Elysium Magazine was invited to one of the finest dining establishments providing the authentic taste of the USA – The Diner. The Diner team have spent 6 months travelling across the USA, visiting the coolest neighbourhoods in Miami, Chicago, Bushwick and Williamsberg to explore, taste and draw inspiration for new dishes. Keen to see what was new, the Elysium team sought to tuck into some great American dishes.
THE LOOK, THE FEEL
The Diner is easy to find, with branches dotted across London you are not far from one of the eight venues. We visited Soho – located on Ganton Street, one of London’s busiest places. A buzz of excitement was already in full flow when we arrived mid-week, a queue forming waiting for tables – a very popular venue.
We were greeted and shown around the venue – large and spacious; a good choice for drinks or food with groups. The buzz is one of the Diner’s great appeal factors, an easy atmosphere where groups socialise over a great choice of cocktails and a range of burgers. Exactly how Marc Francis-Baum, Andreas Akerlund and Patric Franzen wanted when they found the Diner in 2005 giving the UK a taste of New York.
To start things off we tucked into Diner Queso with Tortilla Chips and Frito Pie. A great introduction to things to come – straight into the Bacon Jalapeno Tater Tots and Corn Dog – we were impressed, the authentic American look and feel was alive at the Diner.
THE MAIN EVENT
So what’s new? The breakfast menu highlights include ‘Eggs Blackstone’; a twist on the classic brunch-time favourite Eggs Benedict, with grilled tomatoes, crispy bacon and plated with fruit and tater tots, showing us Brits how the Americans do it. The whipped honey butter that’s served with The Diner’s pancakes is another game changer, and you have to try the ‘Cholla French Toast’, a revolutionary take on the classic, now made with thick slices of Jewish Cholla bread soaked in The Diner’s house made custard.
The team enjoyed the ‘Chilaquiles’ tortilla strips layered with guacamole, tomatillo salsa, fried eggs and queso fresco. Tomatillo is a staple Mexican fruit that works amazingly in this tex-mex inspired dish. A Mexican dish which is making waves in Miami – perfect timing to bring over to the UK and certainly one of our favourites.
We can’t mention the Diner and not talk burger – the ‘Red Hot’ built with a 6oz patty with tomatillo salsa, Monterey Jack cheese and jalapeños on a Rinkoff’s sesame bun. Another great burger to add to the already vast selection available at the Diner – at this point we certainly were loosening our belts, the delicious and easy to eat food was taking its toll. We could stop and took a breather before ordering one of our most memorable desserts ever: The Diner’s exclusive new dessert: Rinkoff’s ‘Nutella Marshmallow Crodough’; a fried croissant/donut hybrid made fresh and served with a scoop of hazelnut ice cream. Fans of the cro-nut will be in for a treat.
The Diner’s new menu brings a great refresh to an already vast menu – the new dishes tell a lot about the teams visit across the USA bringing new trends to the UK. Lighter bites are also available for those not looking to tuck into a burger – pancakes (Red Velvet pancakes!) and London’s first ‘Vegan Benedict’. If you are looking for a relaxed venue for drinks and food, in the heart of London look no further than The Diner – the best of the US in London.
Food: 4/5 stars
Ambience: 4/5 stars
Venue: 4/5 stars