Last week I was invited to try out Bread Street Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay’s newest venture. Now, that name might ring a few bells. Yes, he’s the one that shouts and swears a lot on the tele and you may have seen him on programmes such as Hell’s Kitchen. Yes, you all know who he is don’t you.
Already having some very fine establishments under his belt, although I have never visited myself, including Maze, Claridges, Petrus and Plane Food, Gordon has decided to go all East London on us. Earlier in the year I visited Pollen Street Social, Jason Atherton’s (ex Maze) first solo venture, which has a sociable fine dining theme. It was his breakaway from prim and proper fine dining and it allows diners to eat food of fine dining standard but in a more sociable environment. I went in the first week and it was fantastic. Although Gordon has gone a similar route with Bread Street Kitchen, the end result differs completely.
I love the name Bread Street Kitchen, it conjures up thoughts of freshly baked bread, wood fire ovens and cosy dimly lit tables. What I saw on arrival was not entirely what I was expecting. Situated in One New Change, the building is modern on the outside but the inside design draws upon East London warehouse influences and is extraordinarily vast. I walked through the circular red velvet curtain (very New York) into the downstairs bar/restaurant and immediately became excited. Within three days of being open, the atmosphere was already buzzing with city workers having their obligatory after work cocktail and couples dining and sitting looking into each other’s eyes longingly over a freshly shaken cosmopolitan.
I was offered a cocktail upon arrival and didn’t have a menu to hand so asked for something fruity and gin based to be prepared for me while I was whisked away on a tour.
Designed by Russell Sage Studio, the design team raided old schools and hospitals to create a mismatched and extremely ‘of the moment’ decore. Reclaimed school chairs, lamps made from microscopes, mid century modern tables and chairs and a cloak room made of old cupboards to name but a few – I loved it.
I arrived back at the table to find a delicious looking cocktail staring out at me with half a passion fruit floating on top. I licked my chops and got sipping. It turned out to be one of the highlights of my evening. I later learned that it was the ‘Bread Street Passion’, a mix of chilli infused tequila and cointreau with passion fruit, lime juice and passion fruit syrup. Not quite what I ordered but as they say, the best things are often the unexpected. I ordered a ‘Bread Street Martini’ to go with my meal, which was a mix of Grey Goose cinnamon infused vodka shaken with grapes, hazlenuts, apple and lime. It was sickly sweet in comparison and a bit too much to drink alongside the food but perhaps it would have worked better as an aperatif.
So, the food. Most of us where slightly overwhelmed by the menu, which is separated into three sections – Raw Bar, Kitchen and Wood Stone and the dishes were extremely varied. After a while I settled on a starter and a main. The lemon and lime marinated tuna caught my eye at first but I ended up opting for the baked burrata, heritage tomato and onion tart. For main, I decided on the sucking pig, partly because I haven’t had it for a very long time and it’s not something I see on many menus anymore and partly because the whole sucking pig lying on the counter at the front of the restaurant had tempted me.
I devoured my starter but couldn’t help thinking that £10.50 was ever so slightly expensive for a dainty slice of filo pastry topped with a few tomatoes and a dollop of burrata. However, the taste of it was delicious and the addition of lemon zest on top of the burrata was a real winner for me. I also had a taste of the crispy pigs head with lime chilly mayonnaise (£8.50) and while I enjoyed it, I felt that the batter drowned the rich pigs head a bit too much.
Onto the mains and I was excited to see my sucking pig (£16) put down in front of me. It was just the right portion size with a dollop of spiced apple puree and a nice amount of thin but extremely delicious gravy. I couldn’t have wished for a better main. I also tried the poussin, chimchirri and burnt lemon (£15) and the grilled Aberdeen angus rib-eye and beef marrowbone (£29.50) and both were top class.
Feeling slightly dazed and full after two courses and two pieces of freshly baked bread and butter (oops), I perused the dessert menu. Of course I had left space. There was no way that a Bread Street Kitchen dessert was going to escape my sugar loving grasp. I’m having a bit of a cheesecake ‘thing’ at the moment so I ordered the vanilla and gingerbread cheesecake with autumn berries (£8).
The cheese part of the cake was delicious, creamy and rich but I couldn’t help but feel ever so slightly disappointed that the gingerbread base wasn’t really a base at all. It could have been a bit thicker, rather than being a mere dusting. I also tasted the pineapple carpacchio, passion fruit and orange sorbet (£7). What is that I hear you ask? It is literally thinly sliced pineapple with a fantastic passion fruit dressing and delectable orange sorbet. Totally and utterly refreshing!
Gordon has gone for a concept that I love in a part of town that unfortunately I don’t frequent. Maybe this will now give me an excuse to trawl the streeta of London’s square mile from time to time then.
Food For Think was a guest at Bread Street Kitchen
Bread Street Kitchen
10 Bread Street