Poor old Gordon does get a bit of a bashing in the press, doesn’t he. It was always inevitable that there would be an automatic condemnation of any new venture, and the launch of Bread St Kitchen was no different. Early feedback was ambivalent about the food, with many concentrated heavily on the shambolic service that they had received. Personally, I can forgive certain aspects of poor service, especially in the first week of opening, as long as the food is good enough to back it up. Having been invited to join a few others to give the menu a road test, I really wasn’t sure what to expect.
Located on the first floor of the new(ish) One New Change shopping centre, and surrounded by chain outlets, I burst through the door into an absolutely massive space. They have an upstairs bar and dining area, and a downstairs bar area, in which you can also dine. How the kitchen and staff can cope given the amount of people you can ram in here I genuinely do not know. That having been said, the place definitely had a nice hum to it, and kitted out with an eclectic mix of furniture and fittings, with different sections having differing themes and colour schemes.
The bar itself is large and pretty damn competent. Having indulged in a few gin and vodka based cocktails (I can’t remember the names), I can testify that they were indeed cocktails and they were indeed very nice. If the restaurant wasn’t on the first floor of a shopping center, I could definitely see this being very popular with the after work crew. The menu seems a little odd, with no discernible direction in content, but it did contain a lot of things I like to eat, making the decision process rather difficult. After bartering with a few of the others on the table, I settled on cep toast out of the wood fired oven, and a main of roast venison and sour cherry.
The cep toast was a nice if rather unremarkable dish. With a poached egg yielding a perfect slick of yolk, the whole dish was mellow and earthy. I am a big fan of mushrooms and enjoyed this, although it did need a little seasoning to perk it up. Other starters met mixed responses, although the baked Orkney scallops came out a clear winner with perfectly cooked scallops contrasted by the sweet salty treacle-cured bacon and bittercress.
My main of venison, celeriac and sour cherry is close to my perfect dish on paper, and thankfully didn’t let me down. The slices of venison were perfectly medium rare, with a good seal around the outside, and packed with lovely meat juices. Add a slick of the celeriac puree and a sour cherry, and you get very happy noises from me.
By the time desserts rolled around, I was pretty full, although I did order the pineapple carpaccio and managed to force most of it down my throat. I liked a lot about Bread Street Kitchen and thankfully suffered no consequences of the reported inconsistent service (being with the PR helps). I can’t but feel that the whole place would have benefited by being half the size, but the food was good and the cocktails great. A good fun place if you’re in the area, although expect Ramsay prices and not Nandos prices.
I was invited by the PR with a bunch of other people.
Bread Street Kitchen - 10 Bread Street, London, EC4M 9AB