In the age of Instagram, first impressions are no longer restricted to physical meetings. Spend a few minutes scrolling through your feed and you’ll be digitally acquainted with people and places in no time. When I saw pictures from Bloomsbury Street Kitchen's launch party, it was all reality TV stars, live music and party vibes. But what about the edible offering? It looked like a sexy space, but it was time to see if food and drink would live up to the hype.
The fifth Kitchen from Edwardian Hotels, Bloomsbury Street Kitchen joins a trio of stunning sister sites in London and Manchester. Exposed brickwork, neutral hues and high ceilings set a minimal tone against a backdrop of leafy plants and cosy booths. Visiting on a Saturday night, it felt like a chill spot… until we laid eyes on the DJ in the corner.
Not strictly ‘fusion,’ the menu is divided in two, with modern Mediterranean and Japanese leading the way; all complemented by wine, sake and signature cocktails. Naturally, we settled in with a couple of signature sips as we made our way through the menu. A juicy rosé sangria (£10.50) for me and a gin, vermouth and sake-soaked Pomelo Azure (£10.50) for him, and we were off to a smooth start.
Attempting to whittle down to a few dishes, we dived into the Japanese section. Almost everything sounded appetising, but we started with tacos - which were more akin to nachos - that came packed full of flavour. There was the silky tuna sashimi (£7) laced with punchy truffle ponzu mayo alongside a knockout seared beef tenderloin (£9) underpinned by wasabi and shichimi mayo. Not a bad start.
A plethora of plates soon followed; led by crisp, hot miso chips (£8) topped with fatty, spicy and immensely bold tuna. We struggled to see how the kitchen would outdo themselves on this one, but somehow they managed. Flame-grilled on the bincho, sake-fired black garlic king prawns (£12) were a fiery mouthful dusted with chilli and cumin; the perfect pick if you can handle the heat (which I almost couldn’t.)
As I spied on the DJs SoundCloud selection, our Mediterranean plates arrived. Resting on Seville orange and Manuka honey, then sprinkled with coriander seeds, an oozy burrata (£8) was a light contrast to offset a couple of slow-cooked glazed lamb shoulder gyros (£9). Stuffed with chilli fries and lemon feta yoghurt, this meaty handful gave a whole new meaning to the greasy wrap that’s usually reserved for 3am calls to the chippie.
If you know me, then you know that there’s always room for dessert. And cocktails. Pairing Haku vodka with mandarin, pineapple shrub, lemon and egg white, the Mandarin Namazake (£9.50) was a frothy accompaniment to my dinner date’s pear and apple Tarte Tatin (£7). Dense yet crispy and filled with mounds of fruit then smothered in seaweed and Tahitian vanilla ice cream, it was an intriguing finish. A little more indulgent, I matched the chocolate bento box and coconut sorbet (£8) with a signature espresso martini (£9.50); combining Suntory Toki whisky and Mr Black coffee liqueur with Frangelico and a Maraschino foam. Talk about a sweet tooth.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Edgy DJ? Check. Gorgeous interiors? You bet. But did Bloomsbury Street Kitchen bring the tick the edible box? Absolutely. Seamlessly blending Japanese and Mediterranean bites without actually merging flavours, the suave spot has managed to avoid the questionable tastes that can sometimes plague modern fusion restaurants and create a menu (both foodie and boozy) that really impresses.