As a small child, the wonderful building on Bread Street that is now home to the Point Hotel was a regular stop on my journey home from primary school. My mother was forever popping in to the Co-op to check on the price of paint or peruse the pots and pans. But that was in a bygone time. Where shiny new Amstrads were once for sale, now we have the Bread Street Brasserie, a smart spot that lends itself well to sunny days like today, when its large windows can bathe diners in refreshing light.
I was joined today by Deborah, who has recently started a new job at this end of town. To be entirely truthful, we had planned to go to Zucca, but once more a trip there eluded me, as it’s not open on Mondays. One of these days…
As you will have read in this month’s Bite Magazine, the lovely Jemma has already paid this place a visit, enjoying her meal, very much. So although it was our second choice, I was confident that we’d be well served.
As mentioned, the place is smart and airy, with simple tables, giving the place a “modern classic” feel. We were shown to a nice window table, and left to contemplate the menus. We could choose from the full a la carte, as well as a lunchtime menu offering a tempting 2 courses for £9.95 deal. After barely a moment’s reflection, we were happy to opt for the latter.
Deborah joined me in the pursuit of soupy excellence, then opted for Cajun style pork to follow, while I chose the grilled seabass.
Service was of the bright and breezy variety. It was prompt and accurate, with a nice relaxed sprinkling of welcoming warmth. Sadly, the food wasn’t quite of the same high quality.
The tomato and chunky vegetable soup was rather similar to the soup I had at Asti, the other day, and subject to the same criticisms. Serving the crispy croutons on the side was a good plan, as once they were introduced to the soup, they soaked up the soup and went soft, much in the way of those at Elm Rose, the other day. As a dish, it was OK, but rather uninspiring.
The main course was decidedly better, with a nicely cooked piece of fish served on a bed of courgette, potatoes and lettuce, with an accompaniment of piquant salsa verde. This was simple and well-executed, but rather a safe, timid dish that didn’t show much invention.
So overall, I enjoyed the welcome and the venue (and the company, of course) at the Bread Street Brasserie rather more than I enjoyed the food. I think the place has real potential as a good, reliable lunchtime spot, but the shackles need to be taken off and the kitchen need to aim for bolder flavours and more imaginative dishes. As it stands at the moment, I think there are other places where your lunchtime dollars would be better spent, but I enjoyed the service and venue enough to consider it for a repeat visit, next time I’m in the neighbourhood, although I really should finally pay that visit to Zucca, first.
Blythe scores the Bread Street Brasserie:
2.5/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 13/20
Today’s questers were: Deborah, Blythe
We ate: tomato and chunky vegetable soup; grilled seabass with salsa verde; Cajun spiced pork loin
We drank: water
We wore: smart grey dress, last day of winter (hopefully) overcoat
Total bill: c.£20