While some chefs can’t help but chase modern gastronomy trends, Philip Johnson has made his name by demonstrating remarkable restraint in the kitchen.
E’cco bistro, his lauded interpretation of a classic French bistro, opened in 1995 in a former tea warehouse. There’s no unnecessary theatre here, just a celebration of seasonal produce.
The menu has evolved considerably since the restaurant’s inception, yet the idea of honest food remains at its core. Take a starter of bread and butter – the bread is sourced from local baker Danny’s Bread and paired with Isigny Sainte-Mere butter from France. It’s a simple combination, but of the highest quality ingredients.
The understated sophistication of the space reflects this food philosophy. Choose to dine from the a la carte menu or settle in for the five-course tasting menu to enjoy dishes such as venison tartare; pumpkin agnolotti; and wagyu rump cap, which are layered with complex flavour.
There’s also a separate menu for vegetarians and an impressive selection of wine, whisky and cocktails. After more than 20 years in the game, Johnson has proven that fine dining can exist without stiff formality.