Overlooking the ‘Wobbly Bridge’ and Tate Modern, a discreet and unusually welcoming City restaurant offering a tempting and elegantly realised English menu at reasonable prices’ and a view too!
There’s very little not to like about this new City business-restaurant, which occupies the space – looking across the Thames to Tate Modern – formerly occupied by ‘Just the Bridge’. Whereas the former occupant always seemed a wasted opportunity, the newcomer – the first solo venture of Christian Butler, formerly manager of Baltic – seems to get pretty much everything right.
The comfortable and businesslike design takes full advantage of the impressive view, but the nature of most meals here will be to concentrate on the business and the food. The latter may be simple, and essentially English (with a West Country twist), but Peter Woods – who once worked with the celebrated Pierre Koffmann, at La Tante Claire – is a chef with finesse. Our lunch, for example, included a very tasty tart of Devon crab, and another charming starter called ‘Hogs pudding with honey roast apples’. (A hogs pudding, it turns out, is a sort of boudin blanc.)
Everything was consistently of high quality, and the only possibly criticism was that portions were arguably on the dainty side. Or, for today’s City market, is that just what’s called for? This is certainly the sort of menu from which you could eat three courses, and still do a proper afternoon’s work. The wine list is also sensible, offering a good range, and prices which are pretty reasonable, especially by the local standards. (The same un-greedy approach is also evident in the set lunch, which offers two courses for just £13.50 – and in the City!)
We have a theory, though, that it’s often the service that makes or breaks restaurants in this part of town. On that basis – and on every other – this friendly and accommodating place deserves to be much busier than it was on our early-days visit.