A few years ago you couldn’t go online without seeing something cheese-related. From cheese-filled advent calendars to cheese-flavoured gin (has anyone actually ever tried this by the way #askingforafriend), dairy was queen - and praise brie to God, it still is. The Cheese Bar opened in Camden in 2017 and became famous overnight for its grilled goods and two years on, they’ve dreamed up another incredible concept: Pick & Cheese. Billed as the first cheese conveyor restaurant in the world, here’s what we thought of their pairings and that blue cheese ice cream.
Pick & Cheese is housed in London’s newly opened Seven Dials Market, and it rubs shoulders with the likes of Club Mexicana, Hackney Gelato, Monty’s Deli and Nanban. Don’t know these guys? You really should. Pick & Cheese, however, is situated on the top floor, and being a world first - it’s the crowning jewel of KERB’s new operation. Backless yellow stools wrap around the bar and hanging lights dangle bright bulbs over the counter, shedding light on the glass domes zipping across the 40 meter conveyor belt. It’s a catwalk of cheese, made up of cream, grey, blue and red plates, each numbered to match descriptions on the menu, and each separately priced depending on their colour.
Great intentions of sampling everything in an orderly fashion, excitement got the better of us and pandemonium broke out, leaving us looking at the Gubbeen from Cork, Ireland (£3.75) and the Driftwood from Somerset (£4.40) with a glass of 2018 Petillant Naturel Volume 1 (£9.50) to help along proceedings. Presented on thick rosemary shortbread with a drizzle of honey, the Driftwood was a mind-blowing opener with a creamy texture and a welcome crunch from the biscuit bed. The Irish cheese came excellently paired too, with severed circles of sweet and sour pineapple that shocked taste buds with tangy flavour. Another sweet number was the Kingham from Oxfordshire (£3.75). Served with a luxurious dollop of walnut fudge, it’s the kind of plate you’d go for after a horrendous day at the office or in the aftermath of a bad break-up. Comfort food level? A solid 10.
After chomping our way through two grey and one blue plate, I had my eyes on the Stilton from Nottinghamshire (£2.95). Very much like waiting at Luton Airport for my 20kg suitcase, my eyes were darting from plate to plate, silently praying that nobody would get there before me. Grabbing it at lightning speed, one bite in and I could see why it’s already a favourite amongst the masses. The sweetness of the accompanied chocolate and oat cookie cut through the blue cheese with a devil-may-care attitude - it’s perfect for blue cheese novices. Cookies and cheese? It’s fucking genius, folks. I know what you’re thinking now. Where’s the hot food, tho? Don’t worry your pretty little head because The Cheese Bar have that covered too, with an 'Off The Belt' menu - and yes, their infamous cheese toastie (£8) is on it.
Ordering it alongside a plummy glass of 2016 Moristel Joven (£6.50), pockets of cheese oozed out of the golden toastie, leaving my lips glimmering with grease. Giving ourselves 20 minutes to discuss what we just inhaled, we finished the night with one blue cheese soft serve (£5). It came sparsely decorated with chocolate shavings, golden chunks of honeycomb and pear coulis. That familiar and distinct blue cheese flavour was evident in every spoonful. Strange, yes. Satisfying? Funnily enough, I’m going to answer yes to that too.
The DesignMyNight Digest
‘If I hear that someone doesn’t like cheese, I declare them mentally not all there’. That, my friends, is a direct quote from my housemate, and on this occasion I have to agree with her. From advent calendars to flavoured gin, the obsession of dairy continues to soar but I promise you that Pick & Cheese isn’t a gimmick to satisfy the trend. They source their cheese as locally as possible and you can tell that an insane amount of effort went into every plate on the belt. The atmosphere is chirpy and unpretentious too, leaving you to eat your hoard of blue, cream, grey and red plates in peace, and without judgement. From the mind-boggling blue cheese ice cream to the odd combinations (cookies and cheese is a winner, people), I can safely say that the world's first cheese conveyor belt restaurant is a massive success. Some would go as far to say that it's unbrielievable - sorry, not sorry.