Yesterday I found myself having lunch with Piers Morgan. OK, not sat next to him, but he was close enough to be within earshot which qualifies in my book. He’s an odd fellow close up. Less worry lines that I thought he’d have. Maybe all those months out in LA have resulted in the inevitable Botox injections that seem to be the price of entry to most places there now. I found it rather heartening though that Piers and I should have the same taste in restaurants.
The restaurant in question is Gordon Ramsey’s latest cab-off-the-rank, the aptly named Bread Street Kitchen (http://www.breadstreetkitchen.com/home) since it is a kitchen on, umm, Bread Street. After the proliferation of confusingly named restaurants that seem to have popped up all over London – which includes BSK’s close neighbour, Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa – it’s rather pleasant to have a nice, honest, no frills restaurant name. Which, coincidentally, could be a very good description of the inside of the restaurant itself. Your first observation is that the builder’s must have left in a hurry. It’s all rather industrial with heating ducts and wiring exposed, lots of bare metal and avant garde lighting. Maybe Gordon went for dinner with Bruce Willis during his Die Hard years.
All that being said, you’d be forgiven for not knowing this was Gordon’s place. Unlike Mr Oliver next door whose name adorns every sign and menu, Mr Ramsey’s impact is a lot more low key. Which is good, because you can then focus on the extremely well constructed menu. There are some staples on here (steak etc) as well as an outstanding raw bar which is as fresh and vibrant as you’d find anywhere. I ordered the seared yellow fin tuna with parsnip mash which was extremely good. Not your usual slab of flesh, this had been tastefully cooked and sliced yet still very pink, and topped with featherlight parsnip crisps. Perfect lunch food – not a huge portion, with the emphasis on quality, not quantity. Others round the table had mutton and potato pie, a refreshing change to see such a traditional meat being used in such a modern way.
Service was right out of the old school book of Ramsey – impeccable. Attentive, polite, knowledgeable and friendly. Hardly surprising when you consider the severe punishment that mad Scot would no doubt dish out for anyone dropping a plate or toppling a food tower.
You should try BSK, if only so you can experience Ramsey doing Bistro food rather than thin wafers of owl, or carpaccio of beaver which is the usual fayre in his posh gaffs. And who knows, you might even end up enduring a shamed newspaper editor on the table next to you.