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|Address:||26 Smithfield Street, London EC1A 9LB|
|Tel:||020 3544 0681|
|Price: £49.00||Wine: £17.50||Champagne: £59.50|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 7.30am-12M (Sat 10.30am- )|
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Bird of Smithfield is in a townhouse just off the market. I can’t comment on all of its 5 floors though since I only set foot on a couple. The rooftop was disappointingly closed for a function and we didn’t stay late enough for the basement bar, which I have a feeling wasn’t open anyway. I only saw the lounge on the ground floor and the restaurant.
The lounge was fine, a bit beige. I don’t know what colour it actually was but it felt beige. Even with lots of people having after work drinks, it was just a bit bland. Not a vast cocktail menu but my Greyhound was unusual. The sweetness of the vanilla takes away some of the bitterness of the grapefruit but not too much so it’s not sickly sweet – best of both worlds, tart but not the kind that makes you purse your mouth.
The restaurant on the first floor proved more welcoming the lounge bar, though we did have a tiny table which was almost immediately taken over by some of the crumbliest bread I’ve ever had. I’m going to skip over the starters since they hardly made any impression; maybe that was the wine, maybe it was the catch up chat, maybe they weren’t that memorable. For anyone interested, I had the Dorset crab with a sort of avocado sauce and S had the scallops. They were both nice.
The menu main courses were a bit of a minefield as they seemed to have tapped into the food I just don’t like and then placed one or two of them in several dishes. The duck was out since it came with beetroot which I hate. (S chose the duck and I was right to avoid it; big pieces of beetroot on the plate. He really liked it though). Tarragon dumplings came with aubergine, which I also don’t like and I’m not a lover of fried fish so goodbye to the cod and the trout both. It sounds onerous but luckily the pork belly was tender and juicy, with a crackling crust, accompanied by mash and only a few apples (let’s not overpower the meat with a fruit salad); a good combination of flavours and no great slabs of protein.
Dessert was citrus milk pudding with grapefruit but so creamy and light and not overly sharp. S bizarrely eschewed his usual chocolate fix in favour of the Bakewell tart, a little too heavy for me. My tea obsession was nicely satisfied with the Jasmine Silver Needle – like ordinary Jasmine tea but with a warmer taste which had nothing to do with the temperature of the tea.
A fun evening, mostly due to the company, but Bird of Smithfield isn’t doing anything better or any worse than similar places in London so it hasn’t given me any real incentive to return and sample it again.