Keeping a bit of momentum up with these reviews, eh? Famous last words… Anyway, before I go back to being world’s flakiest blogger and don’t post another one until 2016, let’s talk about Bread Street Kitchen. This edition of Dining At has been the best part of six months in the scheming. Back in November the lovely Emily of Fashion Foie Gras and her equally charming man hosted a super cute Halloween party for their friends and fam at Bread Street Kitchen. In between glugging cocktails in the bar and getting extreme outfit envy over other people’s costumes (mine was uncharacteristically cop out, I love love LOVE dressing up) Char and I ventured upstairs to the restaurant. Despite having dined on hearty, stomach lining fare elsewhere, after clapping eyes on the gourmet delights being served we found ourselves ravenous and I vowed to come back asap and try it for myself. Then uni final year madness kicked in, combined with fashion month and a zillion other things, and it was only last week that I finally returned.
As one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants, it should probably come as no surprise that Bread Street Kitchen is good, seriously good. It’s also an incredibly stylish and buzzing yet entirely unpretentious place to spend an evening, and for me thats almost as important as the food served. The restaurant itself is large, open plan space with a variety of long tables, high rise bar style seating and long banquet’s. The design is a fusion of contemporary cool – think exposed brick and pipework, open kitchen etc – and traditional touches like rich, chestnut leather benches, antique lights and majestic mirrored pillars. There are evidently also a few tucked away nooks for diners who don’t wish to see and be seen, like the Beckhams (!) who just so happened to be there that evening. My dining companion was one of my all time best girl friends who, thanks to our equally insane schedules, I hadn’t seen in months and it was the perfect spot for a serious catch up with our every whim catered for.
Having hugged about six times, talked simultaneously at each other and just about recovered from our over excitement at being reunited, priority numero uno was a bottle of vino blanco, obviously. Within seconds the sommelier had appeared. Like any good sommelier should, he knew the contents of their cellar more than I know the contents of my wardrobe (FYI that’s seriously well) and convinced me against going for my usual favourite, Sancerre, in favour of an English wine that turned out to be one of the best I’ve tasted in a while. Ordering food was rather less straightforward. I could have eaten basically anything and everything on the menu. In the end I went for Seared yellow fin tuna with aiji amarillo dressing & corn kernals – you know how much I love anything involving this particular fish so if spoilt for choice, its my go to – while Meng opted for Roasted veal carpaccio with dill pickles, quails egg and tuna dressing. Good God it was excellent: fresher than fresh, no strings attached, sliced like butter and bursting with flavor. Those are technical terms, of course. As a good reviewer should, I sampled the Veal, which although not something it would ever cross my mind to order was fantastic and rich without being overpowering.
Seared yellow fin tuna with aiji amarillo dressing & corn kernals
Roasted veal carpaccio with dill pickles, quails egg and tuna dressing
For my main course, an even trickier decision without the obvious tuna solution, I chose the Steamed sea bream with braised leeks, brown shrimp, sea purslane & shellfish dressing. Steamed fish can go one of two ways really. Done well, it’s light as air, just the right amount of fluffy and totally succulent. If not executed to perfection it’s dry and/or deeply boring. This dish fell formerly into the former category with a cacophony of tastes and scents intertwining courtesy of the shrimps and leeks and whatever herbs n’ oils it had been cooked in.
Steamed sea bream with braised leeks, brown shrimp, sea purslane & shellfish dressing
Between me and Meng we had a bit of surf n’ turf going on as she chose the Casterbridge rib-eye steak and we had a bit of a sampling session. When I first encountered Bread Street Kitchen I suspected they did great steak and I certainly wasn’t wrong, although I personally like mine rare and practically mooing so was slightly peeved by Meng’s dubious decision to ask for
hers ours medium. Between us we also indulged in a selection of sides with the intention to “sample” little bits of each. They turned out to be rather too delicious not to finish (especially the Heritage tomatoes with shallots and basil pesto) so by the time we’d polished them off, we decided to finish up with cocktails rather than pudding. In retrospect I slightly regret this decision as the dessert menu looked pretty banging. Next time maybe we’ll just have puddings! That said, the cocktails were sublime. I’m not usually a massive Mojito drinker but the sun was shining, it was a Friday night and it just seemed so right. I’m very glad it did as this was one of the finest Mojito’s I’ve had in my time: super minty, ice cold and with enough brown sugar to stop things getting too tangy but not so much it basically turned into an alcoholic slush puppie. I’ve tried those, they’re not good. The bar is also very cool and prime position for people watching. Had the Beckham’s not been dining privately it would have been even dreamier.
All in all, Bread Street Kitchen has landed itself straight on my favourite dining spots list. The food might not be quite as uber gourmet as Babbo – although admittedly it’s not Italian cuisine so that’s a slight case of comparing apples and oranges – but it’s actually rather more to my tastes than what they have on offer there. As for the ambiance and the service, you couldn’t wish for better.
Bread Street Kitchen can be found at One New Change, 10 Bread St, London EC4M 9AB. Visit the website here.