So if you’ve checked out our post on The Roof Gardens & Babylon, Kensington you’ll know that when we went there it was our anniversary and our wonderful friend Miller had recommended the truly glorious place that is The Roof Gardens topping it with the incredible restaurant, Babylon. It’s a tough one to follow, but with a good track record thus far, on day two of our weekend away we entrusted him with recommending another restaurant for us to enjoy.
Knowing me well, as he does, and being very aware that I am totally, completely and utterly obsessed with First Dates he recommends the First Dates restaurant, and this is it – paternoster Chop House snuggled in the heart of London in St Pauls, but there are also ones at Butlers Wharf and just outside Moorgate.
Herein lies the issue.
I’m literally skipping to the restaurant with visions of Fred welcoming me with a double kiss, Merlin behind the bar concocting my cocktail he just knows I will love, Cici guiding me to the toilets whilst complimenting my outfit, Laura taking my order and recommending some side dishes to accompany the meal and Sam the cheeky chappy popping over just to say hello!!! This is going to be awesome!!!
Of course they aren’t there. Why on earth did I think they would be? I’m an educated woman yet I genuinely thought the faces I saw on TV would be there, waiting for my entrance.
Instantly I can’t hide my disgust as I look like my Nan swigging her gin and bitter lemon pretending she likes it. I hold my nose in the air as I take on a totally new persona and promptly begin texting Miller to inform him of his sabotage of our weekend together, but Beard steps in and says “Oi, princess come down off your unicorn and drink your Pinot.” And yes, he’s so right I should give the place a chance.
So firstly, as you will have gathered, the faces you know and love will not be there.
Secondly, it’s actually really really tiny – it looks so much bigger on the TV.
And thirdly, with sincere regret, I think we ordered the wrong food as we had severe food envy.
The staff were great. They were attentive without being overbearing. Above all, they recommended dishes and could explain them seamlessly when enquiring, from the produce to how they were prepared, allergy advice and more. Most importantly, they were pouring wine without you feeling like an alcoholic or drying up like a newt in the sun. I couldn’t praise them enough!
The food? Hmmm, So as you can see from the images above – top right being the starter – it had some fancy name but rocked up to our table as a quarter of a lettuce, gammon chunks and an egg on top. Was it nice? Yes, it was actually. However, for what it was, it was leaning on the side of expensive.
The main we couldn’t even photograph because it resembled something we give to Ernie for dinner… again, described as something very different but proudly displayed itself as a lump of what looked like beef swimming in very thin gravy, with shallots and carrots. However you have to pay extra for potatoes, and they are £5 but a large enough dish you can share one between two.
The beef itself was cooked beautifully, possibly the most succulent joint I have ever eaten. It was like a party in my mouth, despite its appearance when teamed with the watery pool of gravy and vegetables. We were really gutted to have had this experience, as I’ve never seen anything not looking utterly delicious when watching First Dates. Equally, everyone around us seemed to be ordering dishes that looked incredible, so we obviously just chose wrong.
Consequently, the best thing about this restaurant is the staff, and our surprise anniversary dessert from Miller. Now, that, whatever that was, was utterly delicious.