The best of the more recent transformations is The Safari Lounge, where I stopped for lunch, today. This was my third visit, after a couple of drinks-based afternoons there. On the second one of these, we were lucky to get a little sample of their sushi, which they were just developing for the menu, at the time. It showcased some real innovative flair, so I crossed their threshold, today, with hopes and expectations set high.
The place is full of character, with safari touches throughout. Their back room, the Tiger’s Den, features wonderful tiger-print upholstery. They have a snake-skin alcove, too. It’s all great fun and I really liked it.
Their full menu has some considerable breadth to it, with cooking styles that span the globe. A more diverse set of dishes (sushi, Korean steamed buns, Cuban sandwiches, hot dogs, the list goes on) you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere in the city. The margin for error with such a broad scope is considerable, but I was highly impressed by the dishes I tried.
At lunchtime, they do a good soup and sandwich deal for £5.50. The soup today was an Asian vegetable broth. To this, I added an “El Decento” sandwich, which comprised chorizo, manchego, roasted vegetables served on a sundried tomato bread.
The soup was impressively aromatic, with an excellent blend of chunky vegetables. The broth had good substance to it, also. It was a winner.
The warmly toasted sandwich featured outstandingly good chorizo and the roasted vegetables were excellent, too. A little more manchego just to bring things together wouldn’t have gone amiss, but that was a minor quibble with what was a very good sandwich.
So overall, the Safari Lounge is a really impressive place, serving a varied menu to a very high standard. Service was friendly throughout, making my visit entirely joyful. They have their own “Safari Lounge” lager, brewed by Belhaven, too, so as a complete package the place has solid claims on being one of my favourite pubs in the city. I’d recommend a visit, at your earliest convenient opportunity.
Blythe scores the Safari Lounge
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 16/20
I ate: Asian vegetable broth, El Decento sandwich
I drank: sparkly water
I wore: brown pinstripes
Total bill: £7.25