Bread Street is a ward of the City of London in the neighbourhood of Cheapside, and its name is taken from its main thoroughfare, which was originally and unsurprisingly a bread market. Historic records show that in 1302 the bakers of London were ordered to sell no bread from their homes but only in the open market. Cheapside is the former site of one of the principal food markets in London. The word “cheap” is derived from the medieval word for market. Many of the streets around this ancient area are named after the produce that was typically sold. Honey Lane, Milk Street and Poultry are quaint names that remind us of culinary continuity: there are now new links forged on that theme, and one of them is The Bread Street Kitchen.
Bread Street Kitchen from the Gordon Ramsay stable is housed in the new One Change complex of shops and restaurants just around the corner from St. Paul’s Cathedral – ideally situated for tourists and workers as well as those who have Bread Street Kitchen as their food destination of choice.
The restaurant has been open since September and has already garnered a loyal following. Many would have come out of curiosity but the standard of food will assure their return. The menu isn’t cheffy and the prices reflect that inclusive style. Lazy Loaf is the new Sunday event and last Sunday, the first brunch/lunch/afternoon/evening, saw the restaurant buzzing with conversation, music and contented sighs of moderately stuffed guests.
The main restaurant is on the 1st floor and it’s striking. It’s a deft melange of contemporary and techy ceiling conduit and deco-esque architectural features. The interior reflects the outside building-scape. Glass pillars, multi-shade chandeliers, white tiles and anglepoise lamps contrive to present a semi-industrial scene, but a meal here is far from grabbing a snack at the office desk.
Arrive early on Sunday and enjoy a Bloody Mary. This classic cocktail just shouts ‘Sunday’. It doesn’t have the brashness of a slug of whisky and it’s less old-lacy than your Nan’s sweet sherry; mint-green mixed drinks should, in my opinion, be left for little-black-dress nights out, and it’s too early for cocoa, so it’s gotta be a Bloody Mary from the menu, or saunter down to the Bloody Mary Buffet and conjure your own recipe. I ordered a Spicy Mary, a classic with a twist of jalapeño-infused Grey Goose Vodka and hot chilli. I guess I have a slight criticism here. I was much taken with the kick and mouth-filling vibrancy of this first drink but the second one was entirely different. Yes, it was still good but lacked the fiery punch of the first. With bars I look for consistency of mixology.
The food menu offers comforting fare for every taste. It’s not a long and intricate menu and it’s no worse for it. Good solid cooking with some favourite traditionals as well as some sensible departures. Warm Beetroot Tart, toasted pine nuts, fresh goat’s curd was my starter. I guess a chef knows he has it about right when guests feel that they want to replicate a dish at home. Slices of sweet red and golden beets were spiked with tangy and creamy goat’s cheese. Flaky pastry was buttery and a crisp platform for the vegetables. A delight.
Flat Bread, squash, caperberries, Taleggio took my companion’s fancy, another attractive and delicious presentation of a few simple ingredients. The aforementioned flat bread was more of a Lavash than the pita bread which is so often trotted out on such platters. This bread was, by contrast, thin and delicate allowing the topping ingredients to shine. The squash was golden and the bold caperberries added an agreeable aromatic sharpness. An inspired starter and a must for any non-meat eater.
BSK Steak Sandwich, caramelised onions and garlic mayonnaise sounded appealing and it proved to be a good choice and substantial: toasted sweet bread, with lettuce and tomato garnishing not the expected minute steak but succulent slices of medium rare roast beef. Not sure if that’s the usual format for this sandwich but it made a very acceptable lunch. I would suggest that this is added to the menu as an alternative to the advertised Steak Sandwich; this might avoid confusion. No complaints from my guest, who didn’t even want to share his chunky hand-cut chips!
Herdwick Mutton and Potato Pie was my main course. This was a hearty individual bake of savoury and flavoursome lamb with a golden topping of mash. The meat was undoubtedly the star. Not an overwhelming Worcester-saucy hit but a rich flavour and melting texture from a slow-cooked dish. Some green beans with Parmesan and shallots as a side dish to allow me to feel noble was all that was needed.
Treacle Tart, Jersey clotted cream was our traditional finale. A crisp shell with a treacle filling that had a hint of citrus or the like. It wasn’t teeth-achingly sugary and even that sweetness was foiled by the thick cream. Real Sunday fare and a dish that has helped to remind folks that British cuisine not only still exists but remains great.
I am not a Gordon Ramsay groupie but I’m certainly able to recommend this restaurant. It has an unmistakeable energy, and a meal here is an event best shared with friends and loved ones. You’ll come back for the food, which is the nearest you’ll find to home cooking outside a domestic kitchen.
Breakfast: Monday to Friday: 7am to 11.00am, not available at weekends
Lunch: Monday to Saturday: 11.30am to 3pm
Late Lunch: Monday to Saturday: 3pm to 5.30pm
Dinner: Monday to Saturday: 5:30pm – 11pm
Bar menu: Monday to Friday: 7am – 11pm, Saturday: 11:30am – 11pm, Sunday: 11am – 8pm
Kids menu: Available every day from 11.30am
Sunday: 11am – 8pm
Bread Street Kitchen
10 Bread Street London, EC4M 9AJ
T: 020 3030 4050
Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018