It used to be that London was notorious for having the worst food of any major city in the world. Not any more. I’ve lived there twice, with five years in between, and on my second time around I definitely noticed a shift in the food quality demanded by the dining public – jostling with the capital’s traditional French fine dining establishments were now restaurants serving fine dining of Modern British fare.

The Commoner bring the best of Modern British to Fitzroy. The restaurant consists of what looks like the inside of an old terrace house with a courtyard at the back. The vibe was casual and friendly, with little rustic touches like the display of metal cultery, small blackboard menus resting on the whitewashed walls and a fabulous large wooden table in the window, perfect for animated chats with friends and wine. From the short menu our table went for rabbit served with a delicious cheesy baked polenta and delicate asparagus ($28), braised beef cheeks with mash ($28) and buttermilk pudding with tangy passionfruit pulp ($12) to finish. All warm, soothing and hearty dishes made with seasonal ingredients and obvious care.

On Sundays it gets even better with a ‘tell us your budget and we’ll feed you’ concept, starting from $45. Grab your friends for degustation!

Update: The owner of The Commoner, Jo Corrigan, read this post and wanted to pass a little secret your way – The Commoner will be opening an upstairs area some time in the summer. The space will include a private dining room, some small tables for grazing and drinks and a standing area for special events.

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