London - walking distance from Tower Hill Tube ?

Hello folks

Where do you recommend for dinner that is walkable from the above - on a Friday night.

In the past i have headed to Bermondsey and Pizarro or Jose…both of which I love but haven’t been for 18 months or so…alternatively I have been to Clerkenwell ( Modern Pantry - which i enjoyed but did not love ) but am looking to try somewhere new.
Am always a bit nonplussed by Spitalfields and its chain-ness, but that said I have never been to St John due to 'fear of being served an animal bone and a spoon and told that’s your dinner '.
I liked the look of Maotai kitchen from the Board but there will be only two of us and not arriving til after 6, so that looks out.

So,in short, all ideas welcome please ! Any cuisine bar bog standard Chinese. Nothing silly price wise.

Thanks in advance

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St John isn’t all animal bits, but failing that there’s always Hawksmoor in Spitalfields.
A Chinese place that is definitely not bog standard is Crystal China on Tower Bridge Road. There was a meet up on Chowhound last year. Klyeoh post may help you decide.

A new restaurant has opened, and the chef is one of my favorites… Adam Handling. It’s called, The Frog, and I think it’s in the Spitalfields’s area. You can Google to see the menu. I think they serve small plates so the bill might add up, depending on how hungry one is.

Spitalfields has had a bit of surge of decent restaurants in the last couple of years so it’s not all chains anymore.

St John bread and wine is still going strong, Som Saa for Thai (no reservations for groups of 2, might not suit) and Nuno Mendes’ Taberna do mercado for Portuguese. There’s also an Italian called Canto Corvino which was enjoyable, and an outpost of Ottelenghi.

The BBQ joint Pitt Cue has moved in nearby, but my meal there was overshadowed by an overcured main course but I’d probably go back to try again sometime.

Around tower hill itself I’ve quite liked going to Cyrus Todiwala’s Cafe Spice, all though the last time I went we were all bemused by the sheer quantity of carbs going onto the plates.

And on the other side of the river +1 on Crystal China. I moved into sort of that neck of the woods this year and have been twice now. Everyone goes mad for their dry hot pot. I’m no Sichuan expert but everything I had was really enjoyable.

St. John Bread and Wine is really wonderful and there’s plenty to choose from. The menu changes daily. For Indian I like Rajasthan II and for French, Paris Grill, but they are only open for lunch.

I don’t know what your “walking distance” or silly prices look like, but this year I fell in love with Omnino.

I second Cafe Spice Namaste and I’ve heard great things about Bird of Smithfield, though I haven’t been yet.

The Don for Italian, right off Tower Bridge and it certainly is a nice walk over the bridge at night (or day) since we stay on the other side.

Let us know where you ended up.

Thanks for these recs. Intrigued by Omnio. Other half fond of a good steak. have you had the four course set menu which looks decent value ( esp if the port is good ! ) ?Or would you recommend sticking to the main menu ?

I’ve only been once for lunch, but have plans to go again in a couple of weeks. Everything I had was perfectly cooked and delicious and hot and prompt. I think we had 6 people that day and everything came out at once and all hot. Gotta love that. I think any choice should be a good one.

On a Friday night, from Tower Hill Tube, I’d probably walk to Som Saa for some fiery Thai or Ottolenghi Spitalfields for middle eastern/african, that is, if you prefer the chain of Ottolenghi to the chain of Jamie Oliver, which I do. Have fun.

Hello all. A quick update. We went to St John Bread and wine, in the end. I would say it was enjoyable rather than wonderful, food wise, and would be much better in a group than just two as that would make the big plates seem less expensive and also cos it’s NOISY! Standout course for me? The oysters and the Eccles cake which bookended the meal. Most disappointing were the sprats which were just a bit meh. Other half was a bit bemused by the fuss about the place,really. Think she wanted to go back to Pizzarro :slight_smile:
Thanks for all of the recommendations, though. All filed away for future use.

I know the menu changes daily. We did have a wonderful meal of small plates a few years ago, the crowning dish was an oxtail stew. I wrote a lengthy review in Chowhound at the time, Anthony Bourdain (US) calls it his favorite restaurant in the world (well St. John, the original). I did find where he actually commented in CH on the topic some 15 years ago:

Sorry it wasn’t all you hoped.

Big fan of Cafe Spice Namaste.

Nota bene: The Tower bridge is closed for 3 months or so for repairs. Not sure if this currently affects foot traffic as well as auto traffic, but keep it in mind.

Tower Bridge will remain open to pedestrians throughout the works, aside from 8am–10pm on the weekends of 26–27 Nov, 3–4 Dec, and 10–11 Dec, and during those times there’ll be a free ferry between Butler’s Wharf Pier and St Katharine’s Pier (which are both just to the east of the bridge on the south and north sides of the river respectively). More information on the TfL website and on LondonSE1.

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