Bringing the authentic taste of British cuisine with a flair for Scottish flavours to the heart of The City, Origin City is a modern restaurant rooted in traditional values from the Landsberg family, notably behind Farringdon’s favourite 56 West Smithfield.
Located just a stone’s throw from its counterpart on the other side of West Smithfield, Origin City is built on a nose-to-tail concept, a bold statement that carries it with an ethos of uncompromising quality, and on that, it certainly does deliver.
The laid-back yet refined décor sets the tone; a rustic colour palette of neutrals echoes the British heritage at the pinnacle of the restaurant’s concept, but there is an underlying sense of sophistication that reinforces its compatibility as either a lunch spot or an evening occasion.
The chairs are green and red, there are earthy shades of textured wood, and a mural adorns the wall depicting animals, a theme echoed through the artwork that hangs from the walls showing cattle with the centrepiece of the restaurant floor being the open kitchen, positioned to overlook diners.
Using meat from the family’s organic farm back in Scotland and seafood from their aquafarm, Executive Chef Graham Chatham, who counts some 35 years under his belt with stints at The Langham and Rules, to name a few, has created a menu centred around the rarefied produce of the family farm, well executed and sure to serve a treat.
With meat playing the lead role throughout the fare on offer, you’d be forgiven for steering clear if you weren’t a meat lover per se, but rest assured the small choice on offer (one starter and one main, to be precise) are enough of a plate pleaser to make the trip, the Roasted Pumpkin, Beauvale and Pickled Pear is cleverly devised and brings a fusion of flavour, the Grilled Hispi Cabbage equally delights.
For those that can devour game and meat organically sourced from the Landsberg family farm, which sees Heritage Breeds of grass-fed Black Angus and Tamworth as part of its livestock, be sure to arrive hungry as one can feel a little spoilt for choice with so many tempting dishes to choose from.
You’ll want to start with the charcuterie board; like everything else, it is made in-house and comes with a toasted sourdough baguette, they say it serves two, but with such a generous portion, it could easily stretch further. Prime cuts of ham and pork are accompanied by a helping of pickles. If space allows, do try the potato and thyme sourdough, even if just for the delicious Nduja butter it comes served with.
For the actual starters, Black Angus Tartare is a must-try; the texture and quality of the meat are second to none. The Patridge also makes for a hearty starter, served with a dollop of Foie Gras. It is cooked to perfection and comes with a nice berry jus, which adds a level of consistency to the dish.
Mains wise, it’s a tough shout to decide whether you’ll do one of the dishes for two share, the Stout-braised beef is difficult for anyone to pass on, or to order a la one; either way the true pasture-to-plate concept is showcased along with Chatham’s culinary mastery.
If you do decide to order separately, then the Black pig cut of the day, butchered within the restaurant, is a must. It really hits the spot and comes served with fennel sausage and a purée of celeriac.
The Black Angus cut of the day is also a standout dish on the menu, as one might expect, deliciously cooked and done to your preference, its 300g of meat dry-aged for some 40 days and for any lover of fine steak, it doesn’t disappoint, and the black garlic ketchup complements it well for just a little more flavour.
Desserts are kept quite unpretentious and very British, Sticky toffee pudding and Vanilla crème brûlée feature alongside a curation of cheeses (undoubtedly British) by twice Affineur of the Year, Perry James Wakeman.
For a newcomer on the scene, having opened only earlier this year, Origin City certainly leaves its mark; you quickly feel as though you’ve journeyed on a culinary voyage to the family farm and back through the perfectly prepared dishes and exquisite produce that take centre stage in this exceptional eatery.
Text By Jaz Grewal