Restaurant: The Living Room
Address: 1 Bridge Street
Prices: £9 – £20 for main
According to the Living Room website, the restaurant is ‘chic, upbeat and welcoming’. They were entirely right.
Immediately, I was struck by the attentive, friendly bar man who recognised me from the night before! After having asked if I still had a headache, he advised my friend and I to try the classic mojito; a mojito it was.
As we sat sipping, I was suddenly aware that we were the youngest people in the room. It was a Friday night, a time for the 9-to-5-ers to enjoy the long weekend.
Yet this did not detract from the enjoyment of the evening, adding a sophisticated twist to the buzzing and vibrant atmosphere.
The barman informed us the steak and ale pie was to die for, but that the chips weren’t top class, so we would have to wait and see.
Steph the smiley waitress showed us to our table overlooking the river. We ordered two bottles of wine: the house white and house red. Neither of these bottles were cheap at £13 and £18 respectively. However when they arrived, we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the wine.
Being indecisive is not the greatest characteristic when faced with an extensive menu. Starters or no starters? Steak? Salad? Burger? Curry? Fish? Lamb? Risotto? Light bite? You name it, they had it.
After some deliberation, we decided to go for two starters between the four of us: an antipasto platter consisting of Prosciutto ham, mozzarella, rocket, olives, baby tomatoes and baked bread, and ravioli stuffed with goats cheese in a tomato and red pepper sauce garnished with basil and mozzarella.
When the waitress came to take our order, the mains had only been skimmed over. She was extremely accommodating and took our starter order first whilst leaving us to ponder over the rest.
The starters were delicious. The antipasto was great for sharing, and what could have been a standard pasta had brilliant taste, and was a good size.
Leaving just enough time for us to appreciate our starter, inhale the atmosphere and enjoy the good wine, our mains arrived: Peking duck with pancakes, cucumber, spring onion and hoi sin sauce; beer battered Whitby cod and chips (the chips certainly exceeded the honest barman’s expectations) with mushy peas and tartar sauce; pan fried seabass fillets served on a lemon grass, lime leaf, and bok choi broth; and the chefs special: chicken breast stuffed with mozzarella and spinach, wrapped in Parma ham on a creamy mushroom risotto garnished with rocket.
These four very different dishes were all exquisite and delicate in taste. The chicken was succulent, the fish cooked to perfection and the duck oozing with flavour. Presentation was excellent, all served on stylish white plates and the portion sizes were hearty without being insultingly large.
Even though none of our meals were below £12.95, the quality and quantity of food made us more than happy to pay. Having said this, the meals came with no extra sides, which came at a dear cost of £3 extra.
After feeling full from mains, we decided to go for The Living Room’s sharing board. The platter consisted of two of each: blueberry cheesecake, warm orange chocolate sponge, crème brulee, lemon meringue and winter berry Eton mess. Presented extremely well, they were all bite size portions. The chocolate sponge was a little disappointing, being quite dry and nothing special, but the other four desserts certainly made up for it – our favourite was the winter twist on a traditional summer, Eton mess.
The night had ended well. We reflected on the evening whilst listening to live acoustic music covers. The atmosphere was superb.
The Living Room was, overall, a fantastic restaurant. From the accommodating, friendly staff to the quality of food, the view over the flooded river to the presentation of the dessert platter, this restaurant hit the spot.
The Living Room is a treasure on the river and undoubtedly one not to be missed.