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Union Cafe in Marylebone is part of the Brinkley’s restaurant group and is actually alot more upmarket than the name would suggest. Located on Marylebone Lane the restaurant with its open plan kitchen, wooden chairs and stripped back floors attracts a business crowd, and the odd older woman who clearly has money and likes to show it – we noticed a Jerry Hall wannabe who dined the whole time with huge sunglasses on… she’d obviously been here before and knows from experience that the food is so good you don’t even need to look at it. Either that or she’d been to Harley Street!

Food wise the menu is huge and the amount of dishes is slightly off putting – dim sum, burgers, smoked salmon, mezze plate – everything seems a bit miss matched. However once we’d tasted the Clare Island Smoked Salmon with home-pickled cucumber, sour cream rocket and lemon our minds were put at rest. The salmon’s dressing gave it a whole new level of flavour, tangy and fishy the portion was generous although because of its quality we were left wanting needing more. Deep fried Brie with Cranberry Jelly and Deep Fried Calamari with harissa aioli were equally as good.

For mains the Homemade Crabcakes with chilli jam and mixed leaves were three tasty crab cakes carefully seasoned with a subtle spicy kick. Crispy Duck salad with cucumber, carrot, mint, coriander, spring onion, chilli, lime and toasted cashews was as good as any Asain restaurant salad. In fact we were left wondering just how the chef manages to pull off such a big menu and get every dish just right?

To drink there is a decent wine list with something for all budgets. We couldn’t manage a dessert, as it was only lunchtime but given the chance we’ll pop back and sample the full shebang.

Dining in sunglasses is fully optional.

96 Marylebone Lane, W1U