The very best restaurants are like your oldest friend. You relive good times together. An hour with them can easily turn into three. You’ve had good times when it’s just the two of you. You’ve had even better times in a group. They’re excellent with parents or partners. You’ve got very, very drunk together. On the cheap stuff, on the expensive stuff, on any stuff.
You don’t spend all your time in a restaurant or with a friend like this. Months pass where you go to other places, and see other people. But it’s only so long until you’re back together and, probably, ordering a bottle. This is why we’re updating our review of Noble Rot. Because it still feels like our oldest friend in London.
Put simply, this place is a keeper. Everything from the food, to the atmosphere, to the cartoons in the toilets is spot on. Noble Rot calls itself a wine bar and restaurant but it feels more like a public member’s club, if there is such a thing. We say this because inclusivity is a big part of Noble Rot’s charm. You can eat and drink, expensively or cheaply, with equal ease. Whether you come for a £4 glass of wine, or for a slap up meal plus a three figure bottle, you’re going to be treated in exactly the same way: classily and casually. You’re not going to be fawned over here. Your glass of water isn’t going to be filled to the brim if you mistakenly look at it, nor are olives going to be upsold as if they’re magic beans. You’re just going to be served some very good wine and very good food.
It speaks volumes for their everyman approach that their bread and butter is the food we think about most. It’s like a story you and your friend always go back to, one that makes you laugh and smile without fail, only in soda, focaccia, and sourdough form. And you don’t even need to reserve a table in the dining room to experience it. You can just come to the bar area that looks out onto Lamb’s Conduit Street, order bread, butter, and a glass of wine, and leave beaming. We’d recommend you do this. But the odds are that if you do this, you’ll end up staying until midnight. That’s because it’s very hard not to.
If you are dining, the menu is full of nice things to eat, from melt in your mouth ibérico ham, to a light as anything tomato tart. And the restaurant is full of knowledgable people recommending you nice things to drink with it. It’s a space that suits day or night, minutes or hours, friends or family. All we’re waiting for is some bedding so that we can have sleepovers. Then it’ll be perfect.
Not many restaurants feel like a friend, but Noble Rot does. It’s a London go-to that everybody should get to know. Be it for a single glass or a three course meal, you’ll be able to rely on this place - they always pick up the phone.
This isn’t nip to the shop bread. This isn’t poncy independent bakery bread. This is something else. This is bread.
A smoky soulful sweet piece of sole. This is a Noble Rot signature.
Not one for the dentally challenged. There is some serious crackling going on here.
Another signature, there’s always a bit of roast duck here. It’s always perfectly pink and perfectly delicious.
Similarly there’s always some turbot going on. It’s simple, clean, and you won’t want to share.
Warm mousse? Warm? Mousse? Oh my days this warm mousse! This is exactly what you’ll say.
About as perfectly formed as a cheesecake can come, order it if it’s on.
An old fashioned nice bit of baking. There’s usually something of this ilk on here. And it’s always very fulfilling.