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. 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. However, there are also ones at Butlers Wharf and just outside Moorgate.
Herein lies the issue.
I’m literally skipping into 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 Austin and Sam, the cheeky chappies popping over just to say hello!!! This meal is going to be awesome!!!
I mean, yes, the meal was terrific. Buuuuut…
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 our 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, even though I thought I would be leaving with six new best friends.
So firstly, as you will have gathered, the faces you know and love from the TV show will not be there.
Secondly, the restaurant is 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 excellent. They were attentive without being overbearing. Above all, the waiters and waitresses recommended dishes and could explain them seamlessly when enquiring. From the produce location to how the dishes 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 was rustic, flavoursome and ample-sized portions. The starter had some fancy name but rocked up as a quarter of a lettuce, gammon chunks and a poached egg on top. Obviously, that doesn’t sound quite as appetising, but was it nice? Yes, absolutely delicious!
The main we couldn’t photograph because it would not have photographed well. Again, we can’t remember the dish’s name, but we called it “beef-stewy-soup with shallots and carrots”.
The beef itself was cooked beautifully, possibly the most succulent joint I have ever eaten. It was like a party in my mouth!
And for pudding, thanks to lovely Miller, we were presented with a surprise anniversary dessert which was INCREDIBLE little chocolate filled balls. I’d love to say we shared them equally, but let’s just say there was a near fight over the table for them!? Consequently, the waitress noticed this and bought us some more!
We had such an enjoyable time at Paternoster Chop House in St.Pauls; we will certainly be returning – Fred and the gang, you better be there!