Best of EC3: restaurants for carnivores
As business lunches begin to reappear, Insider Engage investigates what EC3 has to offer for meat lovers
Popping out for lunch in EC3 has changed considerably over the past few years. Regulatory pressures mean the infamous long lunches have become rarer and now people are more likely to suggest a quick coffee or, since 2020 in particular, a Zoom chat.
However, the City of London is still home to some of the best restaurants in the world and, as life continues returning to normal, such culinary havens shouldn’t be entirely ignored.
So, if you’re venturing back to the office and want to herald the occasion with a meal fit for an apex predator, try out one of these must-visit venues (picked by noted food journalist and critic Ryan King of Fine Dining Lovers): the top six restaurants for carnivores in EC3.
1 Lombard Street
We start things with a classic, 1 Lombard Street, which couldn’t epitomise the City of London more if it tried. Located on the historic Bank station roundabout, where Cornhill meets Threadneedle, Princes, Mansion House and Lombard Streets, this restaurant has been part of City life since its 1776 opening.
With a menu built by recently appointed Mark Hix (who joined as director of food and drink in June 2020), there is a lot on the menu here for steak lovers, as King explains: “Their steaks are dry aged from Glenarm Estate and come in 400g sirloin, 300g fillet or an 850g T-bone for two. There’s also sugar pit bacon chop with laverbread and cockles and Swainson House Farm roast chicken.”
Order: Steak tartare followed by 300g Glenarm fillet
Address: 1 Lombard St, London EC3V 9AA
Chamberlains of London
We couldn’t run down the best restaurants in EC3 without visiting Leadenhall Market, which brings us to Chamberlains of London. Run by the same family since 1940, Chamberlains is a great destination for some of the finest seafood cuisine in the capital.
Championing the best of British, King picks out the menu as something that really speaks to people who value good produce: “The family-run business may be built from their Billingsgate wholesale fish and seafood business, however attention to seasonality and exceptional quality runs through the whole menu.”
Order: Fillet of Hereford beef served with mussels, whelks, wild chervil and heritage carrots
Address: 23-25 Leadenhall Market, London EC3V 1LR
Note: Closed as of early August, pending government advice
If you’re serious about meat then you have to visit Blacklock City, a restaurant launched by the Warren Family, who own Cornwall’s oldest farm and butchers. Their passion is evident through the entire restaurant, which is to be found in an old electricity substation in a basement of a Grade II-listed building on the grounds of London’s first meat market. It shows in the menu too, as King explains: “There are 15 choices of chops and steaks as well as beef dripping chips, lamb belly rubs and pig’s head on toast with gravy among the list of sides and starters.”
Order: Pig’s head on toast with gravy followed by porterhouse “Big Chop”
Address: 13 Philpot Ln, Bridge, London EC3M 8AA
La Dame de Pic
Returning to the City should be cause of celebration, so why not visit La Dame de Pic which – having already won two Michelin stars in 2020 – offers something special. Set within the stunning former Port of London Authority headquarters, this restaurant proudly displays the work of Anne-Sophie Pic, the most decorated Michelin-starred female chef in the world.
King elaborates: “Meat lovers can enjoy dishes such as Kagoshima wagyu beef or roe deer roasted on the bone.”
Order: Foie gras dry aged in beeswax poached in mushroom consommé, sweetcorn and queen of meadow, followed by wellington veal fillet marinated in rhum and kampot pepper, maitake mushrooms and black truffle
Address: 10 Trinity Square, Tower, London EC3N 4AJ
EC3 also offers something for meat lovers that isn’t just European-centric and focused on steaks in the shape of the fantastic Mei Ume, which serves both Chinese and Japanese dishes.
Separated from the main restaurant with bamboo-print screens, diners can enjoy dishes from both countries that employ a strong meat section, as King explains: “This includes slow-braised Dongpo pork belly, wok-fried Angus beef fillet with spicy black pepper sauce and Teppanyaki ribeye amongst others.”
Order: Beef tataki with sesame BBQ sauce followed by whole Peking duck
Address: 10 Trinity Square, Tower, London EC3N 4AJ
Proclaiming to give City workers a little la dolce vita in the heart of London, the team at Bolton’s have been serving their modern take on classic Italian dishes for over 30 years. Built around the simple ethos of great ingredients in classic dishes with a modern twist, there’s a lot here for meat lovers, too.
“The fillet of beef comes in six variations including a sharing Chateaubriand, calf’s liver with bacon or butter and sage, lamb cutlets, and four veal dishes,” says King.
Order: Cured wild boar followed by veal chop
Address: 13 Cullum Street, London EC3M 7JJ