Tuesday, 27 August 2013

COAL VAULTS, 187 WARDOUR STREET

Coming to the end of the Bank Holiday weekend, we checked out Coal Vaults - a new restaurant and bar, and the latest addition to the bustling Wardour Street. 
The site, which was originally used to store coal in the 19th Century, has been restored to boast a 100 capacity basement venue consisting of an intimate bar and dining area, as well as five separate vaults for private dining.

 

 


 

 

We were welcomed with some lovely glasses of bubbly and devilled popcorn whilst we perused the menu...


 


 

 

Charred Courgette, Caramelized Red Pepper, Goat's Curd and Hazelnut Salad.

Salads are always one of my favourite starters to a meal - nice and light, with a subtle sweetness from the caramelized peppers.

 


Quail with saffron, basil and orange.

The meat was much rarer than I was expecting - the half that I took more so as compared to Dora's half, and we were initially a bit hesitant about putting it in our mouths...
Which was rather strange for me as I've eaten plenty of medium rare red meat and all sorts of tartare. Maybe I'm just a bit prejudiced towards birds...
Nonetheless, we finished up the lot, which was actually pretty tasty.

 

 

'5 Hour' Shoulder of Lamb cooked in hay & lavender, with caper, mint and smoked anchovy couscous.

Not sure if it was by coincidence that the leaves picked are roughly the same shade of colour as the lamb - it sort of gives it an illusion that there is more lamb on the plate than there actually was!
The meat was really soft and I liked the nice minty taste in the couscous.

 


Potted Crab with home baked brown soda bread.

So today I've learnt what the term 'potted' meant, which is a form of preservation used in the sealing of meat, fish or cheese with a layer of fat.
Discovered in the 16th century, this method of preservation descended from the old medieval pie - where pie crusts were used as a form of 'clingfilm' to protect the food inside from air.
(There's a bit of history for you!)

 


Palourdes with fennel tops, garlic, white wine and Jerome's chilli salt.

Served in a cute tiny bucket, the palourdes (also known as Manilla clams) were fresh and steaming hot.

 


'Pulled Rabbit' with smoked black beans, sweetcorn and pineapple relish, avocado, sour cream and flat bread.

This was probably my favourite dish of the lot - the meat was very tender and the combination of flavours was delicious.

 

Salted Chocolate Cake with mint creme fraiche and toasted almonds.

We were already quite full, but we managed to squeeze in a dessert to share.
Gluten-free, it was really chocolatey and rich! I would have however liked a stronger taste of mint in the creme fraiche - we could see some mint leaves hidden in the creme fraiche, but the flavour just wasn't distinct enough. 

And that brings an end to my foodie experience at Coal Vaults.
Unfortunately I didn't try out the cocktails hence am unable to comment on them. Although looking at the menu, they did sound pretty good.


And even if you don't feel the need to go to the toilet...just go anyway to check out the penny floors!

Overall, it was a pleasant experience - however, the space could probably do with some improvements in ventilation as it was quite stuffy and warm...

The restaurant is open seven days a week from 4pm to 12.30pm, with their soft launch running from 26th-28th August (50% off food and glass of bubbly on arrival).


Square Meal

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