"Here comes the bride, all dressed in white, sliding down the banister, she’s 50 metres wide”.
There are so many playground parodies of The Wedding Song’s lyrics, I don’t think anyone knows the originals anymore.
Anyway, it popped into my head when visiting this place, which would be a dream venue for hipster nuptials.
It’s like a contemporary, little bit kitsch and chintzy, touch of Virgin Suicides meets Marie Antoinette palace of loveliness.
There are floral seats, tables upholstered in green leather like retro writing bureaus, softly hued landscapes, and a wooden whitewashed ceiling.
"Game’s up guys, you’re a bar, not a restaurant"
As it’s also a cocktail-y sort of spot, I asked the mixologist/waiter, who was dressed in the house uniform of speakeasy style bow tie and braces, for a Remedial Action (Tanqueray No 10 gin, Cocchi Americano, pink grapefruit and vanilla, £8.95).
“It’s very, very strong, are you sure?” he said. “If you like sour things, I’d recommend you go with the pisco sour instead.”
And, thus, I am now addicted to their Summer Fruits Pisco Sour (£8.50, with pisco, fruit syrup, citrus and pasteurised egg white).
In this place, it’s served over an ice cube the size of a Rubik and dusted with what looked like bee pollen.
Food-wise and the menu is slightly uninspiring sounding, with the prerequisite haggis bonbons and fish‘n’chips. However, some of their options feature a semi-interesting tweak, so it was burnt onion mayonnaise that sold me when it came to beetroot and gin cured salmon (£9.50), and my other half liked that the pig cheeks were cider braised (£5.95) with baby shallots.
My option was promising at first, because it looked as pretty as the decor, with coils of pickled carrot, cucumber strips and a pair of purple pansies. The mayo was fine – vaguely oniony – and went well with the tiny portion of cured salmon, which was rather fibrous in parts. Slightly unsatisfying, especially for just under a tenner. Paying for visuals, obviously.
Our pork dish was hearty and the meat was well cooked, with little nibs of carrot, garlic cloves and celery in the watery gravy, but it was lacking in any seasoning. It was weird, eating week-night stew in a space that was like the inside of a macaron box.
Mains were a bit grim. My piece of Barbary duck breast (£16.95), sliced into fat limp wads, was overcooked, heavy and grey – a colour thrown into stark relief by streaks of honey and pumpkin purée, which tasted a bit like Heinz tomato soup. The best bit on my plate was a block of gratin dauphinoise potato, even though it was rather dry.
The confit salmon (£14.95) option consisted of a beetroot infused risotto – OK in small measures, but it needed something else to detract from the sweetness. This came with a very wet piece of unseasoned fish, which was covered in what resembled giant’s dandruff. I think these were the “carrot crisps” that were billed on the menu, though they seemed to be of the Parmesan persuasion.
You’d have to be a right dufus to fail at a crumble (£5.50) and, indeed, the pear and blackberry version was OK, with loads of stewed fruit, a thin drift of cinnamon-scented brown sugary crunch on the top and a small jug of hot custard on the side.
I enjoyed the dark chocolate parfait (£5.50) – a large cube of ganache with a solid lid, which was doused with what they described on the menu as “ahlua syrup” but must surely be Kahlua syrup, though it didn’t taste of coffee anyway.
It’s kind of apt that this place looks like a chic matrimonial venue, because, just like at your average wedding, the food ain’t that great (apart from the cake).
Maybe others are already wise to that, as it seemed we were the only ones who were here to eat.
Game’s up guys, you’re a bar, not a restaurant. I’ll be back for that extra strong Remedial Action cocktail and I WILL slide down the banister, as if I were 50 metres wide.
Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £58.35