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.
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