St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern art museum are two landmarks in London that face each other across the river Thames. Pedestrian access is possible by using the Millenium Bridge that spans the river. Apart from sightseeing, there are also places to eat around this area. We tried three restaurants during a recent visit.
Burger and Lobster at Bread Street
Burger and Lobster has several outlets in London. There is one along Bread Street which is around 100 metres to the East of St Paul’s Cathedral. As the name of the restaurant suggests, the restaurant is very specialised. There are only three items on the food menu – the burger, the whole lobster and the lobster roll. Each one is served with salad and fries at the price of £20. The whole lobster can be grilled or steamed. We tried one of each.
The lobsters arrived about 15 minutes after ordering. They looked quite similar and were fairly large – we estimate they were just below one kilogram each. Both were slightly overcooked and not as succulent and moist as we would have liked them to be. The lobsters were obviously fresh and were meaty so it was a pity that the cooking was a bit off. The grilled one tasted better than the steamed one. The dish could have been prepared better but still it was quite a treat to eat a whole lobster for lunch. At £20 per person, we would return if we had the chance. The service was not very warm and can best be described as brisk and business-like. They do not take reservations, which is fine in this case because the limited menu means that the ordering and cooking process is quite efficient.
Zorita’s Kitchen Spanish restaurant
Zorita’s Kitchen is located along the bank of the Thames near the Millenium Bridge and is just a five-minute walk from either the Tate or the cathedral. This Spanish restaurant occupies two levels. You get a very good view of the river from the upper level. The scenery is most beautiful at dusk.
The lower level of the restaurant is decorated in a casual chic manner. The upper level has a more formal look. The walls are lined with shelves of wine which are available for retail. We were warmly welcomed by a couple of friendly staff. We ordered a selection of four tapas and a stew which were quite reasonably priced at between £4 and £7 each.
The highlights of our meal were the tortilla (Spanish omelette) and octopus marinated in pepper, paprika and coriander which were really good and flavourful. The other dishes we had were the sardines on toast, baked peppers and lentil stew which went very well with the crusty bread that was served. All in all, a hearty meal for two at less than £30 (excluding drinks). The restaurant also has a good selection of reasonably priced Spanish wines.
Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen
First, we have to confess that we are victims of marketing. If not for the Gordon Ramsay name, we would not have thought of trying a restaurant with the unexciting name of Bread Street Kitchen and which has an equally bland entrance. Would this restaurant live up to the reputation of this famous chef?
The good news first. Upon entering the restaurant, you find that the place is much larger and nicer than it seems on the outside. The high ceiling and unusual lighting give the place a spacious and comfortable feel.
The dishes arrived beautifully presented. Taste-wise, the cod was cooked just right and the red wine and lemon sauce blended well with the fish. The roast beef was another story. The thin slices of beef were soggy and the gravy was very salty. We enjoyed the potatoes and the carrots which were very tasty. In summary, this is a very convenient restaurant located in a mall called One New Exchange that is just next to the St Paul’s Cathedral. The food we tried ranged from so-so to quite good. But we did not get the sense of any “wow” factor which one might associate with the Gordon Ramsay name.
Bread Street Kitchen
10 Bread Street