Sunday 16 December 2012

Bread Street Kitchen: Nothing Exceptional

I wrote recently about my trepidation when visiting restaurants set up by absent celebrity chefs in areas where the rent would cripple a mid-sized African country.  Wheelers surprised.   For while Marco Pierre White was most certainly not behind the stove, the cooking was mostly without fault.  And so, despite its location at St Pauls and Gordon Ramsey's name above the door, I was optimistic about my visit to Bread Street Kitchen.

Set in the glass and metal monolith that is the One New Change shopping center  the place is cavernous - table upon booth of suited and booted groups (of almost exclusively men).  This is a business place.

The menu covers all bases - from grilled meats to seafood, pasta to burgers.  I settled on the burger, that great barometer of quality.  Out of a table of  nine, all but one either went for the burger or the pork belly.  That may have been chance.  Although I suspect that it may have been driven by price.  The burger, 13 quid, with a couple of sides at 3 to 4 quid each, topped out at 20.  The belly was the second cheapest on the menu, 16 without sides.  The one who thought outside the box had the steak, 28 quid.  For those kind of prices I could have been sat in Hawksmoor - that is a high standard for any restaurant to set themselves against.

The burger was made of short rib. It was certainly beefy, but that is about as far as it went.  Overcooked and underseasoned.  It lagged behind the many other excellent burgers you can get in London.

On the side we had carrot and onion coleslaw, nothing special.  Triple cooked chips were crispy and fluffy.  Mac 'n' cheese was sloppy, wet, not good at all.

The pork belly looked as though it had been burnt, but I was assured that it was very good indeed.  Crispy crackling, meat which melted in the mouth.

Bread Street Kitchen is a restaurant for the City.  The food is expensive and inoffensive.  It confounds me how restaurants which would fail in Soho, thrive in the Square Mile.  But they do. Bread Street Kitchen is one of those.

Bread Street Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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