PLATE AT M BY MONTCALM
Located in the oh so hip area of Shoreditch, in what is now known as Tech City or Silicon Roundabout thanks to the number of web start-ups occupying the area, the M by Montcalm Hotel appears like a piece of modern art, wedged between two streets. There’s no missing the hotel’s jagged modernist forms, contrasting wildly with the 19th century building of Moorfields Eye Hospital across the road. Plate is the hotel’s brasserie-style restaurant, professing a French-inspired modern menu. The restaurant is split over the ground floor and the first floor, but a table by the window on the first floor gives a great view out over the bustling streets below.
I started my meal with a generous portion of Chalk Farm sea trout with a gravadlax dressing and pink peppercorn yoghurt, which was fresh and delicious, while my friend enjoyed her Nutbourne heritage tomato with fennel bread and lemon ricotta a great deal. The dishes looked and tasted far more expensive than their fairly modest price tags! The ambience of the restaurant was bustling and busy but far from noisy, with the feel of a really good wine bar about it, making it perfect for more casual dining as well as smarter outings. My main course of corn fed chicken breast with confit carrot and garlic puree was tender and tasty, but felt slightly parsimonious after such a generous starter. My friend found the same with her butternut squash risotto with chives and buckwheat. Still, there was plenty to eat, at a reasonable price, and the cooking and presentation was superb. Given the wine bar feel, the wine list felt a little limited, but the rosé we selected was a perfect antidote to a hot city evening. We unanimously decided that the cheese selection was the best option for the evening, instead of a dessert, and the board for two was an excellent choice, with something for everyone.
There isn’t much of a traditional French feel to Plate as a restaurant, but there is a distinctly Gallic appreciation for wellprepared and lovingly cooked good-quality food. It was a great combination of a pleasant atmosphere, excellent food and good value for money.
Open lunchtime daily 12pm-3pm; dinner Tues-thurs 6pm10.30pm, Friday and Saturday 6pm-11pm, Sunday and Monday 6pm-10pm Starters from £6.50, mains from £14. M by Montcalm Hotel London 151-157 City Road, London EC1V 1JH Tel: 0203 837 3000, mbymontcalm.co.uk