Flor, London Bridge: restaurant review

The long-awaited second restaurant from the team behind Lyle’s is a cute, cosy space that serves great wine and deceptively simple small plates of astonishing quality

What's the draw

If you haven't heard of James Lowe and John Ogier's restaurant Lyle's, well, you obviously haven't been paying attention. The Shoreditch restaurant has won a Michelin star, as well as tons of accolades (including the prestige of being a Foodism 100 Winner) for its contemporary British cuisine and sustainable food philosophy. Flor is a follow-up of sorts, although more of a wine bar with small plates, set in a bijou two storeys (three if you count the spiral staircase up to the bathrooms) at the tip of Borough Market. Sit at the bar counter downstairs for a closer look at the action, or grab a table upstairs in the compact but breezy dining room next to the vertiginous vertical wine cellar.

What to drink

For a wine bar, the list doesn't kill you with length or complexity, choosing instead to focus on a few producers the team know they can vouch for. There are a few light aperitivi on the menu, too: we started with a Vergano Americano, with its deep red hue and herbaceous punch, before moving onto an Opok blend by Austrian winemakers Maria & Sepp Muster - crisp, aromatic, and full of the kind of farmy funk you might expect from name that crops up on quite a few of the capital's natural wine-loving bars and restaurants' wine lists.

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What to eat

If you haven't seen enough of them on Instagram, get the prawns. They're slick in texture, lightly cured in a crisp and umami-rich yuzu kosho and served with bright red grilled heads. The filleted raw prawns are meant to be eaten daintily; the heads anything but: pick them up, suck out the remaining flesh and juice, and thank the heavens that London has a restaurant willing to put them on its menu. Elsewhere, there are fantastic, pizza-like flatbreads, like the potato flatbread with stretchy taleggio and summer truffle; lamb ribs slow-smoked with a chlorophyllic salsa verde, labneh and a squeeze of charred lemon and lime that cuts through their rendered fat; and English strawberries that come fresh, dried and as a granita, simply served alongside gorgeous clotted cream. Put simply, Flor gives you everything you love about Lowe's cooking: simple, seasonal, utterly delicious food that's unafraid to be challenging.

Wine from £6 by the glass. 1 Bedale Street, SE1 9AL; florlondon.com