Review: Plate Restaurant Shoreditch

Billie Manning

Plate Shoreditch is located on the busy City Road not far from Old Street roundabout itself in the M by Montcalm London hotel, but sitting by the floor-length windows in the softly lit restaurant upstairs, the chaos outside seems very far away.

But tear yourself away from the views of the world outside if you can, and turn your attention to the food. For our visit, we started with a ‘bread flight’: three different breads (sourdough, Brioche and marmite) meeting three different butters (whipped, balsamic and caramelised shallot) in one glorious union. Even for someone who wouldn’t usually eat Marmite if it were declared to immediately make your skin as clear as spring water and your hair as shiny as a unicorn horn, the marmite bread is delicious; salty, soft with a lovely umami taste. And I certainly never want to eat boring, regular butter ever again if I can get my hands on this kind of light, fluffy dairy delight.
Plate restaurant shoreditch winter menu
Plate's winter menu

The rest of the food didn’t send me into quite so much a rapture as the bread flight, but perhaps that just speaks to my simple taste. A beetroot salad to start was very good, with sweet candied walnuts and tangy Barkham blue, though the pumpkin risotto for the main left less of an impression (despite its surprisingly orange hue). A great feature of Plate is that it has a vegan menu – and that doesn’t mean just pulling the cheese from the vegetarian risotto, but two options for each of the courses which aren’t on the main menu at all, which means my vegan companion was very well catered for, enjoying avocado on toast, a Thai green curry which got a very enthusiastic report and even a huge vegan brownie which rivalled my mouth-watering - and certainly non-vegan - chocolate fondant with cardamom ice-cream.

Plate restaurant shoreditch chocolate fondant
Chocolate fondant with cardamom ice-cream
The cocktail list had a great range of choices, and the cocktails themselves actually taste of alcohol rather than just five tablespoons of sugar. The ‘Dill-icious’, with gin, cucumber and dill really is delicious despite the painful pun and there’s a nice kick from the Bloody Mary. Service is attentive to a tee – this isn’t quite the place for a quiet uninterrupted moment  - and staff are very knowledgeable about the wine list, which is always very appreciable to a wine rookie, meaning we got very nice choices to go with our respective meals.
This is certainly somewhere to go if you want a smart and sophisticated meal in relaxed surroundings – without leaving the centre of town.

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