From Darby's in Vauxhall to Daffodil Mulligan in Old Street, contemporary Irish-influenced restaurants have been popping up across the capital over the last year or so. Bringing Ireland's relatively little-known cuisine to new demographics while celebrating the country's undeniably excellent produce, these new openings combine well-crafted cuisine with a pleasingly laidback atmosphere - and, more importantly, they're often a lot of fun.
One exceedingly worthy addition to this list is Myrtle, the first solo venture from Dublin chef Anna Haugh. Having worked for top culinary talents in London for 14 years - namely Philip Howard, Shane Osborne and one Gordon Ramsay - 2019 saw Haugh go it alone, opening the doors to her own space on Langton Street, Chelsea. It is named in fond tribute to the late Myrtle Allen, acclaimed chef and international pioneer of Irish food - she was also the first Irish woman to be awarded a Michelin star.
The decor is bright and welcoming with thoughtful touches - Haugh was in charge of the design, as our friendly FOH Daniel tells us (he's also Haugh's cousin) - from colour-pop panelling and pewter water goblets down to the embroidered "Myrtle" face marks worn by wait staff. Since the restaurant reopened in the summer, Covid-conscious measures have been implemented, reducing seats by half while introducing a new bijou "boulevard street dining" area.