Stoney Street by 26 Grains, London SE1: restaurant review
Try soda bread slathered with confit garlic butter, Pump Street chocolate mousse and aromatic quince G&Ts at this Borough Market restaurant
Looking for an all-day dining spot in Borough Market? Read our review of Stoney Street by 26 Grains, and check out more places to eat and drink in London Bridge here.
Stoney Street by 26 Grains in a nutshell
An all-day Borough Market restaurant that radiates passion for independent producers and hyper-local ingredients.
Alex Hely-Hutchinson, owner of Seven Dial’s 26 Grains has brought Henrietta Inman (and her vegetable-focussed food) in as head chef. Inman grows her own produce at home in Suffolk, with an emphasis on seasonality and freshness. Inman won veggie pioneer in the olive Chef Awards 2019, so click here to read more about her work.
What’s the vibe?
Modern rustic, where old, weathered materials are married with warm Scandi touches. Located under the arches, the cosy spot has a scattering of marble tables for two huddled together and a line of window seats, and stools at the bar. Jars of house-made pickles and ferments line up neatly on shelves, with a bounty of vibrant vegetables brimming over wooden troughs in the corner.
What’s the food like at Stoney Street by 26 Grains?
Small plates that celebrate the very best ingredients is the order of the day, but if you’re not sure what YQ pastry or Baron Bigod is, flip your menu over to read the page dedicated to the people growing the food. Cheeses are sourced from neighbouring Neal’s Yard Dairy, while YQ (standing for yield and quality) flour comes from Wakelyns, a Suffolk farm.
A good place to start is with a few slices of the soda bread – slather it first with whipped salted butter, then a top layer of punchy confit garlic butter. Share a wholegrain spelt tart, the nutty pastry crumbling under the weight of sweet roasted squash, Colston Basset stilton and shavings of russet apple. If you only fancy a nibble, there’s Greek unpasteurised olives and plates of silky charcuterie.
Take your pick between three mains, ranging from light and zesty to hearty and warming. Flaky lemon sole is lifted with citrusy coriander seeds and buttery wilted chard, while pheasant with bread sauce feels like the poshest Christmas dinner you’ll eat all year. There’s spiced braised red cabbage that still has a bit of bite, creamy bread sauce to soak up the meat juices and winter greens to add a burst of welcome freshness.
Order both desserts, the rich aerated chocolate mousse (made with Pump Street Jamaica chocolate) with pistachio nibs and grassy olive oil, and the frangipane pear tart that sits in a double dairy puddle of cardamom cream and silky vanilla custard.
And the drinks?
A succinct wine list offers few options for each grape, with most coming from Southern Europe. A glass of the crisp and clean Domaine Pierre Luneau Papin, Folle Blanche marries well with the lemon sole, or sip on house cocktails, an aromatic quince G&T, or citrusy bergamot sour garnished with a sprig of thyme.
Pop in for a breakfast of wheat milk crèpes with autumn plums or spinach and herb soufflé omelettes, or, if you’re there for dinner, admire the counter laden with freshly baked cakes, tarts and galettes, then take one away for your morning coffee the next day.
Words by Ellie Edwards
Photographs by Philippa Langley