The Leadenhall is located next to Leadenhall Market in what some have said used to be the old toilets. From the outside, I could almost believe it. The entrance is essentially a hut with a sign on it and a staircase leading down to the basement. However, once inside the restaurant is huge and I find it hard to believe that this large space used to be reserved solely for use as the public loos. Despite the fact that it is in the basement, the walls are white and light and the rooms that make up the restaurant have an airy feel to them.
You are always greeted by exuberant staff including the ever present Georgio, an excitable and lovely Italian gentleman. For lunch there is always a roast of some sort (it looks massive, but by the end of lunch it’s always gone) and a large menu of Italian classics and Leadenhall originals. I can sometimes find classic food a little boring, but I’ve always been happy with the food here. I usually start off with the grilled portobello mushroom which comes with tasty dried tomatoes, spinach, goats cheese and a red wine reduction. The flavours are strong and present. For my most recent visit I had the Italian Shepherd’s Pie as my main. We all debated how a shepherd’s pie would be made Italian, but when it arrived it undoubtedly was. The potatoes were creamy with baked parmesan on top and the meat was subtly flavoured with spices. The whole dish was a pile of love.
Portions are generous, and service is excellent. A selection of bread comes around a few times at the beginning of the meal, and Georgio always calls in every once in a while to see how it’s all going and offer you a limoncello. It all makes you feel very welcome and you almost want to pop by every once in a while just to see how everyone is doing.
Décor: I would not describe this place as trendy, but it has a nice feel to it. The mirrors in the staircase down give it a bit of an 80’s feel.
Price: I definitely would go expenses on this one. They aren’t really giving the food away. Starters are GBP 7 – 10 and Mains are GBP 16 – 23 on average.
Food: Elegant and proud Italian food. The flavours are spot on and fresh.
Good For: A corporate lunch.