The City usually abuzz with bankers and lawyers rushing about in their tunnel-vision march takes on a different guise at the weekend. Calmer, quieter and altogether more civilised, it’s a perfect place for Sunday lunch and of course Mother’s Day.
Bread Street Kitchen, is a casual dining restaurant part of Gordon Ramsay’s culinary empire. It’s a huge site, sprawling over two floors in One New Change, a shopping centre seconds from St Paul’s. The cavernous space is cleverly compartmentalised into an array of seating selections with clever lighting and architecture. It takes on a slightly retro laboratory slash New York warehouse feel. Sounds strange doesn’t it? But it somehow works.
From the tiled floor, metal stools, wood and mirrored panelled columns, mesh wire staircase, brass microscopes, exposed ventilation ducts and enough vintage anglepoise lamps to challenge the Design Museum!
If you don’t fancy the whole enchilada there is a ground floor bar too. It offers a selection of small plates and some yummy sounding cocktails.
Being Mothers Day I was treated to a special cocktail on arrival a Grey Goose Royale, with a splash of passionfruit and orange. It lubricated the tastebuds nicely in preparation for lunchtime decision-making.
Once settled in, we were served the restaurants namesake – delicious hot bread. Well I say delicious from the little I managed to eat. Mr S and I didn’t really get a look in. It was gobbled down in super speed time by our other two companions. With words such as this ‘this is so tasty mummy’ and ‘you really should try some’ (if you stop hogging it I will!).
The girls were given their own menu which contained crayons and pictures to colour. They both plumped for the rigatoni with tomato and mozzarella. Other options included fried chicken wings, sausage and mash and fish and chips. Another bonus to dining here is that kids eat free – ALL day and EVERY day. A-bloody-mazing!
The menu is full of British classics with a twist – loin of venison, Cornish fillet of hake, pork and fennel sausages and roasted cod. We both started with the pea soup with broad beans and crispy shallots (£7.50). Black pudding can be added if you so desire. The soup was as vibrant as it looked. Deliciously fresh tasting and flavoursome.
The restaurant makes a point of using the Corovin wine preservation system. What is that, I hear you ask? New to me too it initially filled me with excitement. Basically a new sommelier gadget pierces through the cork of the finest wines to extract the lip-smacking nectar, without risking any quality decline to the remaining wine. Something to do with Argon gas. Or something. Long story short, you can sample the fine and rare wines residing in the Bread Street Kitchen cellars by the glass or carafe.
Well, that’s if you have a bottomless wallet – Check those prices! When we caught site of the eye-watering prices of the Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Corton-Charlemagne we stuck to our usual carafe of Chablis. The wine list has about forty wines you can order by the glass, so plenty to choose from.
For mains Mr S went for the whole 16oz dover sole from the charcoal grill, accompanied with watercress, capers and shallot salad (£37), expertly filleted. A portion of chips was ordered too for good measure, which I have to say were superb. Although not billed triple cooked, they sure tasted it.
My baked spinach, ricotta and artichoke cannelloni (£15) was dreamily creamy and hearty. Cooked perfectly and very filling.
For the finale I dipped into the girls banana sticky toffee pudding. With a moist sponge and sweet sticky sauce, it was damn good. It’s on the main menu too – I’ll be ordering my own next time!
The Griottine cherry Bakewell tart was served with a dollop of clotted cream (£8.50). It was sublime, lighter than we expected and not teeth-achingly sugary. Melt in the mouth kind of stuff really – It would have broken Mr Kipling’s heart.
The restaurant also laid on free face painting. I was dubious at first, having experienced free face painting at other restaurants – I once ended up with a child looking like a cross between The Incredible Hulk and the Wicked Witch of the West (this was after asking for a fairy design!). I was pleasantly surprised when they bounced back to the table. Face and Body Art by Georgie did an amazing job at creating the Rose and Ice Queen. And so began the topic of conversation for the REST of the day of ‘why they are not allowed to wear lipstick everyday’!
Bread Street Kitchen is a pretty impressive package. Whether with children, on a date or a night out with the girls, they seamlessly take it all in their stride. It’s Ramsay’s attempt of stomping on Jamie Oliver’s patch. And I have to say job well done – it’s hip and executed with impeccable professionalism.
And parents: don’t despair about missing out on the Mothers Day extravagance. The restaurant always has something going on for special occasions. There is an Easter Sunday special this year – An Easter egg hunt with a 100 prizes to be won, face painting and a magician on hand to keep the children entertained. Plus a special Boisterous Bunny cocktail for the adults. Bound to keep both children and grown-ups smiling from bunny-ear-to-bunny-ear. Go check it out! I know I’ll be keeping tabs on the next special event.
What’s your favourite Mothers Day memory? Let me know in the comments box below.
The Bread Street Kitchen | 10 Bread Street | London | EC4M 9AJ