If you fancy a spot of relaxed, modern British cooking and an excitable atmosphere, then Donnelly’s at The Sun & 13 Cantons is the place to go.
Set up by chef James Donnelly, his latest pop-up on Beak St is at one of Soho’s busiest pubs. Earlier this year he ran a residency at Louie Louie in Elephant & Castle, but this latest venture is his proudest moment yet.
At first glance, you’d dismiss the possibility of a pop-up restaurant here, given the sea of waving arms and bobbing heads that swarm the place; but tucked to the side, an impressive 30 cover dining space giving revellers the option to soak up the booze. Punters usually drink raucously until last orders before heading on to one of Soho’s late night spots.
The space is extremely low lit with saloon style lamps on each table, backed by Victorian bottle green tiled walls. The interiors certainly bring a lot of charm to The Sun & 13 Cantons, add to that the delectable plates from James’ repertoire and you’re on to a winner.
With previous head chef roles at restaurants such as The Palmerston, James has nailed his dishes with true British flair. Expect ‘posh pub’ grub selections throughout the menu, each dish a comforting Anglian affair.
The Cobble Lane cured meat croquettes and the white crab on buttermilk cornbread are certainly an upgrade on your usual pub snack. Accompanied by a glass of prosecco, we eazed into the bustling pub atmosphere nicely.
The bavette is a must for the steak lover, served with Beauvale blue butter, it’s a flavoursome plate. The damson smoked feather blade falls apart at the lightest touch and is served with pickled chilli for extra bite.
We accompanied our mains with grilled broccoli and an indulgent cheese fuelled potato, onion and sage cake.
Go meat free with the tempura fish tacos, lightly battered and served on a floury tortilla with chilli mayo. It’s a snack rather than a full plate, we‘re not quite sure why it sits under the mains.
Veggie options include the spiced red lentils served with flatbread and the kale, broccoli, chickpea and orange salad.
For dessert, try the Port and Vanilla poached plum. In keeping with the British theme, the plums were handpicked by James and his girlfriend in the rural parts of Kent just this month, bringing a personal touch to the plate. The lemon panna cotta is also worth a shot, and is as eloquent in texture and flavour.
We’re so happy we managed to visit Donnelly’s during it’s Soho stint. James will be serving up his delicious plates until December before moving on to a Bermondsey location next year. Watch this space!
To book a table for Donnelly’s at The Sun & 13 Cantons visit www.sunand13cantons.co.uk
21 Great Pulteney St