30 September 2013

Union Street Cafe


When I read in the tabloids that the new restaurant Gordon Ramsay was opening with his buddy David Beckham was fully booked for dinner until Christmas, I was intrigued. Why so much excitement? Was Beckham going to personally greet and seat guests? Would it be the new hotspot, crawling with celebrities?

Turns out that Beckham connection with this restaurant was actually false. Either that or it fell through. Instead it's said that they intend to open a chain of pie and mash shops together. And that's fine by me.

I wore my Paul & Joe bird-print dress. I bought this dress last year and it's only had one outing. It was time for another!


So, all this publicity for the Union Street Cafe was never going to hurt. As dinner was apparently out of the question until 2014, I reserved a table for lunch. I was meeting my Mum at Fenchurch Street station so the 'middle-of-nowhere' Southwark location of the restaurant wasn't too inconvenient. 


Although the outside of the building isn't particularly attractive, as soon as we walked through the doors we were greeted by the smiling faces of the staff and taken to our seats next to the big, bright windows. The decor is what I would call 'industrial chic' with visible pipes and metal struts stretching the length of the ceiling. Very 'New York loft'.


I enjoyed peering into the kitchen which was set up high. Also a coup for the chefs who were often peeping over to see who they were cooking for.


The Italian cuisine changes daily and most of the ingredients are fresh from Borough Market just down the road. We had many questions about the hand-written menu and our waiter was more than happy to answer them all.


The tables were laid out so prettily with a little bunch of fresh flowers and a basket of bread, olive oil and a homemade roasted vegetable dip. 


As an aperitif, we ordered the very moreish olive fritters along with the ricotta and walnut bruschetta.

Mum had a raspberry gin cocktail (but no such bubbles for me - my month-long detox had already begun).


I decided upon the gnocchi with robiola cheese and crispy bacon as a starter, Mum went with the mushroom and hazelnut risotto. 


Mum was thrilled with her risotto which she said was cooked to perfection (al dente baby!). My gnocchi soft and luscious in a light but creamy sauce. A delicious and filling start!

My main course, however, was not so exciting. The lamb neck, served with wild mushrooms and polenta, was nice but it just felt like it was lacking something. The meat was undeniably tender but the dish was too dry in the thin gravy. Generally a little uninspiring. The mushrooms were great though.


Luckily for Mum, she was blown away by her scorfano fish with raindow chard and capers.


For dessert I had the traditional Italian semifreddo all'arancia & chocolate.


It was creamy and sweet, the combination of the chocolate and marmalade flavour, delicious. It definitely clawed the meal back for me after my underwhelming main course.

Overall, it was a very pleasant lunch in a nice atmosphere. I'm not sure there was anything that would make me return here rather than any other decent Italian in a more convenient part of London but it was nice to try another string in the bow of Mr Ramsay's empire.

Union Street Cafe
Food
★★★
Cocktails
N/A
Atmosphere
★★★
Bar Service
N/A
Waiter Service
★★★★
Value
★★★
Toilets
★★★
Bouncers
N/A
Union Street Cafe on Urbanspoon
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14 comments:

  1. you really seem to live the dream you lucky thing!! I am droooooling. Look so delish. Is it possible to eat vicariously through someone? if so.. i choose you! XX

    myuniyears.com

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  2. The food does look incredible! That gnocchi especially.

    Does seem like a very weird location choice.

    Hmm maybe...

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    1. It is a bit of an odd choice really. I suppose it's ok if you work in the city x

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  3. That gnocchi looks incredible! It's been too long since I've made it, i think it'll have to go on the menu for next week.. xx

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    1. I haven't made it for ages either! I love making it with a blue cheese sauce x

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  4. Why oh WHY did I read this when I'm already starving and trapped in a meeting pre-lunch?! Dreaming of deliciously creamy gnocchi and risotto xx

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    Replies
    1. Haha, oh dear! I was posting it last night when I was starving too, I know how you feel! :) x

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  5. I wish I'd left reading this post till later....we're having leftovers tonight and now all I want is gnocchi!
    Thanks for your post, I'm heading up to London for two weeks and am browsing your blog for things to do!

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    1. Cool, I hope you find something good! :D x

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  6. looks delicious! That risotto looks so creamy and tasty! looks like it was worth trying it out! Hope you're well, katie xxx

    www.katieskitchenjournal.com

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  7. Booked until Christmas?? Wow. Doesn't even seem like it is worth such a long wait! But that risotto and the fish do look delicious.. hmm might have to consider a lunch trip!

    Teffy { Teffys Perks Blog } Xx

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  8. Such a shame you didn't enjoy your main! Stunning pictures! Nice to spend some time with you Mum too!

    Katie <3

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  9. Savine and I tried to book for dinner a month before it opened, but of course it was already too late! It's gotten such mixed reviews, your trusted opinion aligns my expectations a lot :) I hope to try it for myself soon! x

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