19th June 2015 – 6pm
A large group of us headed here for a work do. Hidden just off Candlemaker Row, if you didn’t know this place existed you might miss it as it’s situated in a basement. Upon arrival we entered what was a rather dark venue and may well be better suited to winter rather than summer dining. We crammed round the table we were given and I was squished onto an end with my legs around the table leg, which made it for a slightly uncomfortable experience. That aside, we all ordered drinks and started looking at the menu. There was quite a bit of variety and all sorts of cuisines covered, so everyone should be able to find something they like. I ended up going for the pitta bread with dips followed by loin of venison. One of my fellow diners tried to order the chicken but it wasn’t available so had to order something else. Also those ordering steak were a little miffed that they had to order chips separately. However, the staff were very accommodating with a member of our group who was going to be late and let us put in a later food order for him. We also had water for the table but can I make a plea not to put cucumber in it. It really is a pet hate of mine.
Once the food arrived, everyone seemed pleased with their choices. My pitta with dips was delicious. The pitta still had an element of softness, which complemented the dips. The dips themselves were suntouched (!) tomato and feta; pea, walnut and chilli and lastly cayenne pepper, date and charred red pepper. I thought these were all of a good standard but particularly like the tomato one. To be honest, it was so comforting I could imagine spending a lazy afternoon sipping drinks and munching my way through a couple of plates of these.
Onto the mains and my venison was a generous portion of meat. It was heavily pepper coated, as advertised, but did leave me reaching for the water at one point. The celeriac puree was tasty and the accompanying broccoli was roasted to give it an extra element of flavour. The berry jus was not too watery and as expected, was perfect with the venison. I had been asked how I wanted the meat cooked and I asked for rare but this was closer to medium. A couple of my friends had the Bombay aloo burger which was massive. One really enjoyed it but the other thought it tasted a bit gritty. Another of my fellow diners had the curry and virtually licked the bowl at the end.
I skipped dessert but some of the others went for a cheese board. The rocky road cheesecake also seemed popular around the table. The cheese board was confirmed not to have blue cheese on but arrived with blue cheese. There was no problem with getting this changed but it was a little annoying after already having asked about it.
Although my review expresses some niggles, overall, we had a good time and the food was generally good.
Food – 7/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 7/10
Overall – 30/40
Cost – £300 for 11 diners, including drinks.