New Bloomsbury arrival Neptune is red hot – simply because of who is running the kitchen. Back in 2006 chef Brett Redman opened a little place called Elliot’s in Bethnal Green, followed by the Pavilion in Victoria Park a year later. Their success led to a more hi-falutin version of Elliot’s launching in Borough Market, still one of our go-tos in SE1.
And yet Redman didn’t stop there: wildly popular yakitori joint Jidori in Dalston came next, and you may also remember now-closed seafood restaurant The Richmond, at the intersection of Dalston and Hackney. He closed that last autumn, with one intention – to focus energies on this very glam WC1 opening within the Principal Hotel.On our Friday lunchtime visit, the sun pours through big windows into an interior of curving banquettes and discreet tables. The bar is a relaxed space, where we enjoy a white negroni (Light Side Of the Moon), almost sherbert-lemon in colour, made with French gentian bitters. The lunch menu is two courses for £20, a reasonable deal for this part of town; but be warned, a la carte is substantially pricier.
Main image: Carol Sachs