Everything you could want from a top drawer members club, with no membership required
“Set within an old Georgian town house and operating over 5 floors in a prime location; Bird of Smithfield is the long awaited venture by Chef Alan Bird. With over 15 years heading the kitchen at arguably London’s most iconic restaurant The Ivy and as a former Group Executive Chef at the International Soho House Group, Bird has received widespread recognition from both peers and trade.”
It’s Bird of Smithfield’s first night and we’ve managed to book the last table for 4 of the evening. Result! The deal for this launch night is that for £50 you get prosecco & canapés; a 3 course, wine-paired meal; and a post dinner cocktail of your choice in the basement bar. After a drink at The Fence and feeling more than a little excited we walk around the corner to this much anticipated venture. We’re greeted by a classy charcoal grey exterior with simple gold lettering and a large window allowing passers by a peek in to the stylish lounge bar.
We’re handed a glass of prosecco and taken on a full tour of the building, drink in hand. Downstairs, The Birdcage cocktail bar, which will host live music on selected nights is intimate, very cool and classic with a mirrored ceiling. We then go up the private dining room, main dining room and finally the lovely roof terrace. The view isn’t stunning, the market building is just across the road but it gets the evening sun and is a great place to spend a bit of time, with a drink at any time of day. We then head back down to the lounge bar and are offered a range of stunning canapés. Tiny, perfectly cooked scotch eggs, asparagus with a herb mayonnaise dip and a miniature version of Bird’s signature shepherd’s pie, which made everyone make an embarrassing orgasmic noise…
Our table was ready, so we headed upstairs and took our place in the 44 seater dining room. It’s not a big space but you don’t feel cramped or too near to other tables. The furniture throughout the building is very comfortable and coupled with the decor it feels like you’re a guest in someone’s home. We order our starters. Alex and Antonia go for Ruby salad leaves with Heritage beets, soft goat’s curd, cobnuts and pomegranate (£7.00), which I would have preferred with goats cheese rather than the lighter curd. My brother opts for the Crispy Suffolk pork cheeks, which had a light, crisp batter and came with a bitter leaf salad with green sauce and I have the Spring Cornish lamb & vegetable broth with mint relish (£6.50). There’s all cracking dishes. Plenty of lamb in my broth and lovely, crunchy vegetables help to balance out the strength of the lamb, while the mint relish cuts through the stock and freshens it up.
For the main course Antonia and I had the Blythburgh pork belly and surf clams, damsons & samphire (£14.50), which was beautifully balanced. Salty pork belly, creamy mash and a light sauce with delicate, tender clams. Darren had the 3 way Temple Farm Chicken (£16.00), which had some crispy skin and liver and Alex had Deep fried cod with triple cooked chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce (£14.50). Again these were all very, very good dishes. The desserts also delivered. The Lemon and Earl Grey posset, curd and candied zest was particularly good with a lovely zingy lemony kick.
Very impressed with Bird of Smithfield. As it was the opening night I thought there might be some teething problems but was pleasantly surprised this wasn’t the case. Friendly staff, warm atmosphere and great food and drink options. With The Birdcage, roof terrace and private dining room, Bird of Smithfield lends itself to almost any occasion.
It has all the feel of a top class members club but I’m happy to say it’s open to everyone, even you.