A Whole New Bird – Bird of Smithfield, Farringdon

09 Apr 2017

Did you hear? Fabric might not be closing after all! So, worry not, those of you desperately desperate for bleeding ears, blackouts and the 6am shame-train. Enjoy it, truly. Unfortunately, I won't be joining you, but I will be right around the corner, in a club of my own kind.

You see, just like you who aren’t quite ready to give up your late-night raves and twice-spiked vodka lemonades, I’m not quite ready to move away from a bit of classic dining. I’m all for trying new, exciting, often ridiculous concepts – I’m down for a laugh – but if I’m honest, I want to be able to book my table, turn up a little early for relaxed drinks at the bar, and be served my food, with cutlery, by a smartly dressed waiter. It would appear that Tommy Boland, Head Chef of Bird of Smithfield, agrees with me, which is why I faced the treacherous weather to get there last Thursday evening.

The basement cocktail bar of the five-story Georgian townhouse was a blend of chic and cosy (chicosy), and despite the cocktails served being quite dramatic, the atmosphere was calm and relaxed.

After exploring the cocktail menu perhaps a little too in depth, we headed upstairs to the ‘smart dining room’, ready to tuck into some of newly appointed Head Chef Tommy Boland’s seasonal dishes.

I always say that you can judge a restaurant by the quality of its bread, so if you were served an entire miniature loaf of still-warm bread with a crumbly crust, accompanied by both a seaweed spread and a creamy butter, what would you make of the place? (Coeliacs, give it a rest.)

Already pleased, I slowed my pace when my Warm Duck Salad (£8) arrived, in order to appreciate every well put together fork full. Paired with candied parsnips and port soaked currants, it was pleasantly both sweet and rich. The second starter of Tartare of Scottish Beef (£10.50) was probably the best I’ve had. The truffle cream and pickled mushrooms added another layer I wasn’t aware tartare needed until then, whilst the crispy shallots were the crunch of texture I always miss.

My main was the Roasted Wild Cornish Turbot (£30), a beautiful hunk surrounded by fluffy potatoes charred deliciously well, winter cabbage, celeriac and – best of all – a truffle and hazelnut pesto, so perfect for this time for year I was tempted to pocket a drop for later. I challenge you to reread that long sentence without licking your lips.

We had no choice but to try Chef’s Roasted Loin of Scottish Venison (£30) after we spied the plate of shockingly handsome meat arrive at the table next to us whilst browsing the menu. It came with bacon and pickled pear – and who cares what else? You need this venison dish in your life.

No, we didn’t have room for dessert, but no, we didn’t call a cab. Instead, we ordered dessert and wiped our bowls of sticky chocolate and salted caramel, and pear and honey clean. Then fell asleep on the train home and woke up in Southend, next to a very different kind of Bird.

And we’ve saved the best till last. If you want to feast on BoS’s fare yourself, with a whopping 50% off, hurry, we have a limited number of great Reader Offers available, but quick now, they’re going fast. BUY HERE…

Sophie

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