I spent a few weeks searching for the perfect restaurant to celebrate the hubby’s birthday and our 16th wedding anniversary. David had always been a practical man. So yes, he chose to get married on his birthday so he would never forget our wedding anniversary…you know, “Happy Wife, Happy Life” and all that. Being practical meant that he would appreciate a meal that was practical and without frills.
For a cheapskate Scot, that would usually mean Pie and Beans at our local. However, it was his 53rd birthday and our 16th wedding anniversary, so I was not going to be happy with just that meal of Pie and Beans.
Togged in our No Bullshit casual weekend garb, we sauntered into Bread Street Kitchen expecting not to be served Bullshit and we were not disappointed.
After our glasses of Prosecco, we were ready to order our bottle of wine. David chose a bottle of Syrah which we both sampled after the bottle was open. It tasted terrible. I rejected the bottle and was prepared to pay for that bottle but the server apologized for my experience with it, and told me not to worry about that bottle of wine. Mind you, that bottle cost $129 yet they were willing to absorb the cost for my erroneous choice. I was delighted by that touch of customer-service because I had been to a restaurant where a server once retorted when I rejected a vile bottle of wine, “Well you chose to have something medium-bodied so this was medium-bodied what!” Instead, this server at Bread Street Kitchen was apologizing for my poor choice! What a breath of fresh air. He asked if we preferred something that was fuller bodied or medium bodied and because David and I loved a full bodied wine, he pointed to the Chateu Le Boscq Saint-Estephe 2008. It was a great choice and I was glad he pointed us to the right choice. This kid definitely knew his stuff.
We started our meal with a Cider Onion soup. As unadventurous as we were, we were expecting a clear broth of French Onion soup, “but this one had that bullshit addition of Cider”, I thought. However, I canned that thought at the first taste of the soup. It was not bullshit at all. The Cider gave the soup its hint of sweetness, made it richer, full-flavoured and so robust. As David put it, the soup was “bowl-licking” good. We mopped all that soup up with 2 bread baskets and swore not to order a 3rd one if we could help it.
We would not appreciate that kind of Bull Shit.
David is a simple man. He would be happy with just steak and chips. So that was what he ordered. He ordered a tenderloin, and was asked how he would like it done, what accompanying sauce and what sides he wanted. There was nothing fancy in the dish. What was served was a near- perfect medium rare tenderloin, served with a peppercorn sauce on the side and some chips. It was near perfect because David expressed that his steak was not hot enough, as if it had sat on the counter top for awhile as the chef took time to plate it with some cherry tomatoes. The server was prepared to take the steak back immediately and exchange it for another one but David felt it was a waste of good steak and told him that he was okay with it. As you can see, the servers did not attempt to offer an excuse. They were prepared to change it. Perfectly No Bullshit.
I was glad David enjoyed that dinner. We were not served Bullshit the way many fancy restaurants would. The team at Bread Street Kitchen had a simple goal to just serve good quality food with great service. It did not claim to be anything else other than a restaurant that was good for casual dining. Although every table at the restaurant was filled, they never once faltered in their service. They just wanted to delight their customers in any small way they could.
Another example of this was that the table allocated to me initially was at Basement 1 level. While we were about to finish our glasses of Prosecco, the server led us to another table on the same level as the bar, at Level 1. She said, “I think you might prefer this table because the other table initially allocated to you is just beside a long table which is expecting a party of 8 diners. It could get noisy.” Bless her heart. I would not have written this blog post if I did indeed occupy that table. Great customer service come from staff that is mindful about fine details like these. They could have laid the bullshit on about a “fully booked restaurant” and not bothered about it. But they did not.
I love the No Bullshit quality about Bread Street Kitchen and am now keen to explore Ramsay’s other offerings in London at the end of the year during our trip back to the UK.
Verdict? - BELLY AWESOME AND WORTH REPEAT VISITS
This blog post was co-written by my brother Jerome and I. Although we are siblings who grew up 11 years apart, shaped by differing experiences to see the world from different perspectives, we do share a common obsession – FOOD. We celebrate our passion for life with food. However, our attitudes to food are quite different and the way we celebrate our love for food are also quite different. Jerome lives to eat and hoovers everything edible that crosses his path. As he shovels food into his mouth with that fork in his right hand, he takes photographs of what he eats, and posts pictures and notes up on Facebook with his left. Often, his beautifully written prose about what he had eaten would be 7 paragraphs in length and would not have any punctuations in between because he had been too busy multi-tasking.
I, on the other hand, eat to live. It is not just about my attempts to eat healthily. As I am a “cam-whore” and “social media hussy”, I spend about half an hour styling my food, taking photographs, writing notes and posting them across my social media platforms before eating them, right after the hubby has paid for the bill and is about to head out of the restaurant. I enjoy reading all my posts about what I had eaten because I know that I had lived fully in spite of watching what I eat. Welcome to the foodie world of the quirky Ong siblings.