Back in the days of my misspent youth, before I was a sensible (!) married woman…my friends and I used to head to the rather appropriately named Heddon Street for a night out. The hedonistic night would often begin with cocktails at a bar called The Living Room, and once suitably inebriated (and I hang my head in shame) we’d head next door to Strawberry Moons to dance the night away to cheesy music. It was back in the heyday of Girls Aloud, Will Young was in the charts, Blue were huge and even the Crazy Frog had a single…
When we’d drunk enough blue WKD, Smirnoff Ice and Archers and lemonade we’d head home feeling fuzzy and excited from our night out in London. Ok…maybe it wasn’t particularly hedonistic but The Living Room was certainly a favourite of mine when I first moved to London. But my old favourite has gone and has been replaced by Gordon Ramsay’s classy establishment, Heddon Street Kitchen.
I was meeting Suze from The Luxury Columnist and Catherine from Lux Life, two lovely lady bloggers, for lunch at Heddon Street. We had lots to catch up on as Suze has been named an official media partner of the Seven Star Global luxury awards, Catherine has just returned from Australia and I had loads to tell them about my South Africa trip.
I arrived first and had time to survey the restaurant, isn’t it funny when somewhere that you’ve been to so many times is rebranded as somewhere else? Mustard yellow sofas had been fitted, along with rustic wooden floor boards and there was an open kitchen at the back. The place had a buzzy, relaxed atmosphere and was totally different to the previous incarnation and to Gordon Ramsay’s fine dining restaurants.
There were tables on the raised area at the back where there used to be a stage and a piano back in the days of the Living Room… oh and the entrance to the toilets was pretty much the same…a confusing wooden walled foyer with a sink shared by both the male and female toilets.
My fellow lovers of luxury, food and travel arrived and we ordered a round of prosecco. Not only were we celebrating our exciting travels, we were also raising a glass for Catherine’s birthday.
When I visit a restaurant I often wonder would it pass the test for me to take my family there? Well…there were soups and fish dishes for my mum, large cuts of meat and fat chips for my dad, and it was child-friendly for my sister and my nephew. They even do children’s parties at the dessert bar! As for Mr S, there’s never any need to worry about him as he eats anything. Chef Maria Tempakis seems to have found the perfect balance with her menu.
Suze and I both chose tuna tartare which had a lovely kick of chilli and garlic and was perfect scooped on the accompanying wonton crisp.
Catherine’s starter came as a generous portion of three plump scallops on carrot puree with treacle cured bacon and apple.
My colourful main course won the prize for presentation, a perfectly cooked piece of sea bream perched on top of jersey royals, tomatoes and asparagus.
But Suze’s cod looked delicious too and was presented on a bed of crushed potato, artichoke, salted capers with a sauce that balanced red wine and lemon.
The birthday girl chose slow-roasted pork belly with spiced apple sauce and hand cut chips.
Though I didn’t sample either of my companions’ meals, there were clean plates all round. Despite some of the gorgeous creations that we saw emerging from the kitchen, we turned down the dessert menu but stayed to enjoy the buzzy ambiance for another hour.
We really liked Heddon Street Kitchen and it’s a great place for any occasion. I also think the outdoor patio will be great for summer as it’s very central but still takes you off the hustle and bustle of Regent’s Street.
Heddon Street Kitchen
Regent Street Food Quarter
3 – 9 Heddon Street
0207 592 1212