Jason Allen 12/03/24

The Light Bar

The Victorians did two things really well: sexual repression, and huge phallic architecture.

So it would have disappointed them to see the towering chimney on their otherwise gorgeous power station building on Shoreditch High Street get knocked down. And it would have infuriated them to see the venue turned into a buzzing nightclub where men and women mingled liberally, drank a lot, and helped to turn Shoreditch into the nightlife hotspot that it is.

The Light Bar

That turn-of-the-millennium nightclub eventually closed, and in its place is now The Light Bar. And despite all the ups and downs, and the storied history the place has been through, the building has stayed amazingly intact. And a good thing too, because it’s absolutely beautiful. The lens of time has turned all of those hard-edged Victorian necessities into elegant interior touches – the bare brickwork, the iron fittings, the huge arched windows, it’s all there. This place fell off the ‘magnificent industrial interiors’ tree and hit every branch on the way down.

The double-height ground floor restaurant is truly cavernous, with light gushing in from the gigantic windows. And it’s here that chef Ali Borer plies his trade. He comes to the venue from Smoking Goat, and he’s bringing his A-game. The menu he’s created intertwines Asian flavours with British produce, with dishes ranging from slow-cooked grilled pork skewers with chilli glaze & cucumber relish; to house flatbreads with chicken liver butter; and grilled sardines with seaweed butter & hispi cabbage.

Light Bar

But the real treat is the Sunday Sessions. For £30pp you’ll get 2 courses, plus sides – you can pick from the likes of fried oyster mushrooms with tofu & ginger dressing or beef tartare & shiitake mushrooms with lotus root crisps, to go with roasted iron age pork loin with sweet & sour Szechuan sauce; chilli-glazed Somerset Saxon roasted chicken with fermented chilli peppercorn sauce; Aurox beef sirloin with miso Bearnaise sauce; baked whole Plaice with Kafir lime leaf oil; and smoked aubergine, sticky tomato & miso glaze.

And on the side? How about some spiced cauliflower cheese; a helping of beef fat roast pink firs; and a mixed leaf salad with chilli vinaigrette. And then a Vietnamese doughnut with chocolate & coffee dip to finish. Of course all of this is completely seasonal, so can & most certainly will change with whatever the fishermen & farmers haul in.

Light Bar

Upstairs in the dangling, loft-like mezzanine area, you’ll find the Copper Bar, whose countertops and midcentury furnishing all conspire to drag the vibe of the interiors a few decades forward. Showstopper cocktails on the menu up here include: Girlcore (vodka, sloe gin, fig, berry, champagne cordial, soda), Hysteria (tequila, kumquat triple sec, aperol, lime), and To The East (gin, plum sake, peach liqueur, lime, lemonade).

And further upstairs? They’ve got a third floor restaurant called The Timber Loft (so-called because of the original beams holding the place together) also run by chef Ali Borer, and the place to request for date night. Here, Ali is serving up the likes of stuffed chilli spring rolls, grilled pork chops and shrimp with wasabi butter and dill, and slow cooked mackerel with seaweed butter and hispy cabbage.

Perfect for a little light meal.


NOTEThe Light Bar is open now. You can book a table and find out more at their website right HERE.

The Light Bar | 233 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6PJ

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The Light Bar

233 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, E1 6PJ

8.0 | Great