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THE SCENE: A cosy basement spot in the City’s Leadenhall Market. It’s not your usual Bank bar – lights are low and suits are few. Broken emerald-green 19th-century wall tiles and a “smoking room” sign give the impression of old London.

THE GRUB: It’s as much about food as drink here, but if you don’t like cheese and meat, go home, because that’s Old Tom’s speciality. Quality cheeses range from blue to rind, to goat’s, and the Barbers 1833 vintage reserve cheddar is comforting and creamy. Decadent meats dishes include wild boar and venison salami, duck breast smoked over whisky-infused oak chips, and a homely honey-roast English ham.
BEHIND THE BAR: The prosecco is disappointingly flat, but this is redeemed by an intensely deep Malbec that washes the cheese down a little too well. The spicy shiraz is also well-matched to the menu. For hops-based drink fans, there’s a strong London cask ale and craft beer contingent with Camden Hells and Redemption included. You won’t find Stella or Fosters in here.

BILL PLEASE: Half pints of beer and ale from £1.75; wine from £3.90 a glass, £15.50 a bottle. Cheese and meat plates £5.50; sharing boards with three dishes £14.95.

VERDICT: The food and wines are expertly matched, portions are generous and it’s a welcome alternative to the City’s plethora of shiny bars. Flat fizz aside, Old Tom deserves a roaring trade.

Whittington Street, Leadenhall Market, EC3V 1LR 
Tube: Bank

Review: Clare Vooght


Old Tom’s Bar - cheese and charcuterie - Leadenhall Market - restaurant review
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