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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Bread Street Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay's New Restaurant

Gordon Ramsay's new restaurant Bread Street Kitchen is controversially just next door to Jamie Oliver's meat-fest eatery, Barbecoa ...and I could feel the healthy buzz of competition. BSK is the latest concept from Ramsay, a place to dine and drink, at any time of the day, in any capacity.

The venue, on Bread Street in St Pauls, is vast, an impressively industrial space with a touch of boutique-y elegance...I was reminded of a New York warehouse. I have never witnessed a restaurant so big. Ramsay has made this restaurant truly individual and exciting, old school lamps sit in clusters around the space and one special table uses second-hand gymnastic equipment for seats. Downstairs bar stools and little tables are provided for guests to munch on small dishes and snacks while drinking. Up a few (too many) stairs and you reach the proper restaurant, with an extensive menu and an army of staff.

I was invited along just a few days after the restaurant opened for a Blogger's Dinner. About ten of us assembled on the first floor, and after numerous handshakes and hellos, had a little tour and explanation of the restaurant's credo. Bread Street Kitchen cost a massive £5 million to launch and is designed by Russell Sage, a creative mastermind.

The menu is split into various sections: Raw, Salads, Hot Kitchen, Wood Stone, Sides. As the categories suggest there is a dazzling array of choice and hopefully something for everyone, though it seems a little sparse on vegetarian options. The cocktail list features some classics but really excels with the BSK speciality drinks. I tried the Lychee and Raspberry Martini, and the Bread Street Mojito that along with the usual components uses vanilla sugar and pears to add a yummy twist.

It was lovely to be eating with a group of similarly fanatic and eccentic bloggers, food came and everyone scrambled to take photos and taste each other's food, it was hilarious. I chose the oven-baked burrata, heritage tomatoes and onion tart (£10.50) and then the Poussin, with chimichurri and burnt lemon (£15.00) for my main course. My tart was tasty, though only lukewarm and needed a bit of extra seasoning. The poussin however was spectacular, deliciously juicy and succulent with the most wonderfully fresh and garlicky vinaigrette dressing. A fellow blogger and I chose a few (three!) sides to share all in the name of research: mashed potato that perfectly accompanied my poussin; it was so creamy I wondered if the proportions of butter and potato were equal. Then chips, of course, which were divine, soft crispy and chunky. Finally for a bit of greenery we chose the green beans with hazelnuts and lemon, which I thought was a little bit disappointing and sad looking so they mostly remained in the dish. Other diners tried many other choices, the rib-eye steak was delicious and the fish choices were beautifully presented. All in all, the group of hungry critics seemed very content.

The curse of eating too much bread, meant I had to choose the lightest of desserts, luckily there was the perfect dish, pineapple carpaccio with mango sorbet and passionfruit. The sliced fruit looked more like a sushi fish dish but was refreshing and light and a lovely palate cleanser. I did feel a little jealous watching the rest of the table tucking into their chocolate tarts and gingerbread cheesecakes.

In an area of London where busy city workers are desperate for a place to relax and enjoy a plate of good food, it seems Bread Street Kitchen more than satisfies. For a casual restaurant, prices seem a little high but then again, I guess city business folk have more spare change than the rest of us.

Visit the Bread Street Kitchen website here.

1 comment:

  1. mm that food looks so good right now!