"Look! There's Chelsea," Wife tilted her head to her left. Chelsea? I have only heard of one Chelsea. "She looks exactly like her picture on Daily Mail," Wife confirmed my suspicion. That was all well and good but I was really more interested in what was on the menu and my growling stomach didn't help a bit.
Bishopgate Kitchen is a newish restaurant at the junction of Brushfield Street and Bishopgate. You could almost make out the legs of cured ham stringed up at the preparatory counter through its glass facade.
I was getting a bit restless having been asked to wait for a table. Couldn't blame the staff really as the restaurant was packed, both tables and countertops by the glass facade.
We eventually got a table beside two suits, one of whom was discussing about his three mortgages (I didn't mean to eavesdrop but you could hear him a couple of tables down). Having looked at the menu while waiting, we quickly placed our order, sat back while enjoying the fuzzy warm sunshine pouring into Bishopgate Kitchen.
Fifteen minutes later, the man without three mortgages had left. Chelsea too. Our food had yet to arrive. Despite having three staff on the floor, it was rather difficult to get their attention. They were obviously overwhelmed as some customers simply left cash on the table and left.
If you think that Bishopgate Kitchen is a tapas joint, you would be sadly mistaken. Barring a small selection of cured meat and 'counter dishes', its mains included the likes of 28 day cured steak as well as burgers. Its Bishopgate burger (£12) with its rump and bone marrow pattie was nothing extraordinary. It did come with home made chips though. Sadly, they were barely warm when served. I wasn't the only who found them so, the lady sitting behind me actually asked for her chips to be sent back to the kitchen because of that. If you can't do without some pickles for your burger, take comfort that it comes with an entire pickle.
We also asked for some Serrano ham (£5) for good measure. The five long slices of Spanish cured ham lined up on a wooden platter were almost silky to the palate. And it went particularly well with the baked Monte Enebro goats' cheese with honey (£5.50).
Adding honey to goat's cheese is a stroke of genius for the cheese's slight pungent taste is tempered with thick sweet (thought not overly) honey. Served pipping hot, it is the perfect dip even for the lukewarm chips.
Pudding was a rich chocolate torte (£5.50) with mascarpone, toasted hazelnut and fruit compote on the side. I'm never one for fruit compote but Wife was done with it pretty soon with it so I guess they couldn't be that bad.
As it drew towards 2pm, the crowd has thinned considerably and the staff finally managed to catch a breather and looked more cheery as well. Bishopgate Kitchen with its healthy buzz is probably a good place to talk shop and maybe grab a drink or two over some cured ham. But you might want to avoid it if you are in a hurry.
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Friday, 23 September 2011
Bishopsgate Kitchen review Liverpool Street - a bit of this and that