Last night we returned to Smith’s of Smithfield for a second wonderful meal. On around the same date last year, our friend Hannah invited us there for her birthday dinner, having had a real trauma trying to find a good restaurant in London who would accept a booking of ten without a deposit and/or set menu. SOS though were happy to oblige us with a lovely large table in their second floor dining room, and so we returned again this year for Hannah’s celebrations.
Adam and I are self-named ‘ethicureans’ and only eat free range meat, and fish that’s line caught and responsibly sourced, so dining out for us is often a disappointment as we forego the amazing looking meat and fish dishes in exchange for a vegetarian meal which fits in with our rules. When we first heard we were going to SOS though we checked out their website to find out a little more about their ingredients and sourcing, and then after a quick phone call we found that all their meat is in fact free range….not just ‘British’ or ‘outdoor bred’. One waiter even said to us ‘I wouldn’t work here if they served any less’.
So, that box ticked, we arrived to the buzzing ground floor bar for arrival drinks before heading upstairs (in the trendily red-quilt-lined lift) to our table situated between the open kitchen and a vast well overlooking the floor below. These, and the other busy tables made for a great atmosphere in what is actually a pretty large restaurant (130 covers), and the attentive and knowledgeable staff certainly helped too.
Last night, having nearly spoiled our dinner on a rather-too-large lunch (see my earlier Maoz post), Adam and I opted out of starters….although I couldn’t resist a few excellent Rock Oysters with sherry vinaigrette (£2.20 each) whilst everyone had their gorgeous looking Dorset Crab & Cox Apple on Toasted Sourdough (£9) and Cream of Cauliflower with Cheese Puffs (£5). Onto mains though and ‘eating light’ soon went out of the window as we were determined to make the most of our meaty feast. Adam chose the South Devon Rib Steak (Aged 21 Days), with Chips & Mayo (£17.50) which was served beautifully pink and perfectly succulent. For me, it was the Rosé Veal in Egg & Parmesan, with Rocket & Anchovies (£16) and although it wasn’t a pretty plate (I’m not a rocket person, and the veal was completely covered in the egg like a sort of omlettey schnitzel) the veal was tender and tasty….as was my side order of wonderfully silky mash (£2.50).
We were too stuffed for puddings, but opposite me, Greg’s Sticky Toffee Pudding (£7) made me very envious as the smell of the hot toffee was almost enough to make me place a late order. Adam settled for an espresso whilst I finished my wine (slow drinker) which he tells me was very good. And by the time we’d finished chatting the place was nearly empty, but with no less atmosphere for it….. and so we left pleasantly full and rather jolly, vowing not to leave it so long until our next visit.