Our table was great, perfect for a meal with family where one can actually speak to one another, on comfy dark green 1950s Wendy’s booth seats, the now famous ‘Press for Champagne’ button and, more curiously, wall plugs next to it.
While we studied the menu, packed with loads of great choice, we ordered some aperitif. Again, trusting what I had read online we ordered a couple of signature Rhubarb G&T and a Seasonal English Bellini. Mmm. Here came the first disappointments. I absolutely love rhubarb in all its forms, including juiced. Yet this G&T had only a vague hint of the pink vegetable, nor any particular alcoholic flavour to it – I found it bland. The Bellini was actually verging on bad, as the pear juice used did not really go well with the champagne; it might an acquired taste, but it was certainly a disappointing start to a meal I had been so looking forward to.
The Beef burger @bmcboy ordered was well cooked and intensely flavoured, but kind of average. The presentation in my view was below average, nothing special about it, the sesame bun slightly burnt. Chips were closer to a fast food quality than a proper hand cut variety. Even Giraffe has much better chips than BBR, and we did not really understand the paper box serving. Trying to be creative? Doesn’t quite work for me given the rest of the surroundings, including the British made (yes!) elegant silver cutlery and crockery.
The Cornish crab with quail egg was a good choice, moist and full of fresh crab, yet it also lacked in presentation and came with barely anything else. My Lobster sandwich was.. well. Im not sure what it was. A breaded and fried lobster tail which was well seasoned, but is this really the way to prepare such a delicate produce? I enjoyed it, I am not saying I did not but it did not blow me away.
The bun was also slightly burnt but a pleasant brioche. Gerkin, tomato and salad were the same as pretty much anywhere else, and the Mary rose sauce was just a Mary rose sauce. I also had a box of fast food style chips (charged extra, and I don’t even remember asking for them). At £24, this was, in my view, just an overpriced crayfish sandwich with no particular thought behind. The Linguine with Bottarga and Dried Caviar were al dente and full of bottarga, but at £28 the most expensive dish of the meal!
I treated myself to a Strawberry and Cream souffle. It arrived in record time (less than 8 minutes) and looked fabulous (and was relatively cheap at £6.75). The top part was indeed very good… yet as I progressed further down the pot the egg became too overpowering. No comparison with the Hand and Flowers amazing piece or the Savoy Grill delicious creation. @bmcboy ordered a trio of home made ice cream, which were creamy and gently flavoured. He did not like the salt caramel scoop but we thought it was actually very good, salted to the right level, and polished it off.