– COMPLIMENTARY MEALS –
Despite where I find myself today, I still feel very grateful whenever I get invited to an event or I’m given something to review. Bird of Smithfield invited myself and a guest (I took Sean, my bestie and housemate combined) to experience what this gorgeous venue has to offer.
Now I’d be lying if I said that this place was easy to find. I think it would be if I came from Blackfriars station as it’s along the same road as the underground but I came from the opposite direction, went down a dark subway and genuinely thought I was about to get jumped on by a madman.
But all jokes aside, this restaurant and bar would be hard to find but easy to stumble across if you went a-wondering down some side streets. I arrived before Sean as we were both coming from work and before taking a not so subtle picture of the outside, I stepped into a beautiful modern dining area. There were a few people sitting down, but it was relatively quiet.
I was quickly greeted by Diane, who was the front of house host and was sat down at a table reserved for me. I was offered the cocktail menu which to Diane’s surprise, I picked one out pretty quickly – I’d actually looked prior to see which one I wanted. Turns out it was the wrong one me and Sean decided on but it still tasted great.
The cocktail, In The Meadows, came out fairly quickly. It was a gorgeous citrusy cocktail with dandelion bitters sprinkled along the top. I was told by Ben, one of the barmen, that these were fresh dandelions that are actually picked by the manager herself which I thought was a nice personal touch.
Once Sean arrived, we headed up to the restaurant upstairs. The venue consists of a lower basement floor which is a bar. The upper floors hold the restaurant and a private event space sits on the top floor.
In The Meadows Cocktail
Our waiter was a gentleman called Lorenzo who was probably one of the best waiters both myself and Sean have ever had. He was extremely attentive from the get-go and made sure to describe every dish we were eating as well as answering any questions I had regarding the restaurant itself.
The dining area was light, modern and had a mixture of abstract and genre art. There wasn’t a huge amount of tables and chairs which made the space more intimate.
A few others filtered in during our meal but I was surprised by the lack of patrons. According to the staff though, their days tend to fluctuate with the weekend being the busiest. That also being said, both the top floor and basement floor were booked out to private events so I suppose that what was lacking in numbers in this area, makes up for it in the others.
First up on the menu was some traditional bread and butter. This was homemade, fresh out of the oven with a choice of unsalted butter and seaweed butter. The seaweed butter was met by intrigue not only by myself but by a few others who were there also.
The bread was deliciously warm and with the seaweed butter soaked into it, it gave a whole new perspective to the usual bread and butter we tend to expect. Out next came our starters. We decided to go with two different options so that we were able to try as many dishes as possible.
I went for the Isle of Orkney Scallops which melted in the mouth. I’ve had scallops in the past but they’ve always been quite dense and rubbery. These were the opposite, with a tasty artichoke puree and sprinkled black truffle. Very luxurious.
Bread & Butter (including Seaweed butter)
Isle of Orkney Scallops
Much to our surprise, we were then treated to an extra starter which was the Roasted Foie Gras on a bed of sweet and sour plums, topped with an almond crumble and plum sake glaze. This one blew the scallops out of the water. It was mouth-watering and I could have happily ate that every day for the rest of my life.
Sean had ordered the chicken and mushroom terrine which was covered in an assortment of grilled scallions and hazelnuts. This was a cold starter but had a rich taste. The crunch of the hazelnuts complimented the dish very well and was a favourite for Sean out of the two.
Chicken and Mushroom Terrine
Roasted Foie Gras
For the mains, we both went with the same choice. Both myself and Sean are steak snobs when it comes to getting the cooking time right. We both like it rare, with Sean always requesting for blue rare. The steak came with mushrooms, a spinach base and straw potato grated on top.
It was beautifully cooked and seasoned and I really couldn’t fault it. If I could be picky about anything, then it would be that there was quite a bit of fat but sometimes that’s just what is expected for certain cuts of meat.
Sirloin of Beef
As we finished off our mains, the thought of another course was a struggle. One of the barmen bought up our dessert cocktails which included the Cointreausensual, a chocolate orange flavoured cocktail and Memories of Last Summer which was similar to an amaretto sour.
The desserts were just too much for me but Sean managed to finish off his Lemon cake which was a palette cleanser that also fitted perfectly with the chocolate orange cocktail. I had a Chocolate Brownie Sundae and managed a few bites. The chocolate was a little too rich and bitter for me but mixed in with the semi-melted marshmallows was a heavenly mix.
Chocolate Brownie Sundae
Their A la Carte menu is a wonderful mixture of typically British dishes with a slight twist. The average price for a Starter is around £11, Mains are a little pricier on average at £25 and desserts are between £6-£10.
I was extremely impressed with both the drinks and food we were served but the biggest appeal that the venue has is its staff. Everyone was extremely warm and welcoming and I feel that this is the factor that really sells a place. Thank you, Bird of Smithfield for having us.
What do you think of Bird of Smithfield? Let me know in the comments below.
*Disclaimer – I was invited along for a complimentary meal in exchange for a review. All words are my own.