Did you know the Boozy Bunchers are also book worms? In addition to chasing down great restaurants to try, we also get together once a month, choose a book to read and then meet to discuss. Or should that be meat to discuss..? I know, I am hilarious.
This month we were reading ‘High Rise’ by J.G. Ballard. A thoroughly meaty and brutalist story so we chose Sir Deny Lasdun’s National Theatre to dine and discuss. The National Theatre, once described by Prince Charles as looking like a ‘nuclear power station’, absolutely charmed us with its elegant House restaurant.
We sat down and immediately decided it was red wine all around. The service is impeccable here and we were treated wonderfully all night. Yes, this is a photo of bread and butter. They bring around a bread basket with a choice of sourdough, hazelnut or rye and you decide what you want. Truthfully I wanted a slice of everything as I am a bread basket fiend but restrained myself.
They have a very affordable three course fixed price menu for £26, however, I was feeling a little à la carte and chose my own dishes. There’s no Alsatian on the menu so I went for the burrata with tomato salad to start and sneakily stole a taste of Grant’s steak tartare.
To be fair, you can never go wrong with burrata, it’s the sleek, seductive charmer of the cheese world. It’s the kind of cheese that seduces your wife while your back is turned and you won’t be able to blame her, because you wish it had chosen you. As you can see it was presented beautifully and each mouthful made me want more.
As a former vegetarian, I can’t quite believe how much I like steak tartare and this dish was no exception. Although Grant disagreed with their presentation of the quail egg shell on top, I think it’s rather cute.
The fixed price menu is full of quite light options and I was channeling the blood lust of the ‘High Rise’ inhabitants and so went for the slow roasted short rib of beef with mashed potato and spinach. It was rich and indulgent and the meat was incredibly tender. I guarded my plate with the watchful eye of a top floor resident against encroaching neighbours.
For dessert, there were a range of amazing dishes on the table. The real stand out was the tiramisu, which was one of the best I have ever tasted, including trips to Italy. Grant’s choice of the Colston Bassett blue will have me running to Neal’s Yard to procure some for myself. It was one of the best blues I’ve had in quite some time.
If you are not looking to blow your budget, then the fixed price menu has some fantastic dishes to offer and exceptionally well presented.
Honestly you cannot go wrong with dinner at House for a pre-theatre treat or even if you are just in the South Bank area and can’t face eating at one of those tired chain restaurants.
And look at the beautiful walk home you’ll have.
Find House at:
London SE1 9PX