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The Forge: Excellent option near Covent Garden
Update April 2014: THIS RESTAURANT HAS NOW CLOSED
Tip left for my own records
The area in and around Covent Garden is very touristy and it can be hard to find good food without feeling ripped off. This recent discovery isn’t the cheapest place to eat, but the quality of the food, service and general ambiance make it worth paying the little extra, in my opinion. And there are some good deals to be had!
The cuisine here is what I would call modern European, with a particularly good selection of fish. I’ve eaten here twice, once with friends when we opted for the set menu at £27 for three courses (including a kir on arrival) – a bargain for this quality. The second time was a special occasion meal with Chris, so we splashed out on the a la carte menu. By the time we had paid for pre-dinner drinks, three courses each, wine and water, the bill came to about £100 – as I said, not cheap, but well worth it for what we got.
Favorite Dish: The full á la carte menu is extensive, and even the limited set one has a good number of options. From the former, my starter, a “vol-au-vent of devilled lambs kidneys” stands out. On our more recent visit I loved all my choices from the á la carte, from the “tartare of yellow fin tuna with shiso leaf, sweet miso and ginger dressing” through my main, a “fillet of venison with butternut squash and savoy cabbage” to the excellent selection of cheese we both finished with (the cheese trolley is almost the first thing you see on entering the restaurant and will tempt any cheese-lover!)
The décor by the way is also very good – a restrained “elegant but cosy” vibe. Tables are set out in several inter-connecting areas which make the space feel more intimate, and most are spaced out sufficiently for reasonably private conversation, which is not always the case in a part of town where every table you can squeeze in will deliver more money from eager diners. It isn’t a huge restaurant and I would say booking is essential at weekends and probably a good idea on any evening.
The Forge: The Forge - in Covent Garden
Whilst trying to decide where to dine pre-theatre one evening, I recalled a friend recently raving about the Rib-eye steak at The Forge, in Covent Garden. I do have a penchant for a Rib-eye, and the theatre was located close by, so The Forge it was.
Not one of those touristy Covent Garden restaurants, The Forge is instead a stylish modern European restaurant, with a very appealing menu and good prices for the area. It looks like the type of place that does a roaring trade for business lunches, and the atmosphere may be a little staid if you are the young and trendy type.
Service was impeccable throughout our meal. The timing was perfect and the attention just right. The speed in which we were able to obtain the bill, and then pay, was unheard of - and of the utmost importance when one has to hurry off to the theatre.
Favorite Dish: Food wise, we shared a starter - the Smoked eel, bacon, beetroot & horseradish salad. The flavour mix was spot on, and the presentation was good. For main course, I couldn't resist the Grilled rib eye steak with pommes frites & bearnaise sauce - it lived up to the hype, a very flavoursome steak cooked perfectly. Alex had the Slow braised shoulder of lamb with root vegetables. Although he really enjoyed it, and raved about the sauce, he felt that the portion of lamb was a tad small.
We still had time to kill before heading to the theatre so dessert seemed like the sensible thing to do. Alex opted for the Plum Tart which he happily devoured, whilst I stayed true to form with an evil Chocolate concoction, which was like a very rich mousse on a biscuit base. Thoroughly enjoyable, as was our whole experience at The Forge.
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