If you can fight your way through the All Bar Ones and city boozers in this area, you will find an oasis of taste of calm in the form of Devonshire Square. A huge atrium gives the impression of being outside without any of the typical disadvantages of the great British outdoors.
As you come past the ubiquitous city Fitness First, Devonshire Terrace sits on the corner of the square. It’s a trendy looking place which has a terrace at the front and a walk round balcony at the back, which accommodates those few smokers left. The ducks in the window were just the right side of tongue-in-cheek kitsch.
When we visited on a Tuesday evening, the bar wasn’t full but had a leisurely buzz to it. We ordered a couple of cocktails (the Jacktini comes especially highly recommended and my Devonshiretini had a raspberry floating in a tiny little passion fruit boat, ahh) and had a nibble at some of the bar tapas on offer. The bar tapas fall somewhere in between snack and starter size and are great for ordering with drinks or sharing before dinner. They included the likes of salt & pepper squid, mini chipolatas & mash and the very exciting sounding homemade pork scratchings.
After whetting our appetites with the tapas, we moved to our table for dinner. The menu is a reduced affair in the evening (lunch being the busier time in this neck of the woods), but there was still plenty to chose from. To start we had toasted brioche with poached egg and sautéed wild mushrooms which could have been heavier on mushroom but was otherwise very good, and the Cornish dressed crab with mango, avocado and cherry tomato sauce which was a clear winner, tasting very fresh and light.
I do love to see a market fish of the day on the menu, and when we visited it was mackerel, one of my favourites, which made dinner an easy choice. The mash of the day was truffle – I needn’t have looked at the menu at all!! On the other side of our booth, the order was for the 28-day aged sirloin of black angus beef with béarnaise and foie gras, complete with hand cut chips.
The fish was beautiful - simply roasted with a side salad, crispy skinned and meaty fleshed, whilst the mash was so good I could have bathed in it. A perfect autumn dinner in my book. The steak was cooked well although the béarnaise was deemed ‘a bit too buttery’ (is there such a thing?!).
As we sat back, full to bursting, enjoying the last of our very nice bottle of Devonshire rose and loving the soundtrack (Beachboys mixed with Michael Jackson), our lovely waitress came and tempted us with the pudding menu. I couldn’t possibly have fitted another thing in until I noticed the lemon posset with brandy snaps! The chocolate fondant with honeycomb ice cream had been so highly recommended we felt it would be rude not to try it, so we managed to squeeze that in as well. The fondant was rich and oozing and although the ice cream didn’t seem to have much to do with honeycomb it didn’t really matter. The posset was tangy and creamy and the brandy snaps gave it a delicious crunch. We were so full we could barely manage an espresso, but worried we would be unable to heave ourselves home otherwise! Devonshire Terrace is a great place to eat – run away from the city boys and pop in - you’ll be pleased you did.
Devonshire Terrace: Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4WY. Tel: 0207 256 3233
Reviewed by: Tara O’Reilly