Boisdale thrives off tradition… this characterful Scottish restaurant has three branches: Bishopsgate, Canary Wharf and Belgravia. Serving traditional Scottish cuisine, with live music, whisky bar, cigar terrace, caviar & oyster bar and cigar library there is plenty on offer to enjoy. Bearing that list in mind, we found ourselves surrounded by hungry businessmen, though Boisdale certainly has enough to keep the ladies entertained too… cocktails and champagne are obviously popular.
A calendar of events livens up this restaurant; there is never a bad night to visit. For me it was the light jazz music that made our meal at Boisdale special. Down a deserted Belgravia street, the red Boisdale shop front gleams invitingly. The interior of the restaurant is atmospheric, bordering on poorly lit, tea lights sparkle on the tables. It has a typical jazz club vibe, though I prefer to eat in lighter brighter surroundings.
Our waiter suggested a glass of pink champagne, how could we resist? It was a delicious bubbly and perfect for sipping while grazing on the fresh bread. The starters all looked rather heavy and fishy (not my favourite) so we avoided a first course in favour of desserts. Wishing to try the most typical ‘Scottish’ specialities, we ordered the Steak and Scottish Salmon. The food took a while to arrive, obviously the restaurant full of people led to slightly slower service. My Aberdeen beef steak was worth the wait, a fine quality fillet, expertly prepared with a lovely flavour. The chips and salad which I ordered as sides were a bit average, the salad a little sad and wilted. The Seared Loch Duart salmon with peas, soya beans, shaved fennel and mustard cress looked and smelt good. My friend was impressed with the freshness and delicate seasoning.
I wasn’t expecting great cocktails and so our perfectly mixed drinks were a lovely surprise. I tried a Singapore Sling for the first time, a strong fruity drink made with numerous ingredients. The Espresso Martini was very generous, absolutely delicious and a lovely nightcap.
The desserts were very different, with varying levels of success. My Pannacotta was a real disappointment, more like jellified cream with not much flavour and an unpleasant texture. On the other side of the table however the homemade apple tart with vanilla ice-cream was a triumph, ultra thin and crispy pastry and caramelised slices of apple… I was reaching over the table to steal mouthfuls.
For parties and group gatherings there are plenty of options, and I can imagine Boisdale being a great place to meet up with friends. The Jacobite Menu is well worth trying, priced at £19.75 for two courses. Boisdale offer good food, music and drink in a charming setting, everything you need for a great evening out.
More information here.