Monday, February 25, 2013

Belle Epoque, 16th March

When you go to as many cabaret/burlesque nights as I have done, you do start to wonder if you’ve seen it all. And then you watch performances such as those I witnessed the other week and you realise that those at the top of their game can still wow you.  I think the difference between the artists who entranced us on the 16th (and I’d put those at Boom Boom in this category as well) and other more run-of the-mill acts is the way they have a bit of a story to their act – the way the music that they perform to complements the moves. It’s choreographed, it’s stirring. There’s attitude. These aren’t just circus acts.

The only disappointing thing about the aerial acrobatics at Belle Epoeue was that there wasn’t more of them! Although I suspected the last act would be at around 11 to ensure those wanting to get the last tube could do so without missing anything, I still would have loved for the entire evening to be peppered by them.

Having said that, the rest of the clientele probably wouldn’t have been so happy. Unlike other vintage nights I’ve been to, this one had a decidedly school disco feel to it. It wasn’t just the music being played, it was the lairiness of the crowd; by 11 pm people were raring to concentrate on the cocktails and champagne, rather than the acts. One girl, out for her birthday, fell over while she was seemingly just standing there, some guy dived through the hoop while we were waiting for the act to start. At the end of the night people were copping off with each other like it was Sixth Form revisited! It was slightly surreal – everyone dressed in a variety of styles from burlesque to vintage to lion tamer, yet all most definitely dressed to the nines, getting down to, at one point, gangster rap, and snogging. I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if Gangnam Style had been played at the end, but I’d left at that point.

It’s not that I didn’t like the music. For the most part I thought they were all pretty good party tunes, designed to get people moving on the dance floor and that they did. There were only one or two selections that were a little too cheesy for my taste. But it was definitely very mainstream, which wasn’t what we were expecting. When we arrived they were playing 50s and 60s sounds – Little Richard, The Kinks, Aretha, and we assumed this was the theme for the rest of the night. Even though it probably wasn’t what the Belle Epoque era was soundtracked to, it was at least retro. But they very quickly moved through the decades to the present day – I appreciated the Jamie XX remix of Rolling in the Deep they dropped.  But we wondered where they would go from there.  The answer was, all over the place! 

I rather enjoyed the DJ’s antics – he was almost a caricature of a DJ, his arms waving all over the place as he conducted us on the dance floor from Song 2 to Skeelo and back again through a variety of mashups.

So, the music was what you could find on any highstreet but I would happily return for the aerial acrobatics. There was 'silk rope' work with a couple practically dancing like ballet together through them. 

There was a duo hoop act, portraying an S & M lesbian relationship. The first act used a bungee harness! 

And there was another 'rope' act, only this time using netting which the performer could tangle himself among. 

And the finale were three girls on bars choreographed to perfection.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Candlelight Club, 15th February

Candlelight Club is charming. Just charming. Rather prosaically the Candlelight Club is called so because the entire venue is lit solely with candles. It is very ambient. I think the Candlelight Club would be the perfect romantic date. The lighting is low - perfect for canoodling, there is background music but none too loud  - so perfect for hushed, enamoured tones, and there's a spot of live music throughout the night - for the perfect excuse to dance and get some tantalising physical contact.

But that's not to say it's not a fun night out for a group of you and I saw many such groups there, who had obviously reserved tables (for a further fee - although it does include a bottle of champagne) and who were also ordering from the menu and making a night of it.

Like Prohibition, the Candlelight Club harks back to the Prohibition era and you are encouraged to dress accordingly. I loved seeing everyone in their various costume. The 1920s were definitely glamorous in their way and everyone dressed in their best vintage lends the night a touch of decadence. The tables were scattered with bullets and petals in an homage to the Valentine's Day Massacre which was this evening's theme. The venue was 'intimate' - much much tinier than I was expecting which went some way to explain why tickets sell out so quickly. But it was also part of the charm and made you feel even more so that you were in some hidden speakeasy that shouldn't really exist - open to only those in the know.

Everything was on one floor, with a bar serving cocktails down one side, a stage at the front and the several tables which you could book in advance or perhaps you could nab one if you were early enough. (We weren't.) There were five cocktails to choose from, all at a very reasonably priced 7.50. I wanted to try one of each but given my funds settled for three - the Horse's Head, Smoking Barrel and the Crime of Passion. All were mixed expertly by the debonair bartenders who were clearly having a whale of a time, entertaining the crowd at the bar with some of their flair bartending.

Candlelight Club had been so good as to respond to my twitter enquiry about what time the live acts started and Gloria and the G Spots came on very promptly at 9 pm for their first set as promised. It consisted of modern classics (if that's not too much of an oxymoron) reimagined to fit the Prohibition jazzy style so completely that at first I took them for original, or at least originating-of-the-era songs. Gloria had a distinctive almost warbling singing voice that you could easily imagine listening to if you suddenly found yourself transported back to the real 1920s.

The night is not a wild night - although dancing is most definitely welcome and as the night wore on the dance floor became ever crowded - but I really enjoyed it. It finishes at 12 so there can't be too much debauchery before people make their way home. People danced to both Gloria and her Gs as well as the DJ in between and while I am no expert on the period, something about it felt more authentic than Prohibition for precisely the reason that it was more low key.

I was feeling a little under the weather myself and had to ensure I was well enough to make it to Belle Epoque the next night so bowed out around half eleven, though I definitely would have preferred to stay until the last candle was snuffed out.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Plastic People, 25th January

So, I completely forgot that Plastic People was on my List and didn't blog about it. And my already hazy memory of the place is even fuzzier as time has dulled my recollection. This will be a short account.

I've actually been once before but got so bladdered I could barely remember it. So I figured it didn't count. I must admit, this time around wasn't much more of a success as my phone went missing when we'd barely been in there an hour. Not just my phone - my debit and oyster card too. My phone was sadly lost forever, but I have to say that Plastic People were lovely about helping me get my debit and oyster card back as it transpired they'd been handed in. We sent endless emails back and forth to arrange for me to pick them up, with the girl even offering to meet me somewhere halfway to make it easier! So I've been left with an overall positive view of the place despite it all.

So yeah, we ended up here after our meal at Viva and hanging out with *name drop* Gary Powell and his fiancee in Dalston Social where I think we stayed until about 2. We then tottered all the way into Shoreditch and to the club (there has been some debate about whether we in fact got a taxi, but our memory fails us).

After some persuading of the coat check lady to fit our coats in (we really didn't want to be carrying them around all night) we moseyed around the club. It was dark and I liked the vibe. The music they were playing was eminently dancable and soon enough my friend got chatting to a French person (her favourite pastime). So the people seemed cool as well - except for one guy who was so kind as to buy us a drink. How is that bad you say? He insisted we reimburse him afterwards! Not cool. Or chivalrous. We didn't ask him to buy us drinks!

And sadly, that is pretty much all we got up to before I reached into my bag and found nothing but a set of keys. I then spent a good long while looking round the club before abandoning my friend to re-walk the stretch we'd come down and then head home. On foot.

I guess I'll have to go back again some time. Third time's the charm eh?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Le Gavroche, 13th February

Apologies in advance for the quantity and quality (or lack thereof) of photos in this post. We were the youngest diners in the restaurant by at least twenty years, and with my fellow patrons not being of the blogging and tweeting generation, I felt conspicuous, in such an esteemed establishment, taking the few photos I did.

Le Gavroche is the opposite of contemporary in decor, but without being staid. You feel comfortable in your surroundings, as if you're sitting in a favourite wealthy uncle's library. There is no background music - Le Gavroche gets booked up months in advance and so can rely on there being a soundtrack of chatter and clinking to distract you from the sound of your companions eating.

Just one of the quirky decorative touches

We were offered a glass of champagne each on the house (perhaps because it was so close to Valentine's Day?) and soon after our canapes arrived. An egg salad 'tart' adorned with three coral beads of caviar and a finger of chorizo wrapped in pastry. This was my first taste of caviar and I must say I liked it although even such a small amount was so fishy I can't imagine eating it by the scoopful. It made me feel like I was eating sushi. The chorizo pastry was gorgeously salty and meaty. Wouldn't have complained if there had been one or two more of those.

Next up was our amuse bouche - smoked eel with the lightest, subtlest horseradish cream I have ever tasted (because I dine on this kind of stuff all the time don'tchaknow). And the eel was another first for me but this was fine dining and of course it bore no real resemblance to it's natural form. It was just a perfectly shaped piece of fish and quite a delicately flavoured one at that.

At about this time our order was taken. We had decided to treat ourselves for Valentine's Day by coming to Le Gavroche but that doesn't mean we were suddenly flush with cash - we had decided to choose lunch here for a reason. They do a set lunch for only 52.60 which includes three courses and half a bottle of wine. (Bear in mind that a main from the a la carte started at around 30 pounds and you see what an excellent deal this is.)

There was a choice of three for each course. For some reason the set menu was all in French, whereas the a la carte menu gave you the translations. This wasn't really a problem as my French is pretty up to scratch (at least when it comes to food) but there was one item I couldn't puzzle out even with the context. Our waiter was more than happy to help and I ended up ordering this for my starter -  the veloute de topinambour, or Jerusalem artichoke. This came with iberico jamon and more artichoke in the bowl and then the velvety veloute is poured over them.

What a deeply rich, buttery and savoury taste this was. If I hadn't know it was artichoke I probably wouldn't have been able to place it, it just tasted delicious and 'rooty'. The mouthfuls where I had some of the ham with it were fabulous - the touch of saltiness it added working perfectly. I think this was actually my favourite dish of the meal!

Stephen chose the pan fried seabass with chive butter and said it was a very fine dish, though he commented that once again, in a high-end establishment, the skin wasn't crispy! We surmised it had been fried only on the one side as you could see the bottom was cooked through and it grew more translucent towards the top.

We both ordered the lamb neck on beans with wild garlic for our mains. Our first bites of the lamb were a little on the dry side but it soon gave way to pink, slightly fatty, tender meat. The bean and puree provided a worthy accompaniment, and there was some token green stuff to make us feel marginally healthier.

By this point I had availed myself twice of the bread basket yet still didn't turn down the chance to complete the hat trick - there were three varieties of home baked bread on offer, and therefore three I had. With a choice of salted or unsalted butter that was replenished as soon as a dent was made in it, each kind was moreish; a rustic campagne, a French bread and a light, chewy rye. 

I made an unusual choice for dessert for me - I went for the ice cream and sorbets option. They wheel over their cart of ice creams and scoop the flavours you want at the table. Taking the advice from our neighbours who were very friendly and obviously seasoned fine diners, I had a scoop of each - wild berry, pear, blood orange (my favourite), milk chocolate, vanilla and one other I can't remember!

Stephen had the cheese platter, instigating another trolley being wheeled over from which you can make your selection. I was too timid to take a picture while it was at our table, but I took one from afar. Cheese trolley? Cheese 16-wheeler more like!

My idea of heaven - and you can only see half of it!
Cheese was served with yet more butter, and some wholemeal 'melba toast' studded with fruit and nuts. Quince, a chutney and celery were served as relishes. I can't remember exactly which cheeses he chose, but all were, predictably, lovely. (I'm almost never going to say anything different about cheese.)

To finish we had the customary petits fours - a sweet marshmallow, a brandy snap, a candied kumquat and a miniature perfect pistachio brownie. Our kindly neighbours tried to encourage us to order a second serving of these, as we seemed to like them so much, and although I was tempted, if only for that brownie, we had eaten quite enough by then!

Our petits fours with our table 'mascot' in the background
Service was polished and attentive, mostly with a smile and a willingness to answer any questions, though for some reason the man devoted to keeping our glasses refreshed was rather stern.

Eating at Le Gavroche is obviously not something I can make a habit of, but it was perfect for a celebratory occasion. I loved Pollen Street Social for its laid-back, accessible feel, but when you really want to spoil yourself, you want a place that feels grand and special. Le Gavroche is definitely that.

Le Gavroche on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Find the menu & restaurant information on Zomato

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Great Spitalfields Pancake Race, 12th February

Taking place in the daytime on Shrove Tuesday, as it does, and me not willing to take time off to attend, I only this year managed to be a spectator of the Great Spitalfields Pancake Race. 

The whole thing lasted barely half an hour - it's really for the people who work in that area, or who are students hanging out in the Big Chill anyway, as it takes place in Dray Walk off Brick Lane. 

I actually got down there a little later than planned so missed the beginning of the race and probably all of the rules and regulations being set out. However, it was fairly easy to surmise what was going on. Each race was between four teams of four. It's a relay race with the first person racing up to the other end, pausing at two intervals to flip their pancake, and then passing the frying pan over to their teammate, and repeat. 

It really is quite silly fun to watch people running the short distance bearing these unwieldy cooking instruments, with the crowd lining the track cheering them on or groaning when a pancake ends up on the floor. To add to the merriment, many of the teams dress up in fancy dress, often to reflect their silly team names. The 'referees' are also dressed somewhat exuberantly. I wouldn't quite call them clowns, but their garb wasn't far off. Colourful, with bits sticking out of everywhere, only minus the over-sized shoes. These guys were there to make sure participants did their two flips at the allotted points (although I did notice that some of these flips didn't quite make it all the way over). 

At the end of the race there were prizes for the first three teams, plus a prize for the best team name, best costumes, and, rather bafflingly, best behaved team! 

And of course, there was a crepe stall set up right by the event, to take advantage of it being Pancake Day and seeing all those pancakes sprint past you making people want one of their own.

I wouldn't advise taking time off to go and watch the event, but if you're in the area, it's definitely worth a look. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Clockjack Oven, 8th February

As my friend and I remarked afterwards, one of the reasons we enjoyed Clockjack Oven so much is because, for us, chicken is much neglected in a meal out. Given the choice, I'm much more likely to order some lovely beef, or pork belly rather than the poor, plebeian chicken. But, being at a restaurant where there is no choice, we heartily enjoyed giving some attention to the oft-overlooked beast. Now, I know there are chicken-only places popping up all over the place, but apart from Orange Buffalo, which is by no means a restaurant, this is the first I've tried. It has piqued my interest to try some more.

We arrived at 7 and to our delight were seated straight away. This being another no-bookings place (for groups of 5 and under) in Soho, I worried we would be too late to avoid a queue. There were plenty of empty seats but it transpired they were booked up for larger groups already. Barely 20 minutes later and we smugly watched the line at the door appear and grow as we nibbled at complementary vegetable crisps.

Succumbing to a case of 'the polites' we didn't want to appear too greedy in front of each other and ended up under-ordering. Between the four of us we had 14 pieces of chicken, two portions of fries, some coleslaw and a salad, but we all agreed afterwards we could have easily eaten more.

The chicken was juicy and succulent. I was completely enamoured by the sauces and had very few unsauced bites but I made sure to try the chicken on its own, and it held up. I could easily have eaten the bird without any sauce at all and been more than satisfied.

The chicken in pieces is rotisserie chicken that has been marinated in Clockjack's special sauce which perhaps helps to gives it its juiciness - it doesn't really impart a great amount of flavour of itself but maybe brings out the chicken's own taste. A whole bird gets cut into 10 pieces to share, or you can order three or four pieces. We didn't get any of the chicken bites - their version of chicken nuggets but I definitely want to try it on my next visit.

There are four sauces to choose from - ranch, BBQ, chili and caesar. I absolutely loved the ranch and chili sauces. My boyfriend said that it did just taste like the garlic sauce you get in a kebab shop, or the pots you get from Domino's but that is none the worse to me. It was thick and delicious. Likewise the chili sauce which was spicy but not overwhelming - you could easily dunk chips into it all night. The BBQ sauce was a little thin for me, as a dipping sauce, and I must admit I didn't even try the caesar dressing. Something fishy just doesn't appeal to me and my friends who did try it said it was really rather strong.

The fries were great - not skinny shoestrings, not chunky chips but sort of KFC-size. Appropriate really. They were crunchy but had a good potato filling and seasoned well. The coleslaw was also a good version of it. The salad came with three balls of sage and onion stuffing which were a little dry but also tasted quite good. Weirdly it was the most expensive side at 4 quid compared to the fries at 3 pounds. No salad should be more expensive than the fries, even if it does have apple in it (which this did).

As I've said, I haven't tried the other chicken places - Chicken Shop for instance, but I think this place is deserving of being a restaurant in its own right - it's not simply jumping on the bandwagon of doing a no-choice menu. Or maybe it is, but it's doing it so well and at such reasonable prices that I can only wish them well.

Clockjack Oven on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Find the menu & restaurant information on Zomato

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sebright Arms, 1st February

I almost forgot to write about this place. Last Friday was actually my second occasion there, as when we went to the Tapeheads VHS quiz, that was the venue. However, I was so caught up in the quiz, I didn't give much thought to my surroundings.

I found myself there for a quick drink on Friday before gorging myself on Fonduta at Forza Win(ter) and had much more time to appraise the place.

I liked it. It is definitely a pub, not a bar, and not of the shiny gastro variety neither. In fact, the decor rather reminds me of the Bethnal Green Working Men's Club - similar red velvety yet shabby tones abound. There's an upstairs with a few banquettes and tables and chairs, and a downstairs where they have several gigs a week. As I sat sipping my large house red (only a fiver, bargain!) my table vibrated with the drums and the bass of whichever band was warming up in the basement.

While it feels like a local boozer, and its location would rather lend itself to slightly shady clientele (it's on a street off Hackney Road, where there isn't much else) pretty much everyone in there was clad in a hipsterish manner. It's a hip place. And this should really be no surprise when you learn that Lucky Chip have had a residency here since the middle of last year. They serve up some of their famous burgers, like the El Chappo, but have a few more dishes on the menu to choose from, and some specials that aren't always options at their van - one with softshell crab caught my eye, even though I don't actually eat softshell crab myself. 

I'm not much of a beer or ale drinker but the Sebright serves the "Real" version of them, and ciders too, and it has gotten the nod of approval from someone I know who knows more about these things than I.

In short, a great little pub.

Square Meal

Find the menu & restaurant information on Zomato

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Leyshon Brothers, 2nd February

Saturday night was the last night of Leyshon Brothers' bonded warehouse (for now) so in some ways there's not a lot of point in me blogging about it because you can no longer go. However, when I put it on the list as soon as I heard of it, I didn't realise they were about to enter their last week of existence. And if it's on the List, blog I must. Also, it has been so successful by all accounts, that I would bet money that they will return in some other guise at some point.

We were told to arrive by 8 and say the password to the man on the door. It's all meant to be very hush hush. Of course, by the time we arrived, there was something of a queue and we didn't even have to utter the  secret phrase to be let through the gates.

(c) Carolyn Mundie
As we went in we were given tickets to one of the 'shows' and told to explore. I must admit, of all the vintage-themed nights I have been to, I have never felt like I was stepping back in time so completely. The cobbled lanes, the shabby decor and the effort to which the 'punters' had gone with their garb. As you wandered these Victorian streets you passed the Sloe Gin Snug where Francesco entertained us as he concted our sloe gin and prosecco cocktails. 

We then made our way past the street games on offer and up into the Queen Victor pub where a range of more usual drinks were on offer and a magician was meandering through the crowd performing some impressive close-up magic. I stood right there as he made cards and coins appear, change and disappear in my friends' hands. And I can honestly say I have no idea how he does it. Well, I have an idea, but under close scrutiny, it was impossible to see how the trick was achieved.

(c) Carolyn Mundie

After a quick bout of street games where I failed to throw the penny on the plate and thus win myself a prize, we went over to see what was going on in the 'Music Hall'. This was where the shows were taking place and the first one was just starting. Not wanting to end up seeing it twice, we made our way back to the other side to wait our turn (we had a ticket for the second show).

Unfortunately, once we'd played the street games, there was very little entertainment on the pub side. It was cool being in such Victorian surroundings but once you'd explored everything the only thing left to do was drink as you would normally in any pub. They had a fortune teller on hand but she was apparently so thorough with everyone the wait was something like an hour. And it didn't really sound like her fortunes would have convinced me to believe in the paranormal.

Soon enough 10 pm rolled around and we went over to take our seats in the Music Hall for the show. It started with a sing-a-long with the old Joanna, singing coarsely to modern pop songs like Madness. There was a little burlesque skit (not as high quality as that at the Boom Boom Club, say), plus the magician we'd seen earlier working the crowd, and a strong man. Sitting towards the back, I have to say that I didn't know how impressed to be with the strong man - the materials he was bending could have been floppy plastic for all we knew. But, luckily, my friends were sitting near the front and brought his finished works out with them - some pretty tough stuff. I was impressed. 

The finale of the evening was a rather eccentric act to say the least. A man with clear operatic talents serenaded the crowd... while stripping down... to nothing but a balloon banana and a pair of balloon testicles. Which he duly popped. 

After the show was over, the entire crowd was rounded up into the music hall for a patriotic sing-song. Being only half-Brit myself, I was at a loss for most of these songs. I've never sung Jerusalem in my life, and only vaguely know God Save the Queen and Rule Britannia. The rest of the crowd were doing a rousing job though, being lead alternately by a 'cockney geeza' and the opera singer (who treated the crowd to a literally dazzling view of his particulars, all trussed up with lights, before donning clothes once more, much to our relief).

And then the evening ran its natural course culminating, of course, in a DJ spinning the decks on the gramophones. I didn't know what a penchant the Victorians had for 70s disco! To be honest, it's not my favourite music in the world but it was good for getting the crowd going and I'll take most any opportunity to have a dance. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Opium Chinatown, 26th January

I knew Opium was tricky to find. I already warned my companion to keep her eyes out for signs of it, and I had the exact address on me. And we walked right past it, standing on the corner near where we were sure it must be, unable to see it. And then, I spotted him. A lone burly man standing in front of a door. A door to Opium.

We walked up and saw the discreet sign. We said hello and informed the doorman that we had a reservation. A word in his mike and a response from his earpiece and the door was swung open and we were told to head to the second floor where we were greeted and lead up a further storey. We were seated by the window and our waiter came along to furnish us with menus. Three storeys high, we gazed down on the hustle of Chinatown, feeling smug that the people walking by had no idea we were up here or what lay behind that innocuous door. Around us on the shelves were title upon title of books pertaining to the art of alcohol and behind us was what would be described as the "chef's table" had we been in a restaurant and not a cocktail bar where the drinks were mixed up.

The menu: two pages of speciality cocktails, one giving a rundown of the classics, several pages of "prescriptions" (spirits) and on the final page, the dim sum. There were two cocktails that stood out for me for being intriguing. The first one I went for was the Royal Plums, mainly because it sounded a bit risque, but also because the use of plums in cocktails isn't something I'd come across before. It had a tequila base with chinese plum wine, poached black plum and rosemary syrup. It was served with a sprig of rosemary as a garnish - sooo aromatic to drink. The top had a thin sheen of broken ice and there were specks of the black plum in it. 

My friend couldn't quite make up her mind and asked for a recommendation. Our wonderful waiter Oscar suggested she go for the Opium Cocktail No. 1. This was quite a spectacular cocktail that came with a side of theatre. Two types of rum and absinthe, mandarin juice, lime juice and a ginseng capsule. The receptacle was placed and the ginseng poured into the capsule, then the rest of the cocktail and then the mist began. And continued for the duration of the drink being consumed. It was beautiful. As was what it was held in. With it's little metal pipe sticking out we were of course reminded of the cocktail bar's namesake (not that we have any experience of smoking opium ourselves). 

For round two my friend went for some bubbles in the form of a kir royale and I joined her, by ordering the Kung Fu Fizz. What a drink! My favourite of the night by far with a completely unexpected taste to what I imagined from the ingredients. A champagne base with parnsip puree, honey and sweet black asian malt, I thought it might be quite a thick, sweet "dessert cocktail" with two such sweet components. But it was lifted by the champagne and malt I suppose and was incredibly refreshing. It did taste of parsnip but in a way that made you think parsnip in a drink was completely normal; it belonged. This was served in a cute teacup, continuing the Chinese parlour theme. 

To accompany our libations, we ordered some of the delectable-sounding dim sum. To start we had the crab and fennel dumplings and the lobster prawn toast. Both were delicious, but we felt that just two more dumplings wouldn't have gone amiss for the price tag. Although, it has to be said, they were far cheaper than the cocktails! The crab dumplings were 7 pounds, the toast 9.50 (well, it was lobster). Both were tasty but my favourite was the lobster toast which was really plump and juicy and the spicy tomatoey dipping sauce went well with them. 

To follow up, we had the scallop, coriander and pea dumplings. These were tasty but not quite as tasteful as the crab versions. The scallop was slightly masked by the pea flavour. Again, I thought there could have been  more filling. And if I were to be very, very picky I would say that maybe the dough was a little thick - at least at the top where it was pinched together, which wouldn't have been as noticeable if there had been more filling. 

We spent a couple of hours there which was enough to lighten our wallets considerably and also fill our stomachs satisfactorily. The bill came to a whopping 86 pounds, so this is definitely a place for a special occasion, or when you want to impress someone. I was kinda doing a bit of both.

Opium on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Find the menu & restaurant information on Zomato