In two weeks time, I start work again on my plant stall at Partridges Saturday Food Market on the Kings Road. Once the market gets started again, my Friday nights will be spent preparing for Saturday. So I am making the most of the last two Friday nights I have left.
The Rooftop Cafe is housed in a fairly nondescript office block, which is a stones throw from London Bridge station. Once you do your research on the office block, The Exchange (http://theexchange.so/), it becomes more interesting. The Exchange is a community for budding entrepreneurs to use as an office space, use meeting rooms and share ideas. Great idea.
Walking up London Bridge Street towards the office block, the street is lined with bars that I wouldn’t choose to spend my Friday night at. It starts to dawn on us, have we got the right place? Eventually we find our way to the Exchange. Unfortunately the buzzer to the entrance wasn’t working and even better, no one seemed to want to pick up their telephone. Whilst we waited, we managed to build up quite a crowd outside The Exchange. At this point we were all thinking the same thing – so, err, does this place actually exist? 10 minutes later, someone from the cafe came to our rescue, thankfully.
Up a few flights of stairs and through some dark lit corridors we eventually made our way to the cafe. The rooftop itself is priceless. The cafe has a uninterrupted view of the Shard. There are rumours that the terrace will be open in May and once open this will be one of the best outdoor drinking spots in London.
Head chef Magnus Reid (formerly St John, The Hackney Pearl and A Little Of What You Fancy) – has cooked at some of London’s most fashionable dining spots. His menu changes daily, keeping it short and simple.
For starters we ate the following:
Smoked salmon, caper, dill & mustard dressing
Beef carpaccio, parmesan and truffle oil
The smoked salmon we ate was as good as what we eat at Broadway market, from Hansen & Lydersen. The beef carpaccio was perfection.
Lamb shoulder and polenta
Smoked trout, beetroot, egg, mixed leaves
When the lamb was placed on the table, I questioned the portion size of the lamb. However, once we finished our mains, we were perfectly full. The lamb was tender and salted just right. The trout was heaven and made me realise that I don’t cook with it enough. The only negative is that the eggs should have been soft boiled. That’s all. With just enough room for dessert, this is what we had:
Chocolate pot, olive oil, salt
Bread and butter pudding with salted caramel ice cream
The bread and butter pudding was one of the best I have ever had. It was so good that it inspired me to cook it the night after. Unfortunately for the chocolate pot, it has a lot to live up to. Jose on Bermondsey Street makes the best chocolate pot with olive oil and salt. I’m sorry Rooftop Cafe but Jose wins on this one.
The service was brilliant, the girls on the floor were rushed off their feet and according to one of the waitresses – it was the busiest night they have had. Well managed, girls. I booked a table 3 days in advance but judging how busy it was on Friday, this place is going to get booked up quickly.
The view. The round the houses trip to find the bleeding place. Amazing value for the quality of the food. Great background music – Motown non stop.
Odd opening times. Only open for dinner on Thursdays and Fridays. Open Monday – Friday for breakfast and lunch. Closed on weekends.
What’s the damage?
3 courses each, 3 glasses of wine and a beer came to £80 with tip.
Who goes there?
Good date spot. Perfect for friends - especially once the roof top is open in the Summer.
Will we be back – Hell yes!
The Rooftop Cafe
London Bridge Street