Lutyens is on Fleet Street, a small plaque on the wall announcing where it is, and you might walk straight past it not realising it’s a good restaurant if you were just wandering past. I’m no expert on interior design, but the decor reminded me of art deco, the sorts of things Rennie Mackintosh would come up with. It’s really pretty, and not so formal you feel uncomfortable, but at the same time you’re at a place that’s breathes quality and it doesn’t let you forget that.
Dare I say it, I felt a little bit intimidated, but I asked two questions nonetheless. I’m always impressed when the waiting staff know and have tried everything on the menu, and whilst he didn’t know what the chef thought was the best dish on the menu, knew each dish to a good level of detail, the ingredients, anything unusual about it and how it’d be cooked.
Perhaps it was just the waiter we had, but our waiter really meant what he said, he was genuine about it and unashamed to state his personal preference even if it meant saying that some dishes weren’t to his personal taste. I like that. Deciding did take a while, there was just so much that looked and sounded delicious and the steady stream of food that looked incredible went past. In the end I went for the seared scallops to start and halibut on purple sprouting broccoli as a main.
The scallops were beautifully presented and properly seared till just done. Whatever was in the sauce it came with really made the dish come alive. There were four scallops and none of them were particularly big, but they looked like they’d been sculpted for presentation. What was surprising about the halibut was that it was roasted, and the fillet was moist and just cooked on the inside despite being slightly crisp on the outside. Apart from being really delicious, it’s actually pretty hard to do, I’ve tried enough times.
A food nerd like me can appreciate both the flavour and the technical merit of the halibut, to say nothing of the presentation making it look like a work of art.
Dessert was summer fruits and basil ice cream. To be honest I just remember the basil ice-cream, very unusual and not too sweet. The balance was really nice so that the basil didn’t get overpowering, and it was a good combination of flavours with the fruit.
I left Lutyens feeling nicely full but not overly stuffed. Portions were just right, and I like these sorts of experiences, where the nicety persists after the meal. You get the feeling that the meal is sitting nicely with you and somehow not fighting your insides. Would I go there again? Most certainly, is it kid friendly? Not really as it’s really set up for Fleet Street pros and people who need to impress, although I think that any child would be really entertained by the waiter we had.