and truffles, to whet our appetite for the dishes on the main menu (We’ll have to come back for those, by the time the kitchen opened we were stuffed!).
The food on offer is traditionally British, cooked with the freshest ethically sourced ingredients. The seasonal menu changes every 4-6 weeks and it looks to be really good value for money with most main courses being in the £12-16 bracket. And none of your chichi portions here! There is lots of fish and seafood on the menu, from cod to monkfish and scallops to crab, but also meaty dishes like shoulder of lamb, roast chicken, pork faggots and ox cheek and marrow pie as well as a few vegetarian options. Desserts include fried milk with poached rhubarb and blood orange & pomegranate posset. They also have bar snacks on offer, including oysters at £2 each, black pudding sausage roll, baked Somerset brie with buttered soldiers and excellent British cheese and charcuteries boards) and Leman Street Tavern also serves brunch and Sunday lunch, which they proclaim to be ‘almost illegally good’.
The bar looks very impressive, taking up the centre of the pub and it is exceptionally well stocked with every spirit a serious bar hopper could wish for. I was especially impressed by the range of different and unusual whiskies, which has everything from Scotch to Bourbon via Japan. But there is an equally good offer of other spirits, beers and wines. As it was the opening party I didn’t get much of a chance to try any of the cocktails – our glasses were constantly topped up with champagne. But we were not complaining!
Vestal Vodka was on hand to provide an impromptu tasting of their potato based vodka- tequila shot style with lemon and salt. Talking of tastings, check the Leman Street Tavern’s website for events, they seem to have either whisky or beer tastings happening on a regular basis.
Entertainment on the night was provided by singer Christopher Sullivan, covering songs of crooners and rockers of the last few decades.