But finding ourselves in The City on a Saturday afternoon, cold and a little wet, remembering too late that neither Goodman City nor Hawksmoor Guildhall are open on Saturdays, we did however remember that the City’s latest shopping venue, New Change, was, and that both Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen and Jamie’s Barbeccoa would both be open. Both of us had also separately read that the burgers at Bread Street Kitchen were in fact quite good so decided to try it out. We were also both starving.
We have alas no pictures for this post since the meal was taken during our blogging break and initially at least we never intended to blog it; the picture below was taken at a later date.
We wont discuss the interior of Bread Street much since it has been covered extensively elsewhere but we will say that the restaurant’s overall fake imposition is something that has irritated me at least from long before it even launched. By this I mean that the Bread Street website continues to market the restaurant as ‘set in a large warehouse style space drawing inspiration from the East London aesthetic that surrounds it’. Okay, they did say ‘warehouse style’ but really, it’s not a warehouse, it’s a new build shopping centre, the decor has no real connection to warehouse style and it is not in East London, it’s in the City. There are plenty of authentic and available warehouses in East London if he wanted to locate a restaurant in one but this would seem, to us at least, little more than a money- grab for the City-boys' wallet. What’s more, it’s located (as its name suggests) on Bread Street, the site of the bread market of Medieval London though the restaurant seems to draw no inspiration from this as the bread served is undistinguished and easily forgettable. The one genuine connection they could have made to their location they chose not to. The restaurant then already seems to exude style over substance, and spin over authenticity.
Next came the burgers. These are sizeable burgers, certainly looking the part and served with a mustard slaw, cheese, Bread Street’s own tomato sauce and pickles. Asked how we wanted the burger cooked, we had both opted for medium rare. As we cut the burger in half, a burger that’s a couple of centimetres deep, we discovered that the inside of the burger wasn’t medium rare, nor was it even rare, it was simply raw, and cold to touch. There’s a certain irony here too as Maze Grill, another Ramsay outpost, actually refuses to serve burgers anything other than medium-well or above citing Health & Safety – maybe it’s a different local council (see the Maze Grill post for the facts behind the medium rare burgers).
Staff apologised and returned the burgers to the kitchen and promised us new plates. In a classic over compensation moment, when the new burgers returned, one was actually well done, though the other was cooked just right. Fresh chips (which are charged separately as a side with the burger) were also brought to the table. They also brought us two additional complimentary sides including a Macaroni Cheese.
The sad reality was however that nothing really tasted of much. Eating the burger by itself, no bread, no condiments, it tasted of nothing really. Simple seasoning by the kitchen could have potentially perked it up a little for sure but it seemed to lack even this and without the support of the slaws and the sauces, it was bland to the point of indifference. The macaroni cheese too lacked any real cheesy oomph.
Management/staff were pretty good about things, said what they could reasonably say and removed both burgers and the service from the bill. That left the two starters, a Coke, two bottles of still water and the side of chips on the bill which then totalled £25. Sadly, as a meal, it was sufficiently poor that even at £25, we didn't feel like we had value. Unfulfilled, we spent the journey home planning a dinner we hadn’t expected to cook that day.
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