Having been suitably impressed with the Royal British Hotel’s new restaurant, Twenty Princes Street, when we visited, I’d made a note to come and check out their cocktail bar, Juniper, at a convenient early opportunity. During the festive season, I had a chance to visit, during which I sampled their “street food” bar menu.
The place is very smart, with swish and elegant chairs and sofas on which to relax and spend the evening in stylish comfort.
It was a busy evening, when we visited, and I’m not sure they were staffed appropriately to manage things. Essentially, they’re staffed like a regular hotel bar, but given it seems that most of the clientele are there to drink cocktails, which take a good wee while to prepare, service is rather slow.
Their street food menu is an interesting blend of things, from ox cheek nuggets, to lobster mac n cheese, mushrooms on toast, chips, and grilled bone marrow. Calling it “street food” is a stretch. I opted for their woodland mushrooms on toast, served with a poached quail’s egg on top.
It arrived served on a lovely wooden platter, looking rather bonnie. My first attention was to break the yolk of the egg, to allow it to ooze over the mushrooms. This worked very nicely. The mushrooms were very well prepared and packed with nutty flavour. The toast could have been both crisper and more plentiful, but this was a minor quibble on what was an accomplished dish.
So overall, I was impressed with the bites menu at Juniper. I was less impressed with the service, which needs a re-think. The staff members were friendly, but they were fighting a losing battle, and even when the place became less busy, the service didn’t really seem to speed up. That’s a shame, as otherwise the place is really rather good.
Blythe scores Juniper
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
2/5 for service
giving an overall 14/20
I ate: woodland mushrooms on toast topped with quail’s egg
I drank: Manhattan, lager
I wore: pink shirt
Total bill: c.£17