Industrial magnificence, delectable starters and the ultimate Bloody Mary – Olivia explains why you need to experience Sunday Sessions at Light Bar, Shoreditch 

Sunday – our day of rest, gearing up for the week ahead, and, (for some of us) recovering from the night before. Sunday is our final day of weekend recuperation, a day that should consist of rest, relaxation, reflection and of course, some really good food.

It is a Sunday I find myself strolling to Shoreditch to seek out the appropriately named ‘Light Bar’, an independent bar with dining over three floors in what was once one of London’s most important power stations.

The genius team behind Light Bar are with me on my idea of Sundays. Introducing ‘Sunday Sessions’, every week, Light Bar now offers a new Sunday-exclusive menu, featuring Asian flavours inspired by their traditional Sunday roast created by Head Chef, Ali Borer. 

Built in 1893, this building represents Shoreditch at its very best. Light Bar still exudes all the industrial magnificence just as it would have done over 130 years ago, with its original Victorian features proudly restored and now perfectly capturing Light Bar’s modern, on-trend identity.

This is most evident through the windows. As I take in my surroundings, I understand that the name ‘Light Bar’ is not only a nod to the building’s history, but also encapsulates the incredible amount of natural light that floods this huge space.

Reaching lofty heights from floor to ceiling, these windows take up the restaurant’s bare-brick walls and frame the cityscape out beyond. Inside, they create a brilliant light, bright and airy space perfect for diners to indulge upon a Sunday, no matter the weather outside. A huge bar takes centre stage, and it is here that some of the best Bloody Marys we have ever sipped are concocted.

The ultimate Sunday cocktail, these are placed on our solid marble-topped table with style. A simple sprig of rosemary and a lemon slice adorn the glass and we are greeted with the sweet, tangy taste and aroma of tomato juice. A slight earthy undertone is accentuated with added dashes of Worcestershire sauce, and pretty soon we notice that all the tables surrounding us have copied our drink. You’re welcome.

At just £30 per person, these two-course Sunday Session lunches seem almost too good to be true, so we eagerly await our starters. Two diners that love to share dishes, we first sample the spiced cured trout with shiso: a cured chalk stream trout with nahn jim seasoning, puffed rice and shiso leaf.

The delicate flavour of the trout is beautifully complemented by the bright, herbal taste of the shiso and is given even more of a delectable Asian flourish with the sweet, sour and spiciness of the nahn jim seasoning.

Our second starter comes in the form of the beef tartare and shiitake mushrooms with Jerusalem artichoke crisps. This dish reaches new flavour heights with the addition of apple, shallots, sweet soy sauce and Japanese mayo – and just like the trout – it sets the standards high for the rest of the meal.

One small forkful of this starter is packed with flavour and boasts a gorgeous, raw texture. The beef is stand-out, working nicely in unison with the earthy-smokiness and rich, meaty-yet-buttery texture of the shiitake mushrooms. The seasoning and further ingredients pull everything together into one sensational flavour morsel, with an extra added crunch of artichoke crisps.  

After one or two more Bloody Marys, our mains arrive. For me, the chilli-glazed Somerset Saxon roasted chicken. I am wowed by the generous portion. I know it is more than I will eat, but I tuck in and give it a good go. Delicately seasoned and served with fermented chilli peppercorn sauce, this chicken is anything but bland. Well-cooked yet tender, the meat falls satisfyingly from the bone, and soaked in the fermented chilli peppercorn sauce, it achieves perfect Sunday comfort food status. This dish wouldn’t be as tasty without our selection of equally comforting Sunday sides: spiced cauliflower cheese, beef fat roast pink potatoes and a mixed leaf chilli vinaigrette salad.

The cauliflower cheese seizes the crown here. A stunning cheese-pull fit for anyone’s Instagram promises plenty of spicy cheddar goodness – while the cauliflower is perfectly cooked with a fresh crunch. Golden potatoes are just as they should be on a Sunday: crisp on the outside with lovely salty rosemary seasoning, and fluffy and light on the inside. Roasties at their best. The salad is just as fresh and works nicely as that token of greenery you need in a meal such as this. 

Comfortably full but never a pair to turn down a pud (especially on a Sunday), we add a couple of desserts to this Sunday session. Both opting for the Vietnamese doughnut and chocolate coffee dip, for me this is a real risk that pays off exceptionally well, as I am not usually a doughnut fan. Warm, light, fluffy, covered in crunchy sugar, these prove to be that compulsory sweet-hit you crave on a Sunday afternoon. As expected, the coffee and chocolate work deliciously together, and coating the doughnut makes a spoonful of this stuff even more heavenly. I eat the lot. 

So next time you’re in need of some weekend recuperation, or simply some seriously good Sunday comfort food – with a flavour-elevating Asian twist – look no further than Light Bar’s Sunday Sessions.

233 Shoreditch High Street

London E1 6PJ